Information for Candidates

Why apply to us?

Each School Direct trainee is assigned to a class in the base school with a teacher-tutor, overseen by an experienced mentor.  Meetings with your mentor are scheduled weekly as you are supported in your ongoing development as a teacher. The Teaching School Operational Lead and University tutors will also be available for support throughout the year.

Training commences by working alongside the class teacher, initially with small groups of children and gradually builds up to working with an entire class. Your training will include a second placement in a contrasting Alliance school, and a major benefit of training with the Portswood Teaching School Alliance is the wealth of diversity within our schools. Trainees build an excellent foundation for their teaching careers – through the experience of teaching pupils with a wide range of abilities and backgrounds.

Trainees will benefit from high quality training delivered through their host school, schools within the Portswood Teaching School Alliance and subject specialist university tutors. We also collaborate with other local Teaching School Alliances to allow the best package of support to be developed. Our school based training is delivered by outstanding practitioners who are at the cutting edge of classroom pedagogy and can offer a wealth of experience and practical strategies.

We have maintained a substantial university based input into our programme, which means that not only will you benefit from the training and support of subject specialist tutors, you will also have the opportunity to meet and train with a large number of other trainees in your subject or phase specialism.

Our trainees rate the training provided by the Portswood Teaching School Alliance to be at least good, with over 90% rating it as excellent. Once trainees have successfully completed their training year, the PTSA also offers a whole range of training programmes to support you as you move through your career.

Any further questions from prospective candidates regarding School Direct, please contact the following:

Sarah Amer or Gemma Fuge – email

How to Apply

All PTSA School Direct places for 2020-21 are now full.

For general information about School Direct and how to apply please click here

Further information about Initial Teacher Training is available on the UCAS website.

  • The School Direct (salaried) Training programme is open to graduates with three or more years’ career experience
  • You will ideally have at least 2 weeks’ work recent and relevant experience with in a school setting
  • You must have a UK undergraduate degree, preferably with a 2:1 or 1st class classification (or equivalent if you have studied outside the UK- consult for further details). However, a 2:2 would be considered if the candidate could demonstrate particular strengths within other areas.
  • You must have at least a grade C/4 in GCSE English, maths and science

Q. I’ve lost my academic certificates.  Does this matter?

A. Yes.  Applicants who are offered a place will be asked to provide the original certificates for these examinations.  Replacement certificates (or certified statements of results) can be requested from the examination boards for any lost/stolen certificates.  Full details can be found on the Government website.

Q. I gained my academic qualifications outside of the UK.  Can I still apply?

A. Yes.  You must obtain a Statement of Comparability from UK NARIC to show your qualifications meet the academic criteria set by the UK Government.

Q. Do I need to pass the Professional Skills Tests before I apply?

A. No.  The Department for Education have recently announced that trainees are no longer required to take the literacy and numeracy Professional Skills Tests.  However, all teachers are expected to be competent in Fundamental English and mathematics.

Q. I failed to achieve a grade C for GCSE mathematics, science and/or English.  Can I still apply?

A. Applicants who are otherwise suitable for ITT but, for whatever reason, have not successfully achieved a GCSE grade C may be given an opportunity to show that they can nevertheless meet the required standard, either by taking an equivalence test or by offering other evidence of attainment, which should demonstrate a similar level and breadth.

Q. My degree is lower than a 2:2.  Can I still apply?

A. Unfortunately our partnership would not accept your application.  However, other providers may look at what skills and school experience the applicant brings, and may give credit for studying additional (i.e. Open University) modules, or undertaking postgraduate study.

Q. How long is the course?

A. One academic year – September to July.

Q. Can I train part time?

A. Our programme is a full time course that is completed in one academic year.

Q. How is the training programme structured?

A. This is a school based programme so you will be training in a school throughout the programme.  You will have a main school placement (within our partnership of schools) and a placement in a second school (in an alternative key stage) for the first half of the Spring Term.  In addition, you will have training days in a number of schools across our alliance so, by the end of the programme, you will have had valuable experience in a range of schools.  We are in partnership with the University of Southampton who will be delivering the training for the academic assignments you need to complete successfully for the award of a PGCE.

Q. What is your UCAS code?

A. Our UCAS institution code is 1G4.  The course code for School Direct (Salaried) route is 263P.  The course code for the training (unsalaried) route is 2SB6.

For School Direct places, the selection of trainees is led by the Portswood Teaching School Alliance, with representatives from alliance schools and the University of Southampton.  All applications will be screened for eligibility, entry requirements, prior experience and references prior to interview.

The highest calibre applicants will be invited to interview where a range of tasks will determine the suitability of each candidate for the School Direct Programme and whether a conditional offer will be made.