Initial Teacher Training

Focus Trust ITT School Direct Primary PG In partnership with the University of Cumbria

An exciting opportunity to train as a primary school teacher with Focus-Trust

What is School Direct ITT?

School Direct is a full-time, PGCE route into teaching. It is an exciting opportunity to train directly with schools and to immerse yourself in every aspect of the life of a busy primary school environment. Whilst the programme itself is validated by an HEI, much of the content is developed by schools in order to produce the next generation of outstanding classroom practitioners.  Whilst some places are salaried, others are fee-paying and it is important that you consider the financial implications before you apply.

Who can apply?

Anyone with a degree can apply to train on a School Direct programme. UCAS require applicants to hold the minimum of GCSE (or equivalent) in Maths, English and Science at a grade C. Also required is a minimum of 10 days experience in a school setting. Before starting training, all candidates must also pass the QTS Skills test in Maths and English (in addition to GCSEs) and hold a current DBS certificate. Many School Direct applicants come straight from University, others make the choice to come to teaching after successful careers in other professions. We will consider every application on its individual merits.

How do I apply?

All applications are submitted through UCAS. when the portal opens in October. Applications can be submitted until the following July. Once the applications have met the criteria of UCAS and the HEI, they are passed onto the lead school who will then make the decisions about whom to invite to interview. Interviews will be hosted by the lead school or by one of its partners and conducted by academy Principals and key leaders. For our salaried programme, we require applicants to have had a minimum of 3 years working in a school setting. For our non-salaried programme, a minimum of 10 days experience is required. Focus –Trust are delivering this Programme in partnership with the University of Cumbria (HEI) /TeacherTraining/SchoolDirect/Home.aspx

Why choose School Direct?

Why not hear from some School Direct trainees who are now successfully employed in the teaching profession!

     “I feel this route into teaching is an extremely beneficial pathway, providing trainee teachers with a vast amount of in-school experience that I believe is essential for progress and success. I would highly recommend this to anyone wishing to go in to the teaching profession”.  


Why train with Focus-Trust?

Focus-Trust has a thriving partnership of primary academies, in which the learning of all children and adults is valued and promoted. As a group, all the schools have a well- established, collaborative approach to sharing and supporting the best practice and ultimately making a positive difference to children. Successful applicants will benefit from a school-based approach to training during which they will be coached and encouraged to reflect on their own professional classroom practice.

What will my training programme look like?

As a School Direct trainee you will not attend the University campus other than to register in early September. Training will take place predominantly at Coppice Primary Academy, Oldham or one of the other schools which make up the Trust. Initially, training will take up two days of each week and the remaining three days are spent in school developing valuable professional experience and reflecting upon your own teaching role. Tutors from the University of Cumbria will come out to the Trust to deliver the Masters level modules of the training. The remainder of the modules will be taught by our own experienced teachers and leaders.  There are three assessed teaching placements in total, across Key Stage 1 and 2 and additional, non -assessed school experience. Where will my placements be? Trainees can expect to complete placements in at least two of our academies. Our schools cover a wide geographical area across the North West, from West Yorkshire, across Oldham to Cheshire. Although we would strive to place trainees in a conveniently located school, some degree of travelling is inevitable and it is therefore advised that students have access to their own transport. This is also useful for travelling to a centrally located training venue.

The career opportunities with Focus Trust

As a Trust we have 15 schools all eager to recruit well trained teachers. You will receive on high quality training on job applications, personal statements and interview techniques. Uniquely, upon successful completion of the training programme, Focus-Trust provides a further programme to support its Newly Qualified Teachers during their first year in school. In addition, they also provide support beyond the NQT year for RQTs and even further for those aspiring school leaders of the future. We hope to be able to give you the opportunity to continue to work within the trust as an NQT in one of our schools.


We are currently taking applications for trainees to start in September 2018.  To find out more email :  You can find details of the General Primary PGCE offered by the University of Cumbria by visiting:

Please note that, whilst our Programme mirrors that of the University, some of the module contents will be designed specifically to meet the needs of the Trust. Register your interest now to become part of our mailing list. This will enable us to contact you with important information about Programme developments and applications.