School Direct Eligibility



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.  This 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.


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.


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