School Direct


School Direct is a new route into teaching. Whether you have just finished a degree, or have been working in a career for many years School Direct offers a brilliant teacher training opportunity. You will be based in one school, learning on the job with and alongside outstanding practitioners. Successful completion of a School Direct course with the East Kent Learning Alliance (EKLA ) will lead to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

'I want to see QTS as a foundation stone for a great career in teaching. So I don’t believe QTS should be scrapped. Instead, I want QTS strengthened​.'  Justin Greening, Education Secretary


  • School Direct Salaried: This is an employment-based route for high-quality experienced graduates with at least three years’ work experience (to be completed primarily before undertaking a degree or after graduating; not whilst studying for a degree). Colleagues will earn a salary while they train.
  • School Direct non salaried: This is aimed at high-quality graduates who want to be part of a school team from day one. Trainees will pay their own fees, but may be eligible for a bursary of up to £30,000 to support them while they train.


The East Kent Learning Alliance is a partnership of secondary and primary schools, that engage with schools and accredited providers to recruit high quality trainees to provide a rich training programme. EKLA is committed to helping improve the lives of the young people that it serves in East Kent and believes that the recruitment and development of the workforce of the future will help us to achieve this aim.


  • Partner schools have a strong tradition of highly successful ITT
  • Very experienced school based mentors
  • Strong relationship with our training provider, CCCU
  • Track record of talent management and succession planning for colleagues who have completed ITT
  • Collaborative working
  • Joint Professional Studies
  • Range of placements
  • Inter school visits
  • Networks and support
  • Potential Employment with a school in the EKLA area


Whilst we are working in partnership with an accredited body, Canterbury Christ Church University. EKLA will be offering the following elements of the programme:

  • Professional studies based at EKLA partnership schools
  • School placements in differing contexts across the alliance.
  • Networking opportunities with trainees at other schools.


  • a commitment to working with young people
  • good communication skills
  • a fascination with the learning process
  • a love of their subject
  • the ability to motivate and enthuse young people
  • experience of working with young people, particularly in a school environment, strengthens an application
  • a desire to make a difference

SCHOOL DIRECT PLACES WITH EKLA 2018-19 - Applications to EKLA for School Direct Trainees to start in September 2018 close on 8th May.

Applications for School Direct places with EKLA OPEN ON 26TH OCTOBER
SchoolSalaried PlacesNon-salaried Places
Aylesham Primary School   Primary
Canterbury High School

Maths - Place Filled
English - Place filled

PE - Place filled

Canterbury Primary School

Primary - Place filled
Primary - Place filled
Primary - Place filled

Chatham & Clarendon House Grammar School   Design Technology - Place Filled
PE - Place filled
Chilton Academy Primary School  

Primary - Place filled

Christchurch CE Junior School   Primary

Cliftonville Primary School

  Primary - Place Filled
Dane Court Grammar School  

English - Place filled

Herne CE Infant & Nursery School   Primary
Herne CE Junior School   Primary - Place filled
Herne Bay High School English
Maths - Place Filled
MFL - French
Herne Bay Junior School   Primary
Holywell Primary School   Primary - Place filled
Joy Lane Primary School Primary - Place filled
Primary - Place Filled
King Ethelbert School

English - Place closed
MFL (Spanish) - Place closed

English - Place filled
Maths - Place filled
Religious Education
Citizenship - Place filled

Lyminge CE Primary School   Primary - Place filled
Lympne CE Primary School   Primary
Palm Bay Primary School  

Primary - Place filled

Pilgrims' Way Primary School Primary - Place filled  
Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School MFL (Spanish) - Place closed
Design Technology

PE (Programme Closed)

Ramsgate Arts Primary School Primary - Place filled Primary
River Primary School Primary  
Royal Harbour Academy

English - Place filled
Maths - Place filled

Selling CE Primary School   Primary - Place filled
St Crispin's Infant School   Primary - Place filled
St Mary's Catholic Primary School  

Primary - Place filled

St Mildred's Infant School   Primary
St Peter's Methodist Primary School   Primary - Place closed
St Stephen's Junior School   Primary
Upton Junior School Primary 




You must have a UK university degree or a recognised equivalent qualification of a minimum award of 2:2, with honours. Your degree must be completed before commencement of your training place. For applicants with a higher degree (Masters, MBA or Doctorate) you must also have a first degree. All secondary Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science and MFL candidates who do not have a degree in the subject they want to train to teach, will be required to undertake a subject knowledge enhancement course (SKE). Any offer of a place on the School Direct programme will be conditional on completion of an SKE course. Further information can be found at:


To train as a teacher on any programme you must achieve a standard equivalent to a grade C in GCSE English and Mathematics. If you want to teach primary or key stage 2/3 (ages 7 to 14), you must also have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in a Science GCSE.

Overseas Qualifications

NARIC equivalency certificates are required for any degree or school qualifications gained outside the United Kingdom

Work Experience - Salaried Route

To apply for the salaried route you must have at least 3 years full time work experience. This must not be undertaken whilst completing your degree. Less than 3 years experience would be considered from exceptional applicants, particularly for those applying for priority subjects.

WORK EXPERIENCE - all applicants

Being able to evidence experience of working with young people, particularly in a school environment, strengthens an application.  We would therefore highly recommend that you visit a range of schools and undertake work experience prior to applying for School Direct.


EKLA will accept GCSE equivalency tests for Maths, English and Science. 

CCCU equivalency tests are undertaken by Equivalency Testing.  These test provide a transferrable, nationally recognised qualification.  Tests are booked through Equivalency Testing at   This can be done at any time and applicants do not need to wait until an offer has been made.


Applicants to all ITT courses will be required to pass QTS skills tests before starting their course. Applicants can register for the skills tests once they have submitted their application. We strongly advise applicants to take the tests as soon as possible after submitting an application.  It’s important that candidates bring with them the right documents when attending the skills test centres. Any candidates that do not follow the below process will be turned away. Candidates can book their skills tests once they have submitted their application through UCAS Teacher Training. They can book in advance of this as long as an application is submitted before they attend the test centre. Candidates need to bring two forms of identification – a primary ID such as a passport, and a secondary ID this can be for example a debit card. More information can be found on the STA website. (links to

You will also need to bring proof of your teacher training application. The evidence that will be accepted are:

  • a welcome email from UCAS Teacher Training
  • correspondence from your school or university
  • a copy of a completed UCAS Teacher Training application form
  • confirmation of, or an invitation to, an interview from your school or university

For more information please visit:

Changes to the professional skills tests 

On 12 February 2018, Minister Gibb announced changes to the professional skills tests, following feedback from the teaching profession, to remove financial and administrative barriers to teacher recruitment.The following changes have been effective from Wednesday 14 February 2018:

  • there will be no limit on the number of test attempts;
  • the lockout period, which previously meant candidates who had failed 3 tests in a subject could not re-take the test for 2 years, has been removed;
  • all candidates previously locked out will now be able to book tests for both subjects;
  • the number of free test bookings allowed per subject has increased from 1 to 3, with charges applied from the fourth test attempt; and
  • a refund will be issued to candidates who sat their second or third attempted tests between 24 October 2017 and 14 February 2018. 

Skills test passes for ITT applicants continue to be valid for 3 years. If an ITT course starts after the 3 years have elapsed, candidates will be required to re-take the test.For further information, please visit professional skills tests or call the learndirect helpline on 0300 303 9613 which is available Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm.


All candidates for secondary Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science and MFL who do not have a degree in the subject they want to train to teach, will be required to undertake a subject knowledge enhancement course (SKE). These are run by Canterbury Christ Church University for free, details of which can be found at

  • The SKE is free to candidates (you do not have to pay a fee) if it is made a condition of your offer of a teacher training place
  • If a student enrols on the SKE before the end of March they may also get a bursary to support their study
  • The course is not "pass / fail" it is a "complete / not complete" programme
  • The SKE is entirely distance learning, there is no need to attend any sessions in Canterbury. Materials are accessed via Blackboard and tutorials are accessed remotely via the Internet.
  • The SKE materials are focussed in the main on personal subject knowledge
  • If a candidate goes on to an ITE place with CCCU after undertaking their SKE they retain access to the materials throughout their training year, which means they can use them to support their subject knowledge development through the training year as well.

Clearance from the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)

We have a duty to protect children and vulnerable adults. If you are offered a place on the School Direct programme, you will be asked to apply for an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the CRB as a requirement of entry to the course. This document will contain details of any cautions, convictions, reprimands, warnings or bindovers recorded against your name (even where they would ordinarily be considered spent) or confirm that you have none. It will allow us to make an assessment of your suitability for access to these vulnerable groups.


Generous, tax-free funding is available to the best graduates training in a range of subjects. You could get a £26,000 bursary or be awarded a prestigious scholarship – which provides additional support and benefits throughout your training year.  With or without a bursary or scholarship, you could receive a tuition fee loan and maintenance loan to help fund your teacher training year. 

Alternatively, you could earn a salary while you train with School Direct (salaried)

For more details, please click on the link:

2. Prestigious physics scholarships - applications open 

prestigious physics scholarships - applications open

Trainee physics teachers, can apply for a £28,000 tax-free physics teacher training scholarship. 

This scheme is aimed at high-quality physicists who are passionate about physics and science. Candidates must have secured a DfE-allocated ITT training place leading to achieved QTS status by September 2019, and a 2:1 (or predicted) degree. Candidates with a 2:2 (or predicted) degree may be considered if they can demonstrate significant subject knowledge.

Successful applicants will receive additional support to enhance their subject knowledge, gain access to high-quality professional development resources and be awarded Institute of Physics (IOP) membership.
Applications are open until 16 July 2018; candidates can apply via the Institute of Physics website.

Prestigious scholarships to attract chemistry and languages teachers

If you are applying to become a trainee chemistry or languages teacher, you could be eligible for a £28,000, tax-free teacher training scholarship. Both schemes are aimed at high-quality candidates who are passionate about chemistry and science or languages.  

Applicants must have a 2:1 (or predicted) degree. Candidates with a 2:2 (or predicted) degree may be considered if they can demonstrate significant relevant subject knowledge. Successful applicants must secure a Department for Education-allocated ITT training place that leads to achieved qualified teacher status (QTS) status by September 2019.

Successful applicants to both schemes receive additional support to enhance their subject knowledge, gain access to high-quality professional development resources, and additional support to enhance their subject knowledge.

Chemistry applicants will receive membership to the Royal Society of Chemistry for 2 years. Candidates can apply via the Royal Society of Chemistry website; applications are open until Tuesday 31 July 2018 at 5pm.

Languages applicants must be training to teach French, German or Spanish; they will also have access to a dedicated mentor. Candidates can apply now via the British Council.

For further details, including eligibility, please visit Get Into Teaching

For further details, including eligibility and other subject scholarship schemes, please visit Get Into Teaching.

Non-Supported Trainees – Self Funded

When is a trainee fundable by NCTL?

Where they are able to access student support i.e. assessed as ‘home or EU status’ for the purpose of assessing tuition fee status or are home or overseas/international School Direct Salaried trainees on an allocated place and employed in a state maintained school in a priority subject. All trainees that are able to access student support will be assessed as fundable by NCTL whether they draw down the support or not.

When are they not fundable by NCTL?

Where they are assessed as ‘overseas or international’ for the purpose of assessing tuition fees status, or are School Direct Salaried Trainees (home or overseas) on a non-allocated place or undertaking a lower priority, (non NCTL funded) subject and/or employed at a Private School.


Applicants who do not hold a UK or EU passport might not be eligible for funding. International students not holding an EU or UK passport are only eligible for Salaried School Direct places. Applicants must hold the relevant work visa.


Applications for School Direct places with EKLA for September 2018 OPEN IN OCTOBER 2017

Applications for 2018 -19 places are managed by UCAS through a single admissions system.

Applications to EKLA for School Direct Trainees to start in September 2018 close on 8th May

Please follow this link for detailed information:



  • Phone:
    01843 830 215
  • E-Mail:
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Copyright © 2018 East Kent Leaning Alliance. All Rights Reserved.