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The Shire Foundation Alliance For Teacher Training

School Direct (SD) Route

School Direct (salaried) trainees are employed as an unqualified teacher for the duration of the training year. This course is suitable for applicants who already have experience of working in school, often in a role such as Teaching Assistant, Cover Supervisor or HLTA. Applicants should have a school who are willing to support them as a School Direct (Salaried) trainee.


The majority of training takes place in the employing and second placement schools, including substantial teaching experience. Trainees will have responsibilities for a class from the beginning of the course, teaching the whole class for 10 - 12 hours per week in the autumn term, 12 - 14 hours per week in the spring term and 14 - 16 hours per week in the summer term. Centre-based training sessions take place throughout the year, on one day per week. This is held at the Shire Foundation located in Hillborough Junior School, Luton. For this reason, The Shire Foundation can normally only work with trainees/schools located within a 30 mile radius of the training centre. 

Employing Schools

As there is no longer any government funding for this route, candidates for this route will normally only be considered if they already have a prospective employing school in place at the time of application.

Please note that employing schools should normally be located within 30 mile radius of  Luton.


The school is responsible for paying your salary while you train. This will be at least at the first point of the Unqualified Teacher Scale (which for the 2022-23 academic year is £19,340)

PGCE option

School Direct trainees have the option of undertaking a PGCE as an addition to their QTS course. There is an additional fee payable for this option. Otherwise, SD trainees are awarded Qualified Teacher Status.

Applicants who are considering teaching overseas at some point in the future may find that the QTS only route is not widely accepted for teaching in other countries.  


  • As there is no longer any government funding for this route, a course fee is payable. This will be £7,250 for the 2023-24 year. This fee should be paid by the trainee and/or school and is collected in three instalments throughout the year.  As this is a salaried route, you will not be eligible for a student loan.  


There is a high level of competition for places on the SD course so we advise that individuals apply as early as possible. SD candidates have an interview first with the Shire/CTG as the Training Provider and, if successful, a second interview at their employing school.