Eligibility for School Direct

School Direct offers a unique training route to achieving qualified teacher status (QTS) and aims to attract the highest-quality candidates.

In order to apply for a place on School Direct, you must have:

  • A UK undergraduate degree or a recognised equivalent qualification.
  • A standard equivalent to a grade C in the GCSE examinations in English and maths.
  • A standard equivalent to a grade C in the GCSE examination in a science subject if you intend to train to teach pupils aged 3–11. A GCSE grade C or above in a science if you are applying to teach at primary level or key stage 2/3 (ages 7–14).

If you studied outside of the UK, you should visit the National Academic Recognition Centre (NARIC) website to find out whether your qualifications are of an equivalent level to UK GCSEs, A levels and an undergraduate degree.

The School Direct Training Programme focuses on developing teaching skills. You should have a strong understanding of the subject you wish to teach before you start training. If your degree subject does not link closely to your chosen teaching subject, it is recommended that you undertake a subject knowledge enhancement course before you begin training.

In addition, all candidates applying for initial teacher training (ITT) courses are required to have passed the literacy and numeracy professional skills tests before starting teacher training.

School Direct Training Programme (salaried)

The School Direct Training Programme (salaried) is mainly aimed at career changers with at least three years’ work experience in addition to the eligibility requirements detailed above. However, some schools may accept applications from high-quality graduates with less experience, especially in maths, physics, chemistry, languages and computing.

Work experience may be in any career and does not have to be from an educational setting, but should generally apply to the years following graduation. You should contact your chosen school with any questions regarding your experience.

If you do not meet the eligibility requirements for School Direct, there are alternative teacher training options available to you.

GOV.UK offers advice and information about gaining maths and English qualifications

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