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School Direct Training 2020-21

Polaris Teaching Alliance is delighted to be working in partnership with York St John University to offer unsalaried early years and primary training places on the 2020-21 School Direct programme.

Our School Direct programme offers you an initial teacher education opportunity of outstanding quality, training as part of an inspirational learning community on a journey to achieve a national reputation for excellence in teaching and learning.

Information events

We hold a number of information events to share information about our teacher-training programme and to meet prospective applicants.

Details of future events will be added very soon, so please keep checking this page.

What is School Direct? 

School Direct is a school-led teacher training programme that allows trainees to learn from experienced and inspirational teachers working in schools within Polaris Teaching School Alliance. Students will have the advantage of learning on the job, but will be well supported by a dedicated team of teachers and University trainers, who will guide them every step of the way.

It is a full-time, one-year course, during which students will complete academic assignments, gain subject knowledge and apply their understanding of child development in class, leading to a PGCE with QTS. School Direct offers the same academic rigour as university-led courses and students are eligible for a training bursary and can apply for the same financial support, such as student loans.

Our programme

Polaris works with a number of primary schools, ranging from town schools to tiny village schools, faith and community schools, nursery and forces schools across a wide area of North Yorkshire, York and East Riding. The partnership is led by St Mary’s RC Primary School, Malton, judged Outstanding in 2014 and a National Teaching School and works in partnership with Diocese of Middlesbrough TSA, based at All Saints Roman Catholic Secondary School, judged Outstanding by Ofsted in 2016 and designated also a National Teaching School.  Trainee teachers will receive training one day per week at our local hub from York St John and Polaris practitioners and will spend four days per week in at least two contrasting schools. For more information, please click here.

Tailored support and development

We take our trainees’ well-being extremely seriously; we offer a fantastic support team to look after you throughout your training year including a lead mentor, link tutors, head teachers, school based mentors and class teachers. We are looking to nurture good and outstanding teachers to employ within our schools and it is in our interest to ensure the NQTs we have trained are the highest quality they can be.

Our alliance sees the ITT year as just the first stage in a teacher’s development and if you are employed in one of our schools upon completion of your training, we aim to nurture you through your ongoing career: we offer NQT and RQT programmes to see you through the next phase of development as a teacher, then leadership training beyond if that is your goal.

Partner Schools

All partner schools are committed to supporting entrants to the profession and sharing with trainee teachers their expertise, skills and passion with the aim of improving outcomes for children by fostering the best teachers for the future.

For more detailed information about participating schools check out their websites:

All Saints RC Primary School, Thirsk

Our Lady & St Peter RC Primary School, Bridlington

Our Lady Queen of Martyrs RC Primary School, York

Sacred Heart RC VA Primary School, Northallerton

St Aelred  RC Primary School,  York

St George  RC Primary School, Scarborough

St George  RC Primary School, York

St John  RC Primary School, Beverley

St Joseph  RC Primary School, Pickering

St Mary & Joseph  RC Primary School, Pocklington

St Mary RC Primary School, Malton

St Mary’s RC Primary School, Market Weighton

St Peter RC Primary School, Scarborough

St Wilfrid RC Primary School, York


Qualification requirements and programme options

We ask that applicants have an honours degree (or equivalent) and grade C or above in maths, English and science GCSEs. For applicants who don’t have their science GCSE York St John do offer an equivalency test.  More importantly, we are looking for people who are passionate about a teaching profession, have a real understanding of teaching and learning and the resilience to succeed in a challenging career.

For further course details, please click here.

Applications for School Direct are made on-line via UCAS.  Applications may be submitted from 8th October.

For more information on School Direct Secondary training click here