School Direct

School Direct is a fantastic way for you to achieve your PGCE with qualified teacher status via one of our School Direct Alliances. Get a head start on joining a school by working as you learn.

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Why study a School Direct course at the University of Cumbria?

The University of Cumbria is one of the country’s leading and biggest providers of teacher education and School Direct partnerships. We're currently working with 19 school partnerships across the North of England, providing hundreds of teacher training places in primary and secondary schools.


The success of our PGCE course is underpinned by both an academic teaching philosophy and the practical skills of real school-based learning. This learning process allows you to develop your teaching skills and reflect on the impact you make on pupils, the school and the community.


96% of our graduates are in work or further study within 15 months of graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020).


Your training will be delivered by both University of Cumbria tutors and experienced teachers from your School Direct Alliance. With the practitioner and academic expertise of the university and school staff at your disposal, you can become an outstanding, critically reflective teacher.

Which School Direct routes are available at the University of Cumbria?

Salaried - the school covers the tuition fees and pays you a salary based on the unqualified teacher salary scale. If you get a salaried place, you will not be entitled to a student loan or bursary.

Non-salaried - you will not be paid a salary. However, you may still be eligible for a student loan and a training bursary.

We offer School Direct courses for both Primary and Secondary Education.

View our courses

How is School Direct different from a traditional PGCE?


The decision about which route you choose to take is down to personal preference. Would you prefer to study at the university, with time away from the school environment to reflect on your training? Or would you prefer to do all of your training and practice at school as an associate member of staff?


There's also an expectation that School Direct places are offered based on the school's assessment of future employment needs, meaning that should the schools you work at during placement have vacancies, you may be considered for them in the future!

School Direct Partnership Map


  1. Bishop Rawstorne School Direct, PR26 9HH
  2. Blackburn TEAM Alliance, Blackburn, BB2 6LX
  3. Blackpool Sea View Trust School Direct, Blackpool, FY3 9HF
  4. Carlisle School Direct, Carlisle, CA1 1JB
  5. Castle Hill School, Hudderfield HD4 6JL
  6. Catholic Teaching Alliance, Fulwood, Preston, PR2 3SQ
  7. Dallam Teaching Alliance, Milnthorpe, Cumbria, LA7 7DD
  8. Everyone Learning @ Lime Tree/Mossley Hollins/Hawthorns Teaching Partnership, Sale, M33 2RP
  9. Omega Teaching Partnership, Great Sankey, Warrington, WA5 3AA
  10. Kendal Primary Partnership, Natland, LA9 7QH
  11. Learning Futures Partnership, Tyldesley, M29 7PY
  12. Preston Primary and Secondary Alliance , Broughton, Preston PR3 5JJ
  13. Teach Heart Alliance, Westhoughton, Bolton BL5 3DU
  14. St Ninians Catholic Federation, Cummersdale, Carlisle, CA2 4JD
  15. Teach North West, Bolton, BL3 2DT
  16. Teach Manchester, Wythenshawe, M23 2YS
  17. Pennine Lancashire Alliance – Haslingden, BB4 4EY
  18. School Direct at The Great Schools Trust, WA1 4PF
  19. Cumbria Education Trust, Carlisle, CA8 1AR

Student Testimonial

James Kay

PGCE General Primary with QTS (School Direct, Preston Teaching School Alliance) student

"The thing I'm enjoying most about my course is being directly involved in the school environment and feeling part of the teaching team. My course has given me a good grounding for a teaching career and I've had lots of useful advice from colleagues at my placement schools. My university tutors are knowledgeable and have always been positive during seminars and workshops.

I've recently secured a teaching post starting in September after I graduate."

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