School Direct

Queen Elizabeth's School will have an Open Morning on October 31st where anyone interested in training to teach at the school can attend to receive guidance and a tour of the school and its exceptional facilities.  If you are interested in becoming a teacher and would like more details, or to book on the Teacher Training Open Morning, please contact Rhianna Elsden 01202 856372 (direct line), or via email;

Why train with us?

Queen Elizabeth’s School has a fundamental belief in offering high quality learning experiences not only for its students but for trainee teachers and its entire staff. We committed to and launched our first cohort on the School Direct programme back in 2013 due to the practical, school-based nature of the training. With our previous experience of the Graduate Teacher Programme and the relationship we have developed over many years with the University of Exeter we felt that this was only natural. We have gone from strength to strength and are now described by the National College as a ‘key player in ITT’.

School Direct is led by schools working in close partnership with initial teacher education providers. Here at Queen Elizabeth’s School we have excellent and established links with the University of Exeter and we have identified their model of teacher training to be highly reflective, challenging and most importantly, rooted in years of experience in this field. They are an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ provider and also offer the opportunity of gaining MA credits as part of their training programme.

The training programme provides trainees with a PGCE on successful completion of the course, QTS and 60 Masters Credits delivered through the distance learning modules.

Queen Elizabeth’s School is unrivalled in facilities having moved into state-of-the-art buildings in 2011. We are incredibly lucky to have the school and resources we have and ensure that these are used as extensively and innovatively as possible.

We are a large school, able to utilise a broad range of skills and expertise within our own body of staff as well as having numerous links with a range of other schools, colleges and learning centres.

Finally, the best reason to train with us is undoubtedly our student population. They are energetic, engaged and refer to their school as the QE family. Student leadership and involvement is prolific and if you are selected for interview, it will be students making the decision as to whether you are appointed.

About this training programme:

Qualification – PGCE, QTS and 60 Master credits

Delivery – The training takes place entirely in school, either here at QE or in the second school. This placement is negotiated with each trainee based on their needs and experience. Recent examples include local middle schools (years 5-8), secondary schools and a school for students with profound learning difficulties. The course also includes 60 Masters credits which are delivered via online distance learning.

Support – Trainees are extremely well supported at QE and within the University of Exeter model. Each trainee will have a Principal Subject Tutor (PST) who will have allocated time every week to meet with the trainee. This person is a subject specialist who will work closely with the trainee, ensuring they are secure in what they are delivering and the pedagogy behind how they are delivering it. The trainee also has a mentor, an innovative and unique role. This person is an added layer for the trainee, an objective, non-subject based contact who conducts supervisory conferences with the trainee during the course of the year to support critical reflection and development. Finally the school provides the Initial Teacher Education Co-ordinator who also plays a role in supporting the trainees, making sure the school is meeting all the differing needs. In order to complete the online distance learning modules, trainees are provided with the equivalent of one day a week extra off timetable and there is a dedicated room for trainees with online access and teacher training resources.

These formal layers of support sit within the school’s own supportive, welcoming ethos. Trainees are seen as fully-fledged members of their faculty areas, enhanced by the fact they are with us on the first day of term. Trainees have immediate, full access to ICT and resources in the school and there is a thorough and rigorous induction programme in the Autumn term.

Entry Requirements – The entry requirements are as stated on the programme. Trainees must have at least a grade C in GCSE English and Maths (or equivalent) and in line with government policy, must have passed the skills tests by the time of commencing training. Trainees should have a relevant degree, or be prepared to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement where applicable. As this course requires trainees to undertake Masters level work, it is expected they will have an upper second classification but this is negotiable in certain circumstances.

What are we looking for?

Experience –   Good honours graduates who will need to have demonstrated that they have experience of working with secondary aged students and a commitment to comprehensive education.

Enthusiasm - trainees should display a high degree of enthusiasm and energy via their application and during an interview should they be shortlisted. This is not about just smiling the whole time! It should be apparent in your research prior to meeting us, your reading around education and pedagogy, and your career to date and how you have developed within your own subject area.

Motivation and Initiative - trainees will have to work independently for some of the time to complete the online distance learning modules. This not only requires you to be highly organised and diligent, but a good time manager and inherent motivation to ensure this is completed. Schools are, and should be, dynamic and organic environments; ones in which teachers and students should feel confident to innovate, be creative and explore. To do this we should be open to new ideas and have the courage to try them.

Resilience - it is undeniable that teaching is a demanding career but it is also, in our opinion, the best job in the world. We expect trainees to work hard, remain positive, present as a professional and stay calm, even when working with a group of 15 year olds, on a wet break, on a Friday.

How we select our trainees
Recruitment and selection for our School Direct places reflects good practice in both safer recruitment and Human Resource processes. Candidates apply via the UCAS website, as with all teaching training. On receipt of applications, the school, in conjunction with the University of Exeter, shortlist candidates. These candidates will be invited to attend an interview day, sharing this day potentially with other subject specialisms. At the interview we will have a micro teaching session where each candidate will be asked to run a teaching session, delivering a skill outside of their subject area. The ‘class’ will be the other candidates and the selection team or a small group of students. Candidates will have a formal interview with students as well as the selection panel. Following this process, successful candidates will be contacted via UCAS, after which the choice is with the candidate.

We are an equal opportunity employer and therefore all candidates will be asked the same questions in interview, although these may be interrogated further in the interview. We are committed to the safety and well-being of our students and follow all guidance on safer recruitment.


School Direct Training Programme – Queen Elizabeth’s School (2018/19)

  • Your training programme consists of a broad range of activity, including online work, in and out of school tasks and wider reading

  • You have been allocated one day a week to complete your distance learning work. This will hopefully appear as a whole day but may be part days. You are expected to be in school during this time unless the work requires you to be off site. This should be discussed with your PST. You also have a period a week with your PST and a period a cycle with the ITEC

  • In addition you will have training days at school, a targeted range of observations, a second school experience and a professional studies programme.  We are also offering conference days in school

  • There will be disaggregated training after school throughout the year which you must attend

  • You will have a PST and a mentor with dedicated time on your timetable to meet. Some meetings will be after school

Frequently Asked Questions about School Direct (fee paying) at Queen Elizabeth’s School

What is distinctive about a school-led programme?
The School Direct programme tries to engage the knowledge and experience of school colleagues in the delivery of programmes, in conjunction with the University of Exeter. The benefits are very tangible with schools being more involved with recruitment to their centre and trainees provided with more options for ITE as well as feeling more involved from day one with their school.

What qualification will I receive?
The School Direct (fee paying) route at Queen Elizabeth’s School provides QTS, a PGCE and 60 Masters credits.

What is the advantage of a PGCE?
This is an academic qualification and demonstrates that you have critically engaged with the research and knowledge base which underpins professional practice. Some schools insist that you have this qualification.

What will my timetable look like?
Different schools vary, but here at QE we offer a range of ages from years 9-13, although you would not be expected to teach straight away. The greatest advantage of our model is that the degree of confidence is gauged at the start and if you felt able to start teaching some groups, and we and the University agreed, then you could. However you start, there would be no more than an 80% timetable for you to follow by the end of the year.

What fees do I pay and to whom?
The cost of the School Direct (fee paying) route is £9000 and this is payable to the University of Exeter. The money is used for a variety of purposes, with £3000 going directly into the Masters element of the course. The school receives some of this money and it is used to provide training and support for the trainee. Bursaries are available for some subject areas and for varying amounts depending on the classification of your degree. Loans are also available to trainees on this course. For more up to date information on the specific subjects awarded bursaries, visit

What support do I get?
You will receive a broad range of support. You will have a subject tutor, a mentor and the person in charge of ITE in the school as direct support on a day to day basis. You will also be working amongst a highly motivated and supportive staff. The University of Exeter provide a visiting tutor as well as online forums and social groups. You will have meetings every week where you will be guided and supported in your progress.

What training will I get?
It is now no longer a requirement that you receive exactly 60 days (or equivalent) of training through the year however, QE have chosen to continue with this model as we see it as good practice. It is broken down into a range of opportunities including weekly meetings, observations throughout the school, off site courses, a day a week to complete Masters level work and in school training including conference days.

When should I apply?
As soon as you can. The process is competitive and there are usually 15 applications for each place offered. 
For more information about bursaries and getting in to teaching, visit:

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