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School Direct Initial Teacher Training

School Direct Teacher Training

Polaris Teaching Alliance is delighted to be working in partnership with York St John University to offer unsalaried early years and primary training places on the 2020-21 School Direct programme.

Our School Direct programme offers you an initial teacher education opportunity of outstanding quality, training as part of an inspirational learning community on a journey to achieve a national reputation for excellence in teaching and learning.

What is School Direct?

School Direct is a school-centred teacher training programme, allowing trainees to learn from experienced and inspirational teachers working in schools within our alliance. If you train with us you will have the advantage of learning on the job in a school close to where you live, with support from a dedicated team of brilliant teachers and York St John University tutors, who will guide you every step of the way.

Our programme

Our School Direct programme is a full-time course from September until June, leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and PGCE. The majority of training is undertaken in the classroom with experienced teachers. Our trainees also receive professional development and curriculum training from Polaris specialist leaders at our hub in Malton and tutors at York St John University. In school, trainees progress from observing teachers and other school professionals to teaching 80% of the time by the end of the programme.

Flexible teacher training, tailored to your needs

We offer lots of flexibility within our programme to suit your needs: we place you in schools that match your interests and experience, and we use a blended approach for training and support. During the Covid 19 pandemic we have learned the huge potential of offering quality online provision for some aspects of our programme to avoid unnecessary travel and time.


Whilst the majority of your training and assessment is undertaken in schools, you will complete academic assignments, gain subject and theoretical knowledge and apply your understanding of child development in class, leading to a PGCE with QTS. School Direct offers the same academic rigour as university-led courses.

Tailored support and development

We take our trainees’ well-being extremely seriously; we offer a fantastic support team to look after you throughout your training year including a lead mentor, link tutors, head teachers, school based mentors and class teachers. We are looking to nurture good and outstanding teachers to employ within our schools and it is in our interest to ensure the NQTs we have trained are the highest quality they can be.

Our alliance sees the ITT year as just the first stage in a teacher’s development and if you are employed in one of our schools upon completion of your training, we aim to nurture you through your ongoing career: we offer NQT and RQT programmes to see you through the next phase of development as a teacher, then leadership training beyond if that is your goal.

Qualification requirements and programme options

We ask that applicants have an honours degree (or equivalent) and grade C or above in maths, English and science GCSEs. For applicants who don’t have their science GCSE York St John do offer an equivalency test.  More importantly, we are looking for people who are passionate about a teaching profession, have a real understanding of teaching and learning and the resilience to succeed in a challenging career.

For further course details, please click here.

Download Our Handbook

To find out more about our upcoming events Click here

Ready to apply? Visit UCAS

Apply from 13th October.

Have a question? Get in touch

A member of our team will be happy to advise.