About School Direct

School Direct is a year-long postgraduate teacher training programme. Trainees spend more time in the classroom, putting theory into practice and gaining confidence-boosting experience.

Based in one of our infant / primary academies in Hastings and St Leonards or one of our secondary academies in Burgess Hill, Hastings and St Leonards you’ll benefit from a tailored training programme, with personalised support from highly experienced teachers and tutors. You’ll also attend training sessions at the University of Brighton, rated by Ofsted as an outstanding provider of initial teacher training.

We hope that once your training is complete, you’ll decide to continue your teaching career with us. With large secondary schools, primaries with a range of specialisms from a forest school to expanding infant provision, we’re confident that there will be an opportunity to suit you and your career aspirations.

Our School Direct programme

Our School Direct training route leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which will allow you to teach either primary or secondary age groups in England and Wales.

School Direct (training)

On the School Direct training programme you’ll graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from the University of Brighton and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

This is an intensive year with two-thirds of the course based in our academies and the remainder in university-based lectures, seminars and independent study.

You’ll be placed in a host academy and attend university two days per week. In February you’ll join another academy for 4-6 weeks, then continue at your host academy for the remainder of the year.

Your academy experience

You’ll either choose, or be assigned, a host academy where you’ll gain most of your experience and training. Over the year you will also spend time in another academy within the Trust. We believe this will help you to develop as a teacher, by broadening your experience of how different academies work.

Two of our secondary academies, the Hastings Academy and the St Leonards Academy opened in September 2011, replacing three under-performing secondary schools in the town. The two academies are now over-subscribed, educating over 60% of secondary-aged pupils in Hastings.

Both have benefitted from a two-year £2.6 million upgrade to their ICT facilities. This has been carried out as part of a £30 million investment programme which has delivered new or substantially refurbished academy buildings and facilities, enabling us to introduce state-of-the-art technology and teaching solutions.

Each academy hosts a dedicated special educational needs facility. At The Hastings Academy there is support for pupils with speech, language and communication difficulties, while The St Leonards Academy supports pupils with high-level physical needs or autism.

Our third secondary academy, The Burgess Hill Academy, joined the Trust in September 2016. It proudly serves the Burgess Hill community, with strong links to local primary schools, and extensive grounds and sports fields.

Our Primary School Direct programme is available in our seven infant and primary academies in Hastings and St Leonards. They have a wide range of children in their school populations, including a high proportion of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Working in these academies will give you a real breadth of experience.

How will we support you?

Starting your teacher training in a school might seem daunting, but we’ll be there to support you from day one.

In your academy you’ll have a mentor who will meet with you every week to look at where you’re making progress and to set personalised targets for your development.

You will receive a thorough induction programme which includes shadowing pupils in order to give you the best preparation for you to begin your teaching journey. Following your induction you will work alongside teachers, often team teaching, in order to get to know your pupils and the subject matter well enough to then take over the classes fully.

By training with the University of Brighton Academies Trust you’ll also benefit from networking opportunities with trainees based at our other academies, and when your training is complete our continuing professional development (CPD) programme will help you to enhance your skills as your teaching career develops.

Studying at the University of Brighton

On the School Direct training programme you will be mentored by the university’s successful teaching team with an outstanding national reputation and comprehensive research profile that informs course content.

A third of your year will be taken up with university-based lectures, seminars and independent study.

If you choose to train in a primary academy...

University tutors and mentors will advise and support you through your time in the academies. You will receive comprehensive feedback to enable you to see what you are doing well and where you might need to improve.

You will discuss and critically evaluate effective teaching practices through small interactive seminar groups, which complement larger-group lectures.

You will explore the subject curriculum areas for Key Stages 1 and 2, and practise the strategies and skills that encourage you to interpret the curriculum confidently and creatively. The programme is designed to encourage teaching practice that you can continually reflect upon and critique.

You will study modules that investigate learning and teaching throughout the two Stages within the context of child development as a whole.

The university’s teaching and learning strategies go across and beyond subject areas, to ensure inclusive practice and equal, effective teaching of children from a diverse range of backgrounds.

keyboard_arrow_rightVisit the University of Brighton website to find out more
If you choose to train in a secondary academy...

Course content is kept up to date with changes in local and national initiatives and legislation so that on course completion you will be confident that your working knowledge is based on current theory and practice.

In addition to your time in academies, the other strands of this course are subject study/subject education, education studies and professional development.

The subject study/subject education strand builds on your existing subject expertise and provides you with the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of the subject in the secondary school context. You will consider the learning and teaching strategies that are relevant to your subject.

The education studies strand will give you a thorough understanding of the learning process itself, including an appreciation of individual differences. You will develop your practical competences and analytical skills by studying the principles and practices of learning and teaching in both school and university settings.

Professional development is intrinsically linked to all key strands of the programme and is designed to enable you to evaluate critically and reflect on your learning in order to make improvements. You will be expected to gather and justify evidence of your achievements on a regular basis and develop and implement improvement plans.

Visit the University of Brighton website to find out more:

Secondary Art and Designkeyboard_arrow_right Secondary Biologykeyboard_arrow_right Secondary Chemistrykeyboard_arrow_right Secondary Englishkeyboard_arrow_right Secondary Geographykeyboard_arrow_right Secondary Mathskeyboard_arrow_right Secondary Modern Languageskeyboard_arrow_right Secondary Physicskeyboard_arrow_right

All offers of places are subject to required regulatory checks including an occupational health check and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced check.