Secondary School Direct

What is School Direct?

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

Based in 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 three secondary schools, we’re confident that there will be an opportunity to suit you and your career aspirations.

Applications are now open for September 2022!

Our Secondary School Direct Training programme

Our School Direct training route leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which will allow you to teach the secondary age group (age 11-16 years) in England and Wales.

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.

The programme is offered in all three of our secondary academies:

The Hastings Academy has a formidable reputation for high standards and innovation, delivered by a team of talented professional staff. It has approximately 900 students and hosts a special facility for young people with speech, language and communication difficulties.
Find out more about The Hastings Academy

The St Leonards Academy is an innovative school with dedicated and determined staff, united by its values. It has approximately 1500 students and hosts a special facility for young people with physical disabilities or severe autism. The academy the highest expectations that each and every child will achieve personal and academic success.
Find out more about The St Leonards Academy

At The Burgess Hill Academy students experience an innovative and dynamic approach to learning in all their lessons, as well as high-quality pastoral care. The academy is committed to ensuring that every pupil leaves with the qualifications, enrichment experiences and employability skills they need for life. It has a published admissions number of 240 and total capacity of 1200 students.
Find out more about The Burgess Hill Academy

Studying at the University of Brighton

On the School Direct training programme you will be supported by the University of Brighton'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.

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.

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.

Visit the University of Brighton website to find out more:

Secondary Art and Design
Secondary Biology
Secondary Chemistry
Secondary Dance
Secondary English
Secondary Geography
Secondary Maths
Secondary Modern Languages
Secondary Physics

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