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Teacher Training

About our Teacher Training Partnership

Essex School Direct is based at Davenant Foundation School and has a long tradition of successful teacher training and we were centrally involved in the ‘pilot’ year 2012-13 when the Government launched the programme.

We currently have 37 trainees across 18 schools on our 2018-19 teacher training programme. We provide a very special, school based training experience in partnership with Tes Institute, who have a reputation for innovative on-line learning materials, especially in shortage subjects, with its Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses. 

Our track record is impressive – 97% of our 2018-19 trainees were graded ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ and 94% had gained employment by the end of their course.

Tes Institute, a leading teacher training provider and the newest member of the Tes Global family, is delighted to be working in partnership with Davenant Foundation School and its partners to deliver School Direct Initial Teacher Training (ITT) through Essex School Direct. 

Our salaried and unsalaried School Direct programmes are accredited by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and they provide a blend of online learning and in-school experience leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and an option to add a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). The PGCE is accredited by our partner university (UEL) and is subject to annual review.

Tes Institute is committed to supporting school based teacher training, helping schools to create great teachers.  Through our team of highly experienced Pathway Tutors working in partnership with schools and trainees, TES Institute combines the best of in-person and online learning to deliver truly flexible teacher training.  Starting with just 2 partnerships and 27 trainees in 2013-14, Tes Institute have trained 100s of teachers since, and have expanded further with 7 partnerships, expanding from Essex into Suffolk and Kent.  Tes schools work in partnership to share best practice and develop and deliver high quality teacher training.

Read more about Tes Institute here.

There are 20 schools in the Essex School Direct Partnership, all judged to be outstanding or good (Grade 1 or 2) by Ofsted and with Davenant Foundation School as the ‘lead school’.  The unique blended learning programme combines school based training, on-line learning materials, a network of experienced subject specialists to deliver pedagogy and subject knowledge and a number of off-site visits to special schools, primary schools and Leading Teacher days. 

All of the schools have a track record of working with university or HEI PGCE providers. The working partnership has been in existence for over 6 years which ensures that cooperation between the schools is established and is a strength of the partnership.  Each school provides a fully trained Mentor for each trainee, supported by a Pathway Tutor from Tes Institute who visits each half-term.

Fees for 2020-21

Fees for the September 2020 intake will be £9,250 for PGCE (with QTS) and £8625 for the QTS route only .

Useful links

For information on all of our School Direct programmes, visit the site ‘Find Postgraduate Teacher Training website’.

NB: We are only able to recruit 3 training places for PE in 2020. The only exception to this will be if the applicant wishes to apply for a ‘PE with EBacc’ training place. This means you will have achieved a standard equivalent to a Grade C or above at A level in one or more of the following subject areas: English language and literature, maths, physics, biology, chemistry, computer science, geography, history and languages.

We will also need to be confident that applicants are suitable for the offer and have agreed to undertake the additional workload required to train in PE with an EBacc subject.

You can also read more about getting into teaching on the Department for Education’s ‘Get Into Teaching website’. 

How to Apply

Essex School Direct Training Programmes

The application cycle for teacher training in September 2020 opens on Tuesday 8th October.

All applications must be made through the UCAS website using their ‘Apply’ system. Our Partnership is UCAS code 1OS (that’s letter ‘O’, not zero).

The list of teacher training programmes that we offer will be displayed on the site – Find Teacher Training Programmes

In the ‘Find courses by location or by training provider’ option, it is easiest to find us by entering our Partnership name – Essex School Direct 

It is highly recommended that all applicants make contact with us for an initial, informal visit to ensure that this route is the right one for them.

Having some school experience prior to, or during the process of your application, is always useful. If you have not done so already, you may wish to make contact with a local school or with us to arrange some observation experience for you.

Please note that having no school experience will NOT preclude you from applying. 


An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) is required for entry to Initial Teacher Training. We ask applicants to confirm that they agree to a check by the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Entry requirements

To qualify for this school-centred route, you must have English and Maths GCSE (or equivalent) at Grade 4/C or above and a degree preferably in the subject you want to teach. (Primary candidates must also have a Grade 4/C in GCSE Science.) However, through our provider TES Institute we offer SKE (Subject Knowledge Enhancement – please see our SKE menu.  You must have two references and you must have passed the English and Maths professional skills tests before a formal offer of a place on the training programme is made.

Read more about eligibility here

How we select:

The partnership will sift applications for eligibility (meeting the criteria) and a list will be drawn up.  All of the partnership schools will take part in a shortlisting process for each subject on offer and this will lead to interviews being held across all of the schools.

The interview process will involve an observation of the candidate teaching a class for 30 minutes (at least) with advance notice of the topic, year group and ability of the children that they will be teaching.  There will be a written exercise and an interview lasting 30 minutes.

Staff from participating schools and Tes Institute will be involved in the process which will be coordinated by Davenant Foundation School as the ‘Lead School’.   

  • applicant must present original degree certificate and GCSE certificates (or equivalent) grade C or above passes in English, Maths and Science
  • proof of ID and residency
  • satisfactory references
  • satisfactory health check and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • applicant must pass the Professional Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy

All overseas qualifications will need to be verified by NARIC.  

Part Time Training

Part Time School Direct Training Programme.

For some people training to be a teacher full-time isn’t possible, perhaps because of childcare issues, or financial constraints. For candidates who have good in-class experience and strong subject knowledge we are now able to offer a part-time course with only 3 days a week in school.  On-line Professional Studies work, preparation and assignment writing can be fitted-in around other commitments.

The part-time course is designed to last a maximum of 18 months, however a good candidate may be able to complete the programme in less time, if they can demonstrate that they have met the QTS standard. Anyone interested in this route will need to be successful at interview and then negotiate the detail of their programme with both the host school, the Directors of the ITT Programme and the Tes Course Director.

Partner Schools

Our partner schools are listed below:

  • Davenant Foundation School, Loughton (Lead School)
  • Stewards Academy, Harlow                   
  • West Hatch High School, Chigwell
  • Passmores Academy, Harlow (Primary lead school)          
  • Roding Valley High School, Loughton          
  • Mark’s West Essex Catholic School, Harlow
  • Heathcote School & Science College, Chingford
  • The Boswells School, Chelmsford
  • Mark Hall Academy, Harlow
  • The Ongar Academy, Ongar
  • Great Baddow High School, Chelmsford
  • Moulsham High School, Chelmsford
  • Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport
  • William De Ferrers School, South Woodham Ferrers
  • The Sandon School, Chelmsford
  • Chelmer Valley High School, Chelmsford
  • St John Payne, Chelmsford
  • Anglo European School, Ingatestone
  • Purford Green Primary School, Harlow
  • Potter Street Academy, Harlow
  • Frances Bardsley Academy for Girls, Romford
  • Helena Romanes School, Great Dunmow
Upcoming Events at Essex School Direct

Begin a rewarding career – start your teacher training journey with us

Find out how by coming along to one of our Teacher Training Information Evenings in Essex – book your place today

We’ll explain how Essex School Direct can help you get into teaching, what bursaries are available and tell you more about our innovative online programme in collaboration with our provider Tes Institute.

Tues 15 October, 7pm – Passmores Academy, Harlow – REGISTER HERE

Weds  16 October, 7pm – Davenant Foundation School, Loughton – REGISTER HERE

Thurs 17 October, 7pm – Great Baddow High School – Chelmsford – REGISTER HERE

If you’re unable to attend our events but still want information about becoming a teacher, make an appointment to pop and see us – contact details below:

020 8498 6718

School Experience

It is essential that all applicants make contact with us for an initial visit to ensure that this route is the right one for you.

Having some school experience is always useful and trainees would find it valuable. If you have not done so already, you may wish to make contact with a local school or with us to arrange some observation experience for you

Please note that having no school experience will NOT preclude you from applying. 

Contact us to arrange some experience at


Here are some of the comments from our previous trainee teachers:

“The School Direct training route gave me the opportunity to learn how to teach in a nurturing and supportive environment where I was allowed to flourish. I was able to experience different schools on placement and had a wide variety of training in different subjects that helped me to become a well-rounded teacher. It was a tough year that I will never forget but it was well worth all of the late nights and hard work. I wouldn’t change it because now I am doing what I have always dreamed of.”
Eleni – 2017/18

“I was concerned that at the age of 40, it would be impossible to change my career. Yet now with the support of the TES institute, I have the best job in the world. Working with children and inspiring them to fulfil their own dreams. Anything is possible and life really does start at 40”
Angela – 2016/2017

 “It’s been a really tough year. I got myself into a big hole halfway through and never thought I would make it out – training programme finito! But the ITT Office was extremely supportive, and the Directors of ITT went that extra mile to pull me out. They ensured I finished the course in one piece … just!

A very big thank you, guys. You were there when I needed you.”
Alok – 2016/2017 

“I’m pleased I chose to enter teaching via the School Direct route. Being integrated into a school and part of the team from day one is real advantage. The training is hands-on and challenging but I feel very well prepared for a career in teaching and ready to start my NQT year.”
Dom – 2016/17

“I have found the Schools Direct course to be a very valuable route into my teaching career. Experiencing school life from September through to June on the Schools Direct training course has giving me an insight into the teaching profession that I would not have experienced had I choose the university route.  As I now prepare for my NQT year in my new school I feel confidently equipped to embrace the challenges of teaching ahead.”
Eamonn – 2016/2017



“The School Direct path into teaching really gives you the opportunity to build relationships and fully immerse yourself in school life. Whilst you build up your timetable gradually you are still able to experience extra -curricular opportunities, pastoral responsibilities and observations of experienced members of staff. The online element of the course meant that studying for QTS and the PGCE was flexible and always available.”
Dorothy – 2014/15


Contact Teacher Training

Want to train to teach with us, but not sure where to start?

Call or email us:

Telephone: 0208 498 6718