School Direct Teacher Training

 Springboard Cluster and School Direct

    Springboard Cluster is a group of six Leeds primary schools  working in partnership with the University of Leeds to provide high quality Initial Teacher Training.  School  Direct  is a training programme through which graduates apply directly to schools to undertake teacher training delivered by the schools in close partnership with the University of Leeds over a year. At the end of the training, if successful, you will receive a PGCE with QTS.  In September 2014 our cluster has been allocated eleven unsalaried training places -  five places  in the 3-7 years  primary range and six places in the 5-11 primary range.

   The Springboard Cluster has the great strength of diversity in its makeup. The six primary schools are different in size, cultural background and socio-economic profile providing our trainee students with a varied and valuable training experience. The schools are Spring Bank, Shire Oak and St Chad's in Headingley with Methley, Middleton and Brodetsky.

   The Springboard Cluster of schools strongly believe  that a key to becoming a successful teacher is the commitment to children’s education.  We look to our trainees to demonstrate an ability to commit to hard work and show  resilience and  an interest in lifelong learning.

Course content

   Over the year,  School Direct trainees cover training in all aspects of primary education. They will be based in one of our six primaries, their home  school, but will also spend a shorter practice in a contrasting primary and different year group in our cluster. Their first weeks in school will be spent building their knowledge of the class, leading  group learning and preparing to take on a whole class teaching role.  Each trainee receives guidance and support from an experienced and trained School Based Tutor over the year. Trainees in the Springboard Cluster are able to form a supportive team; the trainees meet regularly as a group at the six primaries for enhancement training and the ethos of the cluster is of one of mutual support and development with a very positive approach to teacher training.

   Trainees also spend time at the University of Leeds learning aspects of teaching practice. From starting teaching during the autumn term, trainees increase their teaching to 50% during the spring term and finally to 75-80% in the summer term. By knowing the school and class so well through the year, trainees are in a position to become effective and employable class teachers.

  The University of Leeds has a proven track record of recruiting and training high quality candidates for their teacher training courses and of securing successful employment at the end of training. Experienced link tutors effectively support trainees throughout their year  and the Springboard Cluster and university are presently working successfully in partnership to the benefit of trainees.


Entry requirements

   All applicants must have the minimum of grade C in English, Maths and Science GCSE and  a minimum of 2(ii) degree. Trainees should possess an ability to write in Standard English, to model good spoken English and should be computer literate.  All applicants are required to pass a skills test before starting the course. The test covers the core skills teachers need to fulfil their professional role in school in numeracy and literacy and does not replace the GCSE grade C equivalence entry requirement.

   We expect applicants to have experience of working with young people and to possess both the commitment and resilience required to be a successful teacher. You should be a motivated and determined person with an ability to work both well in a team and use your own initiative. As a trainee and future teacher you will be tireless in your efforts to enable all the children in your class to achieve well. You will be able to learn from your experiences, take and provide constructive criticism and be able to achieve a successful work-life balance.

Selection Process

   All applicants complete a standard application form provided by the DFE. Through this form you will be able to show you meet the academic requirements but can also provide your reasons for pursuing a career in teaching, including experience of working with young people.

   All shortlisted candidates will be invited to a school based selection day. The day will be in three parts: an interview, a  learning  activity with a group of children and a skills test.  Any offer of a place on our programme is conditional upon a satisfactory Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure / DBS and a satisfactory Fitness to Teach Declaration.


   Trainees pay fees for their tuition of up to £9,000. However many applicants will be eligible for reduced fees depending on their degree and/or family circumstances. There is also funding through tuition fee loans, training bursaries or scholarships.  Further  information  is available on the DFE website - just search School Direct DFE Funding.

This is the information we have about fees etc.


  1. Course fee £9,000 – applicants are able to apply to Student FinanceEnglandas per undergraduate study


2.       NCTL provide a bursary to trainees as follow

a.       Primary

                                                               i.      Degree classification 1st - £9,000

                                                             ii.      Degree classification 2:1 - £4,000

                                                            iii.      Degree classification 2:2 - £0

b.      Primary Maths Specialists

                                                               i.      Degree classification 1st - £11,000

                                                             ii.      Degree classification 2:1 - £11,000

                                                            iii.      Degree classification 2:2 - £6,000


3.    The University also offers a small number of scholarships (which are competitive) to students who meet  certain criteria, e.g. high achieving males in under-represented areas, first child to go through higher education, under-represented ethnic minorities groups. Further information is available through the Education Department atUniversityofLeeds.


How  to  apply

   To apply for a School Direct Place at the Springboard  Cluster please go to and follow the links for teacher training and training in schools. You can apply through APPLY 1 for  places to start in September 2014 from 21 November 2013.

Useful links
   For more information about entering a career in teaching you will find the following websites useful:
Department for Education -
School Direct -
Teachers’ Standards -