In order to apply for a place on School Direct, you must have:
- A UK undergraduate degree or a recognised equivalent qualification.
- A GCSE grade C or above in English and Mathematics.
- A GCSE grade C or above in a science if you are applying to teach primary or key stage 2/3 (ages 7–14).
- Passed, or have plans in place to pass, the Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy; please see the Professional Skills Tests section of the Department for Education web site for more information on the core skills required by trainee teachers
Before acceptance on the course students will also have had to:
- Provide a satisfactory medical form
- Completed an enhanced DBS/police check
- Completed a Declaration of Suitability to Teach
- Adhered to a Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise
Download more specific information on the required experience and entry qualifications (PDF, 310KB).
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 (visit http://www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/subjects-age-groups/age-groups/teaching-secondary/boost-subject-knowledge to find out more). A minimum of one week of experience of working, or undertaking placement or purposeful voluntary experience in a state school setting, is essential for those applying for School Direct places partnered by the University of Birmingham and School Direct (Salaried) students must have 3 years or more work experience.
If you studied outside 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.
For up to date information on this visit the National College for Teaching and Leadership website and specifically its Eligibility information
How we select our students
Application forms are considered by both the university and the individual school(s) involved. At application we are looking for evidence that the candidate is on a trajectory to meeting the characteristics listed in ‘What we are looking for’ (see below)
The application will clearly list the qualifications required and additional qualifications and experience relevant to training to teach. It will include references that are appropriate and allow us to obtain recent, relevant and appropriate professional perspective on you as a potential teacher.
The personal statement of a successful applicant will demonstrate commitment to teaching and understanding of what good teaching and learning is about. It will include something of your own aspirations and vision for your career and will pull on recent and relevant experience (paid or voluntary) in appropriate settings, including a minimum of a week in a state school setting.
All successful applicants will have been interviewed and this will normally take place in the School Direct school. The University and the school jointly design and manage the interview process with the school leading the process. Applicants that demonstrate professionalism, commitment, a realistic understanding of the pressures of the course and the profession, an awareness of the school in which they are intending to train, creativity, organisational skills and a clear recognition of the need to synthesise practical and academic learning through refection are most likely to succeed.
What we are looking for
Successful University of Birmingham School Direct students will be those that:
- Have a clear, questioning and reflective understanding of schools in England and of what good teaching involves
- Recognise that the job of the teacher is first and foremost that of teaching and that the understanding of the pedagogy of teaching and learning is fundamentally essential
- Have a solid knowledge of their subject(s) and are always committed to further developing this knowledge base
- Have gained practical experience in appropriate school contexts prior to applying for their course
- Understand that the training year, just like the job itself, is demanding in time and effort, and that it will involve some travel and will involve balancing academic study with substantial time spent in school
- Are committed to the education of all children, whatever their educational need and background
- Can work in teams, often under pressure, and can work with a range of other professionals
- Are well organised and able to plan for the blend of academic and professional learning that the programme requires
- Are able to reflect on their own experiences and apply learning to future actions
- Have a commitment to their own career development