School Direct Eligibility


 Essential Criteria  

  • A UK undergraduate degree, at least 2:2 (with Hons) or a recognised equivalent qualification.
  • GCSE grade C/4 or above in English and Mathematics.
  • GCSE grade C/4 or above in a Science if you are applying to teach primary or key stage 2/3 (ages 7–14).
  • SALARIED ROUTE ONLY-You must also have a minimum of 3 years full time work experience. Not undertaken whilst studying your degree.

 Desirable Criteria  

  • Voluntary work experience within an educational setting prior to starting the course.
  • Talk to teachers about their roles to gain an understanding of the profession.
  • Be passionate and enthusiastic about becoming a teacher and shaping the lives of young people.


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.  Secondary Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science and MFL candidates who do not have a degree in the subject they want to train to teach, may 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/4 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/4 in a Science GCSE.

Please note that the DfE does not accept functional skills as an equivalency to GCSE.


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

CCCU equivalency tests are undertaken by Equivalency Testing.  These tests 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.

Overseas Qualifications

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

If you require a visa please contact the school (s) directly to see if they can support you, as they will become the employer, if your application was successful.

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 work experience would only be considered from exceptional applicants, particularly for those applying for priority subjects.  Work experience does not need to be in a school.

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.  Talk to teachers about their role.  This is not a requirement but a recommendation to help prepare you for working as a classroom teacher.


Candidates for secondary Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geography and MFL who do not have a degree in the subject they want to train to teach, may 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. These are run by Canterbury Christ Church University, details of which can be found at:

  • 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

For further information on SKEs available for other subjects can be found on the Get into Teaching website:

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.

International Applicants

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


Next Page: School Direct Places


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