Teacher Training

Train to Teach with Essex School Direct!

Coffee, Cake and Chat Sessions

For those who want to learn more about our programme, we will be hosting small-group or individual ‘Coffee, Cake & Chat’ sessions at Great Baddow High School every Tuesday and Thursday between 9am and 10am. (We can arrange other times on request.)

To arrange a drop-in just email gbn@gbhs.co.uk

About Essex School Direct - our Teacher Training Partnership 

Essex School Direct 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 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 Essex School Direct and its partners to deliver School Direct Initial Teacher Training (ITT).  

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:

https://www.tes.com/institute/school-direct-itt-programmeThere are 20 schools in the Essex School Direct Partnership , all judged to be outstanding or good (Grade 1 or 2) by Ofsted. 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. 

"Training through Essex School Direct was great - the ITT team were very supportive and the school is a dynamic place to get into teaching. I felt well looked after straight away." Ben - MFL trainee, now teacher, 2018-19 

For enquiries about the various routes into teaching through the Essex School Direct, visit:


Trainee PE Teacher GBHS

At Essex School Direct, we enjoy a successful partnership with Tes Global, who have a reputation for innovative, online learning. 

We work as a partnership with 20 other schools in West Essex, Harlow, Chelmsford and Havering to provide both secondary and primary initial teacher training. 

All of our partnership schools have made a commitment to work together through the School Direct programme with our provider Tes Institute to offer the very best of school-based teacher training programmes. The programme will seek to maximise time spent in the classroom by ensuring that the face-to-face professional studies programme is of the highest quality and delivered within our locality.  

**The application cycle for next September (2020) is now well underway. For more info about making an application, visit our 'How to Apply' page.** 

**PE applications - all places have now been allocated. The exception being if you have an A level Grade C or above in an Ebacc subject, you may be eligible for an additional 'PE with Ebacc' place.  

Please speak to us before applying.** 

Essex School Direct are committed to attracting, training and developing both graduates and career changers to enable all schools within our area to reach the same level of excellence and quality of provision thus ensuring that all our trainees achieve their full potential. 

“Training has given me real confidence and skills to begin my NQT year - I feel like I have the preparation and experience to build on and become an ever more effective classroom teacher. "  
Dan - Geography trainee 2018-19, now a teacher 


Trainee Teacher in Classroom GBHS

Davenant Foundation School, Loughton

Burnt Mill Academy, Harlow

Stewards Academy, Harlow             

Epping St John’s, Epping     

West Hatch High School, Chigwell

Passmores Academy, Harlow           

Roding Valley High School, Loughton          

St. 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

Sir John Payne

The Anglo European School, Ingatestone


Trainee Music Teacher GBHSIt 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:



Trainee Teacher GBHSWhat is Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE)? 

Our online subject knowledge enhancement courses are perfect for you if you are applying for teacher training in Biology, Chemistry, Computing, English, French, Geography, German, Maths, Physics or Spanish and either your degree is not subject-specific or you lack confidence in your subject. 

Our SKE courses prepare you for initial teacher training by helping you to gain the depth of subject knowledge and skills you need to be able to teach your chosen subject. We recommend that all postgraduates applying for teacher training in a shortage subject complete an SKE course prior to or during their initial teacher training. 

As a postgraduate teacher training trainee you could access National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) SKE funding to cover the cost of a Tes Institute SKE course (worth up to £5,600*) and you may be eligible for a tax-free SKE training bursary of up to £5,600 (depending on the course length and availability of supplementary funding).  

Courses available 

Tes Institute offers online SKE courses in nine subjects, including Biology, Chemistry, Computing, English, French, Geography, German, Maths, Physics and Spanish. 

In order to receive course funding from the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) your chosen SKE subject should match the subject that you have a conditional offer for, unless you are teaching a Modern Language (French, German or Spanish) in which case you can choose a language that does not match your teacher training subject. In the case of Modern Language, you may pick up to two languages to cover back-to-back. 

Fully funded English SKE 

We are pleased to announce that English SKE courses are now available in a range of lengths including 8, 12 and 16 weeks. These courses will cover a range of topics across language and literature including creative writing, grammar, poetry, and Shakespeare. This course is eligible for full NCTL course funding and additional bursary of up to £3,200 if you meet the SKE entry criteria. 

Please note that there is a compulsory reading list for all English SKE courses that can be viewed here. These will need to be sourced by the start of your SKE course and can be found online, at a local library or from a number of retailers. 

Science SKE courses – Biology, Chemistry and Physics 

Designed for trainee science teachers who are training to teach Biology, Chemistry or Physics who need to upgrade their subject knowledge, these SKE courses cover key topic areas and practical techniques in each science subject and are 100% online, allowing you to improve your subject knowledge at a time that suits you. 

As an example, some of the sessions available include organic chemistry, kinetics, applications of fundamental physics, electricity, plant nutrition, genome and stem cells and common misconceptions. If you are planning to take a 16 week or longer Biology, Chemistry or Physics SKE and you are interested in covering more than one science discipline please contact us for more information. 

Chemistry and Physics SKE courses are available in a range of course lengths between eight and 28 weeks and Biology is available between eight and 24 weeks. 

Maths SKE course 

If you need to improve your subject knowledge of Maths then this online SKE course can help you build your subject confidence before or alongside your initial teacher training. Covering key areas of the mathematics curriculum, this online course is designed to strengthen your Maths knowledge and give you some of the tools that you will need to teach the subject. 

As an example, some of the Maths sessions available include from numbers to algebra, trigonometry, probability and statistics. 

Our online Maths SKE course is available in various course lengths from eight weeks until 28 weeks. 

Modern Languages SKE courses – French, German and Spanish- Double SKE now available 

Trainee teachers of a Modern Language are able to improve their subject knowledge in up to two SKE courses with our online French, German or Spanish SKE courses. Your chosen language doesn’t need to match your subject that you are training to teach in, which will be particularly useful if you are asked to teach multiple languages once qualified. 

As most language teachers are required to teach two languages, the NCTL are now offering funding for up to two modern language SKE courses. The aim is to refresh your main teaching language and gain a more in depth understanding of a second language, with the SKE of your main language taking 8 weeks and the second, weaker language taking up to 24 weeks. 

During the course you will also have access to Rosetta stone to help you develop your language vocabulary. As an example, some of the Modern Languages sessions available include how we learn languages, problems with teaching grammar, patterns and creativity in languages and developing writing skills. 

Modern Language SKE courses are available in a range of lengths between eight and 24 weeks. 

Geography SKE course 

Our Geography subject knowledge enhancement course covers a range of subject areas including rocks, weathering, rivers and coasts and climatic hazards. The online SKE course also provides an insight into using new technologies in teaching Geography. 

As an example, some of the Geography sessions available include rocks, weathering and ice, climatic hazards, tectonic hazards and extending and enhancing teaching of Geography. 

Geography SKE courses are available in 8-16 week course lengths. 

Computer Science SKE course 

Our Computer Science SKE course is designed to enhance a trainee’s knowledge of Computer Science in light of the recent curriculum changes. With an increased focus on areas such as coding, web design and cyber security, this SKE course is ideal for anyone training to teach Computer Science who wants to improve their subject knowledge before or alongside their training. 

As an example, some of the Computer Science sessions available include inside the digital device, building software solutions, cyber security and technology in business and society. 

Computer Science courses are available in a range of lengths between eight and 24 weeks 


Newly qualified teachersHere are some of the comments from our previous trainee teachers: 

" I felt very well supported with a very well chosen Mentor, plus a supportive school and ITT Co-Ordinator. It was a big step to start teacher training, but it has been fulfilling and enjoyable, but hard work too. I had lots of positive encouragement and sound advice. The Wednesday training sessions were very good with interesting speakers and gave a great chance to catch up with other trainees for support and sharing ideas. The Provider took time and effort to understand my needs and background so that the approach for each trainee was tailored to their situation. I liked that the increase in responsibility was gradual and not too overwhelming." 
Alex - 2018/19 

" Training was a great experience - I felt supported by everyone, especially the Lead School Davenant, who were always very helpful with any questions or concerns we all had during the year." 
Sobia - 2018/19 
"Training has given me real confidence and skills to begin my NQT year - I feel like I have the preparation and experience to build on and become an ever more effective classroom teacher" 
Dan - 2018/19 

"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 

As a School Direct trainee at Davenant Foundation School, I had so much support from my mentor, colleagues and other trainees. I learnt an incredible amount about how children learn, and how to be reflective of my own practice. The blended learning course is a route that I would recommend to anyone that would like to train as a teacher, as it gives you the flexibility to work at your own pace and timing. The resources and opportunities on offer, such as experience in a special school, are incredibly valuable and hard to find in traditional teacher training routes. 

I am able to put my learning from last year into practice every day as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT). I can refer back to professional studies sessions for tips and guidance, and still ask advice from colleagues and friends that I have made. 

It was a difficult year, but well worth the hard work!” 
Charlotte - School Direct 2014/15 

Fees for 2020-21 

Trainee teacher in GBHS classroomFees for the September 2020 intake will be £9,250 for PGCE (with QTS) and £8625 for the QTS route only . 

Bursaries and scholarships available for 2020-21 

There has never been a better time to train to teach, with generous bursaries available for the majority of subjects (with additional scholarships also on offer): 

Useful links 

For information on all of our School Direct programmes, visit the Gov.uk 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'.  

For enquiries about the various routes into teaching through the Essex School Direct, visit:


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