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School Direct FAQs

Below you will find a range of questions that applicants have asked us over the years.  The responses contain information extra to the details found in the other sections of our web-pages, and should hopefully complement the other information to give you a well-rounded view of the course and the training route as a whole.  If you have a question that is not included in the list below, please let us know as we would very much like to make this information available to you, as well as to other future applicants.


What is the difference between School Direct and a Provider-Led PGCE?


Both School Direct and a Provider-led PGCE will provide you with the same outcome: a PGCE with QTS.  The real difference however is in the time you get to spend training in school and the essential 'hands-on' experience of teaching you are able to gain.  Our School Direct course provides this from the first week of training, allowing trainees with two days a week in school before progressing to full-time school-based training once the Stage One placement begins.  Many people prefer the School Direct route as it offers them more experience through immersion in school life and allows them to gain a greater range of knowledge and practical skills in the relatively short duration of the course (traditional teacher training courses take three years for the student to train to be a teacher!).


What is the difference between School Direct and SCITT?


School Direct and SCITT are very similar as they are both a school-based route into teacher training led by a partnership of schools. Often, a School Direct course shares training and assessment with a university provider.  This allows a School Direct course to offer the more academic and therefore more desirable qualification.  A SCITT course is run solely by a network of schools with little input from an academic partner except through the actual final award itself.


Both routes will award QTS, but a School Direct course usually awards a PGCE whereas only some SCITTs offer a PGCE. 


What is QTS?  And is that different from a PGCE?


QTS stands for Qualified Teacher Status and it means that you have met the statutory requirements (The Teachers Standards 2012) for teaching in England.  Our PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) includes QTS but is also an academic qualification recognised around the world.  Our PGCE also gives you 60 course credits towards achieving a Masters in Education.


If I Train in a School Direct Partnership, can I only work within partnership schools when qualified?


No, your PGCE is accredited and verified by Leeds Trinity University and qualifies you to work in any school in the age-range for which you have trained, in any location in which the qualification is accepted.


How much of the course will I spend in University and how much in School?


The majority of your course will be spent in school (you will spend your school-based training in two different partnership schools).  Initially, prior to the first school placement, the course timetable usually requires trainees to spend two days a week in University followed by one subject related day of training (Continuing Professional Development or CPD training).  The remainder of the week is spent in a host school.  Once the stage one placement begins, all your time will be spent in school except for the odd University day and CPD training session in other partner schools.


Is the qualification the same for all routes run in partnership with Leeds Trinity?


Yes, in all courses run in partnership with Leeds Trinity University, where trainees are studying for a PGCE,  a Level 7 PGCE with QTS will be awarded if successful.  


Will I be taught different things in different routes?


No, whether you are studying on the School Direct route or on Trinity's provider-led route, you will learn the same things, although sometimes in slightly different contexts.  All routes involve some time learning at Leeds Trinity University.  Indeed for the first part of the training, before placements begin, trainees on the School Direct route may find themselves in lectures also attended by trainees on other courses.


Can I teach in either Primary or Secondary schools?


No, if you train to teach in Primary then that is the school-age range you will only be qualified to teach in.  However, for Primary Education, you can choose to specialise in either Early Years (3 - 7) or General (5-11).  Once you have achieved your qualification in either of these courses, you can apply for work teaching any age-range within the Primary years.


I don't have one of the required GCSEs - can I still apply?


Yes, GCSE equivalency tests in the three required GCSEs: English, Maths and Science are accepted by Trinity, but only from outside agencies that they approve.  To find out more information about this, please contact Trinity's Student Admissions department directly:


Will I be able to spend one of my school placements in St Anthony's?


Although we would love to have all our trainees under the same roof, it would be physically impossible to have everyone train at St Anthony's.  Therefore, St Anthony's will place each of its trainees in partner schools that are either good or outstanding and which, in many ways, share the same values and goals.  One or two trainees may be selected to train in St Anthony's, but this selection is impartial and based on a range of criteria designed to give trainees the best experience possible.


Can I train in a school near to me or can I choose the school I want to train in?


St Anthony's works in alliance with a range of other Primary schools across the region.  When choosing a placement for a trainee, we call upon our partner schools to provide places in the different age ranges the trainees are required to teach in.  Occasionally, where we see a need for an extra school, we will approach a school outside our partnership to see if they can offer a placement, however, this is achieved through the local education authority, diocese, or personal links with other colleagues, and not through the reference or relationship of a trainee.


When assigning schools to trainees, we always try to select establishments that will offer the best experience.  This means that trainees should be able to reach their placement school in good time by private or public transport (the journey-time should take no more than 25 minutes) and also be able to experience two contrasting environments, as well as training in a well-supported, comfortable environment where they will achieve the best in mentoring and support.  When considering trainees for a particular school we try to also try to match their personality and experience to their particular school, so that they will feel more at home.  In addition, we also take into consideration other factors such as child care. 


Finally, it is important to emphasise that the best, impartial experience is achieved at a school without ties or links to a trainee.  Therefore, we would always discourage a trainee from seeking a placement at a school they may have worked at or may have children studying in.  We will always select a school that is fresh to the trainee and therefore offering a 'clean slate' and an impartial outcome.


Do I have to be a Catholic to train with St Anthony's?


No, we accept trainees from any faith or denomination.  Although the Catholic Faith is central to everything we do at St Anthony's, we are a multi-faith school and actively encourage and support an interest in and positive view of other faiths.  Similarly, we accept staff and trainees from a wide range of other faiths and beliefs.  All that we require is that our trainees accept and support the teaching of the positive values and philosophies of the Catholic faith whilst in a Catholic faith-based school.

Glossary of teaching terms and acronyms


QTS - Qualified Teacher Status


NQT - Newly qualified Teacher


PGCE - Post Graduate Certificate in Education (level 7) or Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (level 6)


ITT - Initial Teacher Training


TRA - Teaching Regulation Agency


DfE - Department for Education


SCITT - School-centered Initial Teacher Training


CPD - Continuing Professional Development