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Valentines High School

School Direct

School Direct Initial Teacher Training is an exciting opportunity for exceptional graduates who show a real passion for pursuing a career in teaching.

We offer practical, ‘hands-on’ programmes designed to nurture the talents of future generations of outstanding teachers. 

We are currently recruiting graduates who show a passion for pursuing a career in teaching. We offer two routes into teaching training: School Direct (tuition fee) and School Direct (salaried). Our training providers are The Institute of Education (UCL) and University of East London (UEL). The training is structured on a learning model comprised of subject lectures, Masters Lectures, context-based learning and school placements in our Alliance schools. These school-led programmes enable successful trainees to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and up to 60 credits towards a Masters level qualification

Why choose School Direct?

Our School Direct partnership of schools comprises a range of primary and secondary schools including a faith school in East London. They are conveniently located, which means trainees can engage with more than one school in the partnership. We provide a unique opportunity to experience a diverse and contrasting range of teaching and training experiences and work with the leading London Universities, UEL and UCL.


Why apply to train with us?

  • You will be placed in a local "Outstanding" or "Good" school for your placements

  • You will spend more time in school than trainees on a ‘traditional’ PGCE route

  • You will be training alongside outstanding teachers and lead professionals

  • You will receive excellent professional development within our partnership schools and with         our University Partners

  • You will experience the diversity of excellent education providers in different types of schools within our Partnership

  • You will still have access to University facilities e.g. libraries, lectures etc.

  • You will gain a PGCE with QTS for the School Direct Tuition Fee route and Masters Accreditation can be awarded on successful completion of assignments across the year

  • You will be supported in seeking employment on successful completion of training.


Our Courses 2021/2022 – Current Vacancies

Subjects on offer 

Art & Design (Non-Salaried) UCL Institute of Education History (Non-Salaried) UCL Institute of Education
Biology (Non-Salaried) University of East London Mathematics (Non-Salaried) University of East London
Business (Non-Salaried) UCL Institute of Education Modern Languages (Non-Salaried) UCL Institute of Education
Chemistry (Non-Salaried) University of East London Music (Non-Salaried) University of East London
Computing (Non-Salaried) UCL Institute of Education Physical Education (Non-Salaried) University of East London
Design & Technology (Non-Salaried) University of East London Physics (Non Salaried) University of East London
English (Non-Salaried) UCL Institute of Education Religious Education (Non-Salaried) UCL Institute of Education
Geography (Non-Salaried) University of East London Social Sciences (Non-Salaried) UCL Institute of Education


This link will take you straight to the DFE pagehttps://www.find-postgraduate-teacher-training.service.gov.uk/results?l=3&query=Valentines+High+School


School Direct (Tuition Fee)

  • A programme offering mixture of hands on training in schools with academic support from a highly regarded London university leading to the award of a PGCE

  • Your time will be split between the university (IOE or UEL) and two 12-week placements at one of our partner schools – we will ensure that these are contrasting placements

  • You will benefit from having the support of a highly qualified subject mentor and take part in regular Toolkit sessions on key elements of teaching and learning and pedagogical themes

  • Weekly professional studies sessions on a range of topics such as behaviour management and catering for students with different needs

  • Provision of structured support in order to gradually lead the teaching of classes, with teacher and mentor support

  • Full access to Universities facilities, including library

  • You will pay tuition fees to the university (IOE or UEL) which accredits your course though you may apply for a loan for support with these fees and certain subjects award generous bursaries and scholarships including extra financial support if you're a parent, have an adult dependant or a disability (see Finance below)

  • At the end of a successfully completed course you will be recommended for the award of QTS and PGCE with the possibility of up to 60 Master’s credits


School Direct (salaried)

  • An employment-based route into teaching for graduates with at least three years’ work experience (less for priority subjects) perfect for career changers too. Ideal for those who prefer a more practical approach to teacher training

  • A large amount of school-based experience with a short (4-6 weeks) placement in a contrasting school. You will spend the majority of your school experience in your employing school

  • You will benefit from having the support of a highly qualified subject mentor and take part in regular Toolkit sessions on key elements of teaching and learning and pedagogical themes

  • Weekly professional studies sessions on a range of topics such as behaviour management and catering for students with different needs

  • You will start teaching classes from the beginning of the term (a reduced timetable at first, gradually increasing over the year) and will have a two-week induction period in July prior to starting, to help you prepare

  • We will pay any fees on your behalf and you will be paid a salary. The minimum paid will be U1 on the unqualified teacher pay scale.

  • You will earn while you train and begin contributions to the Teacher’s Pension Scheme.


Which route best suits my needs?


Tuition Fee Route to QTS/PGCE

Salaried Route to QTS


IOE/UEL (depending on subject)

IOE/UEL (depending on subject)


Two placements at contrasting schools

4-6 week contrasting placement

Course Duration

September to June

Employed for a full academic year


Tuition fees payable to the HEI but generous bursaries and scholarships available for certain subjects

Tuition fees funded by the school

Subjects offered

Various – please see UCAS website or contact Valentines High School

Various – please see UCAS website or contact Valentines High School


Not employed by a school or paid

Employed by a school within the Alliance and paid a salary

Prospect of Employment

Expectation of employment within the Alliance dependent on skills and vacancies

Expectation of employment within the Alliance dependent on skills and vacancies

Qualifications achieved

Qualified Teacher Status and PGCE

Qualified Teacher Status only


What are we looking for in a candidate?

• Enjoyment of your subject and the ability to communicate this to young people to stimulate interest in lessons and promote learning• Capacity to be reflective and evaluate your teaching and students’ learning• Adaptability and the ability to work under pressure• Great inter-personal and team working skills• Good attendance, punctuality and professionalism• Good spoken and written English• Previous experience of working with children and young people• Familiarity with recent educational developments and trends 



School Direct (tuition fee)

  • A degree classification of 2:2 or above in all subject areas

  • GCSE in Mathematics and English Language Grade C/4 or above


School Direct (salaried)

  • A degree classification of 2:1 or above in all subject areas

  • 3 years work experience in any field (though this can be flexible for good applicants in shortage subjects)

  • GCSE in Mathematics and English Language Grade C/4 or above

Subject enhancement courses are available for some secondary subjects. If your degree subject does not link to your chosen teaching subject, it is recommended that you undertake a subject knowledge enhancement course (SKE) before you begin training. Please note that the science equivalency test MUST be in combined science. All equivalency tests must be passed by 1st September 2022.• QTS Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy must be passed before 1st September 2022 or you will not be able to commence the programme• We expect you to have at least observed lessons in secondary schools before your interview 


What Experience do I need?

It is advised that candidates have approximately 10 days experience in a secondary school setting. Having some experience in a school is an advantage as it will assist you throughout the recruitment process.  If you haven’t had any school experience, this should not prevent you from applying but would be made a condition of any offer. We may be able to signpost you to opportunities across our Alliance. 



Tax-free funding is available while you train to teach. Different subjects attract varying levels of funding. Your eligibility for financial support, and the amount you can expect to receive, will depend on the subject you choose to teach and your degree classification or highest relevant academic qualification. You could benefit from a tax-free bursary or a prestigious scholarship – with additional early-career payments once in teaching. There are three types of funding available if you’re on a non-salaried teacher training course. Depending on your circumstances, you could receive all three. 


Explore below to find out more on the funding available to you



To train with us, via School Direct, candidates should apply through DFE Apply -https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-teacher-training

This is the only way to apply to train on the School Direct route.  You may find this website useful:  https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/steps-to-become-a-teacher


How can I find out more about School Direct with the Valentines Teaching School Alliance?

If you would like to contact the school directly for further information please contact Steve Woodley at swo@valentines-sch.org.uk 


Overseas Qualifications

If your qualifications were awarded from another country, you need to contact NARIC who are an organisation who will check your equivalency, and give you a certificate to prove that your qualifications are acceptable. We will ask for this on application. To check your degree equivalency click here


Useful Links

Applying to ITT: Tips for secondary candidates applying to itt secondary Applying to ITT : Tips for Chemistry candidates Applying to ITT : Tips for Maths candidates Applying to ITT : Tips for Physics candidates