What is School Direct

School Direct is an innovative way of delivering Initial Teacher Training via school placements and training led by successful schools themselves. Our School Direct programme is highly successful, led by our national Teaching School and delivered by our Alliance of highly performing schools.

How school placements work:

In a School Direct programme, trainees undertake three school placements at different settings, maximising the range of experience received. Trainees will have placements in both KS1 and KS2 if undertaking the Primary (5-11) route, or placements in Reception and KS1 if undertaking the EYFS (3-7) route, completing a minimum of 120 placement days.

Warrington Teaching School Alliance has a wide network of schools who host our trainees for placements. Most of our placement schools are within the Warrington area, but there are a small number of placements in schools located in Cheshire West and Chester and Halton Local Authority Areas.

We are able to draw on a range of school characteristics and offer schools which are for example:

  • Rural and semi-rural
  • Urban
  • Faith schools
  • Academy schools
  • Special Educational Needs schools and colleges
  • High levels of Free School Meals, etc.

In each placement trainees are treated as part of the school team and take part in all elements of the school day, attending staff meetings, supporting parents evening and extra-curricular activities for example. This means our trainees graduate 100% ready to take on their NQT year and leave us classroom ready by the end of the programme!

Each placement is chosen based on trainees development needs and prior experience with an aim to offer the broadest experience possible and to develop them as teaching professionals. A trainees area of interest will be considered also, for example if a desire to work in the future in SEN settings placements with Designated Provision or ASD units will be selected.

Curriculum and Professional Training:

Professional training modules are delivered over the course of the year with 60 days being spent receiving formal training, attending masters days (10 days) and in enrichment placements and experience days. All training is delivered by the highest quality practitioners and expert consultants meaning your training is current and relevant to schools today. We design the content of our training to reflect the latest research and evidence base on what works in education and how children learn and using the many years of experience our Teaching School leaders possess.

Training days are usually delivered in various venues located in Warrington or surrounding areas and Masters Days delivered at Liverpool Hope University. We also offer virtual training sessions to comply with Covid-19 restrictions.

Mentoring and Trainee Support:

What we feel makes the School Direct programme different from a traditional University based route is the way we are able to mentor and support our trainees and nurture development as teachers and professionals. As members of our programme and of our Teaching School we commit ourselves to ensuring our trainees receive the best quality experience during their time with us, and beyond.

WTSA is proud of its outstanding team of mentors who support each of our trainees every step of the way. With regular contact and personalised support available we have a high percentage of trainees graduating as 'Outstanding' and maintain our 100% pass and excellent employment rates year on year.