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School Direct

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Visit the UCAS website to apply, click here

St James’s Teaching Partnership

The St James’s Teaching Partnership is focussed on providing all pupils the opportunity to access high quality teaching and learning to help them reach their full potential. We want to be the inspiration that drives them to achieve their dreams. With this in mind we are committed to training the next generation of outstanding teachers.

So the question is “Do you want to be part of this journey?”

Our School Direct programme is designed to be bespoke to each individual trainee and your teacher training journey. As a National Teaching School we have a vast CPD programme which we encourage all trainees to access during your training year. But it doesn’t end there we are committed to supporting your teaching career, our former trainees can access bespoke training as they develop into effective teachers, and also middle and senior leaders, should they wish to follow this career path.

Our partnership is made up of a wide variety of schools including both faith and non-faith schools. Currently there are 21 schools in our partnership and are all based in Bolton and Bury. Head Teachers in the local areas are determined to attract outstanding practitioners into their schools and we work collaboratively to ensure our programme supports this. We are proud to have four OUTSTANDING schools within our partnership showing excellence really is at the forefront of what we do.

Our programme is run in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University, who provide the PGCE elements to the course. We have a well-established relationship with MMU and work with them on a number of projects outside of ITT also.

Why choose School Direct?

School Direct courses last an academic year and result in qualified teacher status (QTS), along with a PGCE.

You’ll train in at least two good schools, getting the chance to learn ‘on the job’ – but you shouldn’t worry about being thrown in at the deep end. You’ll be part of a team from the very start, receiving intensive support from experienced teachers and mentors. That means you won’t be teaching classes unsupported until the school thinks you’re ready.

The principles of academic rigour on School Direct are the same as on university-led courses, too. You’re also equally eligible for a training bursary or scholarship and can apply for the same financial support, such as student loans.

Participating schools will work in partnership with ITT providers to recruit their own trainees allowing schools to train teachers in subjects that meet their needs. With this in mind there is a possibility that successful trainees may go on to work in one of the schools in which they were trained, although there is no absolute guarantee of employment at the end of the training.

For more information on School Led ITT, including application process, tuition fees and bursaries please visit the get into teaching website:

Please do not hesitate to make contact if you need any further information. Our contacts emails are:

  •  Victoria Gavin (Teaching School Manager)
  • Jenny Scott or Diane Buckley (Primary ITT Professional Mentor)


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What do our trainees say about us?

Since our first cohort in 14/15 100% of  our graduates have successfully secured a teaching post before the end of the course.

“Having completed a little under half the course, School Direct training in Farnworth is intense, challenging but remarkably rewarding. Being one of a group of trainees who meet regularly in a supportive environment is a great strength of the course. These sessions are also used to provide bespoke training directly related to the individual needs of trainees.”

“Based on my conversations with others on SD and PGCE courses, I would say that the most positively distinguishing feature of my course is the quality of support facilitated by its structure. From the start, it has been explicit that my professional mentor, my personal mentor, my peers, and my head teacher have all been unanimously investing in my progress and success.”

“I have found that the links between schools in the South Bolton Teaching Partnership, both primary and secondary, are unique in sharing progress, training and enhancement. This has meant I have been provided with a strong network of support and professional development and given access to a broad and varied pool of knowledge, experience and resources. This particular Primary School Direct Course is the only course I know that delivers a structured, practitioner-led development plan which merges with my school based training and is based on regular weekly support sessions, each shaped around my experiences, needs and aspirations.”

“My experience so far as a school direct student has gone well above my initial expectations. Before I started as a school direct student, I had very little experience in schools and did not know what to expect. From the very beginning, I was given a clear structure of what I was going to be doing at school and was given responsibility from day one. The support from my class mentor has been excellent and I feel very lucky to be able to watch and follow ‘Outstanding’ practise on a daily basis. The way that school direct is structured allows you to explore every different aspect of teaching as unlike some teaching courses, you are in school almost full time which provides you with lots of essential experience. One of the things I like most about the school direct course is that we have  a weekly meeting with our group mentor along with the other school direct trainees. During this time we get the chance to discuss anything that we want to share and we also have regular visits from other teaching professionals to share their expertise with us. I would recommend this course to anybody who wants to get into teaching as it is the best way to gain the most experience with the best support possible.”