School Direct is a new way for people to train to become teachers. There are various routes into the profession.

School Direct allows participants the opportunity to work closely with Schools to gain their Teaching Qualification. Schools or groups of schools work in partnership, in many cases with local HEI providers, to develop a training programme which suits the needs of their trainees and the local education context.

What does our programme look like?

Our School Direct Programme is delivered in partnership with Liverpool Hope University and the training lasts for one academic year (September-July).

We are offering 41 places next year.

On successful completion of your training year you will be awarded a PGCE with Qualified Teacher Status and masters credits. Your School Direct Programme will consist of a combination of classroom practice and relevant training. You will be given the opportunity to spend much of your time ‘practicing your craft’ with high quality school placements from across our Teaching School Alliance. You will also be offered a programme of training developed and delivered by Alliance Schools and Liverpool Hope University. You will be supported along the way by a number of different colleagues and will be assigned a school based Subject Mentor, a Professional Mentor and a University Based Tutor.

Your training through the St John Bosco Teaching School Alliance will also include access to  an in-house training programme.

If you secure a place on this route the tuition fees are paid to Liverpool Hope University in a series of instalments across the academic year. There are a number of different funding options available to support you with these payments.

You may be eligible for a tax free bursary or scholarship to support your training. These funding streams are dependent on the phase/subject in which you are training. A high degree classification will allow you access to extra bursary funding. A Masters or PhD could also ensure you receive further funding.

In addition you could also apply for a student loan to support your payments through student finance

We are offering 41 places on the School Direct Training Programme (Tuition) Route.


How to Apply

Secondary Placements:

Subject Non-salaried Places
Art & Design School Direct Training Programme 2
Biology School Direct Training Programme 4
School Direct Training Programme
School Direct Training Programme
Drama School Direct Training Programme 2
English School Direct Training Programme 5
Geography School Direct Training Programme 3
History School Direct Training Programme 3
Mathematics School Direct Training Programme 5
MFL-Spanish School Direct Training Programme 3
PE School Direct Training Programme 1
Physics School Direct Training Programme 4
Religious Education School Direct Training Programme 3

For our Schools Direct trainee teachers, the initial teacher training year will only be the first step on a path to rapid career progression. 

As well as our internal Professional Learning Programme, in which you will be immediately immersed, we want you to leave us secure in your teaching skills and ready for a highly successful future in education.

We provide you with your own subject mentor who will observe you regularly, provide you with useful feedback and give you individualised training and support. Our mentors are outstanding teachers but they are required to undertake a rigorous training programme to develop their mentoring skills. This includes coaching, effective classroom observation and feedback skills.

We have ambitious plans for our School Direct trainees and know that all trainees will leave us with the potential to become outstanding teachers, ready to continue with their careers in the rewarding world of teaching. Since our programme began all St John Bosco trainees have secured full time employment, the majority within the Liverpool schools.

Why train with us?

St John Bosco Teaching School Alliance is a fantastic place to work and learn.  It provides a unique school based learning opportunity in partnership with Liverpool Hope University.

This is an inspirational partnership of secondary and primary schools, Liverpool Hope University, School Improvement Liverpool and the Archdiocese of Liverpool.  All of our schools are at the cutting edge of teaching and learning.  The vision is straightforward but powerful - all students to succeed through the highest standards of education and care.  We prepare our young people to be global citizens, ready to take on the world, secure of their place in society.

We create an environment in which staff, pupils and trainee teachers alike feel valued and supported. We have worked with trainee teachers for many years and we fully recognise how much vibrancy, enthusiasm and drive they can offer to a school community.

Our partnership of schools is led by St John Bosco Teaching School and comprises a mixture of faith, specialisms, primary and secondary schools.  All of our schools 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.

Students across the partnership are happy, friendly and well-behaved and are at the heart of everything we do.  Both staff and students are ambitious and confident.  Many consistently out-perform their national peers and make significantly more progress.

Our region has a number of major employers with which the partnership work to provide genuine employment links and experiences for students and staff.

Our staff are our most valuable resource and have a proven track record in training and professional development. All are excellent practitioners. They are eager to share their knowledge and practice of exemplary behaviour management techniques, ensuring high quality teaching and learning experiences along with many other skills with the next generation of teachers.


I was first attracted to the School Direct programme due to the focus that is given to spending as much time in the classroom as possible. This focus on in-school experience allowed me to be present at my Home placement from the very first day of term, as opposed to joining the school midway through a term, as is the case with the standard PGCE route.

The experience I have gained due to this has been invaluable. Currently, I am teaching the same amount of lessons as an NQT and my abilities as a teacher are growing day by day. Despite the heavy focus on in-school training, the theoretical side of our training is still adequately catered for with numerous subject and Masters days placed throughout the year at Hope University.

St. John Bosco have provided a wide variety of CPD sessions that have allowed me to consolidate what I am learning through my classroom practice with a sound theoretical context.

Having the opportunity to return to your Home placement for the summer term I believe is a unique opportunity to complete your training where you began.

Overall, what I would recommend about School Direct is the amount of teaching experience you gain compared to that offered on the standard PGCE programme. Coupled with the necessary theories, the practical experience I have gained has given me a more realistic insight into what life will be like as an NQT. Jack Murray

It has been a very challenging experience, with lots of variety in terms of the schools and placements we have the opportunity to do.

I enjoyed the SEN placement thoroughly, that was an eye-opening experience. Also getting the opportunity to go to university and meet people who are on the same sort of course as myself.

It gives you the opportunity to settle into the school straight away, and makes you feel more like a member of staff.

It’s a tough year, but stick it out! The rewards are worth the hard work. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice, as there is large network of support in your schools, and also from the university. Use the year to develop your own skills and don’t compare yourself to anyone else as everyone progresses differently.

I was offered a job in March for Rainford High School in St. Helens, where I will be taking on a Humanities role in September 2015. I am very excited to be starting in my first teaching role. Imogen Kent

I have found the programme to be extremely rewarding; both in terms of my teaching experience and practice but also in terms of building relationships with fellow teachers and support staff.

Teaching is definitely one of the most enjoyable experiences of the programme. Being able to build relationships with the students and having that moment where something clicks and they learn what you have been trying to teach, or the moment you realise that you have truly made a difference.

It most definitely helps starting earlier than PGCE students. The students assume you are just another member of the teaching staff and you are given much more respect earlier on. It also gives you time to find your feet, being able to read the school policies and observe them in action from the beginning. I was put in a Year Seven form group and helped them through the transition between Primary and Secondary school and seeing them change and become more independent over the time I was there was really worthwhile. Jennifer Avery

In September 2014, I was lucky enough to start my teacher training at St John Bosco Arts College. I have had placements in two schools within the Liverpool area and I have had an excellent experience at both. Both schools have been extremely welcoming and supportive and I have received excellent support and opportunities from St John Bosco, as a Schools Direct provider. Spending more time at school than a traditional PGCE course meant that I gained invaluable experience in the classroom early on and this has really increased my confidence. I have had a fantastic year and I would thoroughly recommend a Schools Direct course at St John Bosco to anyone who wants to start their teacher training. Emma Fairclough

I have always wanted to be a teacher, so all I really had to decide was which route into the profession was best for me. I chose the School Direct course because I loved working as a Teaching Assistant and wanted a more hands on experience of working in the classroom. My PGCE year was probably the hardest thing I've ever done but also the most rewarding: you learn an incredible amount, develop new skills and see first-hand the impact teaching has on young people. My mentor at St John Bosco was brilliant and a massive help during my placement; the entire department was really supportive of the trainees there. I'm starting as an English teacher in Alsop High School and can't wait to take what I've learnt and put it into practice. Tom Vincent

I always knew I was wanted to teach, I was just a little uncertain as to what subject I would like to specialise in. It was following a conversation with my brothers, about how they disliked English and found it boring that I knew I wanted to change young peoples' opinion towards English as I have a real passion for the subject, I wanted to enthuse, motivate and challenge students helping them to realise that anybody can achieve, regardless of their ability and background.

I chose to apply for my teacher training at St John Bosco because I wanted to endeavour on a course, knowing I was going to get the best from it. This is exactly what I have done, I have chosen a school where I have learnt a substantial amount. I feel I would not have had the same experience had I applied for a university based PGCE. I have developed an awareness of what a school is all about, I have experienced a whole year of seeing all the roles and responsibilities of a teacher and developed these in my own practice.

St John Bosco's training programme, has given me vital experience. The guidance and support has allowed me to achieve 'outstanding' teaching practice. The Director of the Teaching School, Jane Kennedy, played a significant part in helping me to develop from a postgraduate to an outstanding teacher.

I am really excited to be beginning my career at a South Liverpool school. My aspirations for the future are to make a change and have a positive impact on the school, my colleagues, but most important of all my students.

I cannot recommend the teacher training programme at St John Bosco highly enough. The team are extremely proactive, dedicating their time and making a huge effort in giving you the best experience and training that is essential for your teaching career. Amy Williams

I'm so pleased that I made the decision to train at St John Bosco, and to take the School Direct route. Seeing routines and relationships develop during those first two weeks of the new school year was invaluable, something you wouldn't necessarily experience on a normal PGCE teaching placement. Furthermore having that extra bit of time to let the culture and policies of the school sink in has been crucial.

My own mentor and department quickly made me feel that I was part of a team, and are not only fantastically supportive and welcoming, but insightful and constructive as educators as well. Being in a large cohort of fellow trainees from day one has forged a strong bond between us, and any stress incurred by the job so far has been absorbed by the support we give each other. Moreover, the leadership team at the teaching school have helped me to land on my feet here and make sure I never feel overwhelmed by it all.

The school itself is amazing. You couldn't ask for a better environment to learn in; the students are wonderful, the access to technology is unparalleled and the building has an amazing atmosphere. I look forward to coming into work every day. Charlie Lashmar

At first, I was indeed apprehensive about starting the schools direct route as it was not the stereotypical 'norm' for trainee teachers however, I have not looked back. Choosing school direct has allowed me to feel fully immersed in school life. Whilst it does throw you in the deep end and the learning curve is dramatic. I do feel that I have progressed massively during such a short amount of time. Choosing the direct approach has allowed me to have more time in the school, building positive and important relationships with both staff and, most importantly students. It has not only provided me with the opportunity to understand and familiarise myself with the schemes of work and the subject curriculum quicker but has allowed me to develop a fuller sense of how they are applied in schools and how topics are taught.

In addition, choosing St John Bosco as the destination for my teacher training has been a decision that I have not shown one ounce of regret over. The schools ethos is outstanding and there is a true sense of community, something which I now feel I am part of. The staff have made me feel extremely welcome and, the history staff in particular have helped me develop and progress as a future teacher. Tom Gibbons

I applied for the Schools Direct programme after undertaking a short placement at St John Bosco Arts College. I absolutely adored the school, its ethos, and the students. At the time, I wasn’t clear about the different routes into teaching, and this was a big change in career for me, so I needed to be sure I was making the right decision. Jane Kennedy Teach School Director clarified everything I was unsure of, and the programme quickly became my first choice.

Having now gotten well underway with the course, I can honestly say it was the best decision I’ve ever made. You are immersed in a classroom environment almost immediately, and learn so much even in the first couple of weeks observing and gradually building up to teaching solo lessons. The support available both from my subject mentor in school, the university tutors, and especially the programme leader Jane, is fantastic. Even in just one short half term I feel like I have developed and learnt so much, both professionally and personally, and have found the experience to date incredibly rewarding. Charlotte Waters

About this training programme.

At St John Bosco Teaching School, we offer the Tuition Fee School Direct Training Programme which offers prospective trainee teachers a route into teaching.

We partner with Liverpool Hope University to deliver this training programme leading to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and masters credits. For the 2018/2019 cohort, trainees will undertake a minimum of 130 days in school as teaching placements, which are underpinned by University subject and masters training days. 

Liverpool Hope is the only Ecumenical University in Europe. The University provides the opportunity for students to undertake and complete the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS).

Trainees are allocated a Home School and Away Placement for the duration of their teacher training, which enables them to become a part of the school's staff team from the beginning.  All Home and Away Schools are committed in developing outstanding trainees with the Secondary settings across socially and economically challenged communities. At least one of your placements will give the access to post-16 learners.

You will have full access to Liverpool Hope University, a dynamic facilitator of both innovative and traditional approaches to teacher training.  Prior to your teaching placements, you will have an intensive induction programme at the university and at school.  

For further information on all the partners, check out their websites below:

Alsop High School

Emmaus School

Holly Lodge Girls School

The Academy of St Francis of Assisi

De La Salle Academy

St Peter and Paul Catholic College, Widnes

St Matthew's Catholic Primary School

Liverpool Hope University

School Improvement Liverpool

The Archdiocese of Liverpool

Entry Requirements

You should be a graduate, preferably with a 1st or a 2:1, though we are willing to consider strong applicants with a 2:2 who can demonstrate an aptitude for teaching.  You should have a degree in which at least 50% of the content is the subject you want to teach.

You will need at least a grade C in GCSE English and Maths. All entrants must have passed all aspects of the professional skills tests before the beginning of the programme.

All entrants will expect to have had 10 days quality school based experience within a secondary setting.  All entrants must be able to demonstrate how this experience has enabled them to qualify for a School Direct Training Programme place. In addition entrants should have school based experience with Key Stage two pupils in a primary setting.

What are we looking for?

We are looking to recruit and develop trainees who will become outstanding teachers and are able to raise the life opportunities and expectations of children and their families within these communities.

As a National Teaching School, we are committed to spotting talent for future leaders and promote succession planning to ensure progression opportunities. This starts during the recruitment process and continues throughout our School Direct Training Programme and on into employment. 

How we select

St John Bosco Teaching School is the lead school in the partnership and will be co-ordinating the recruitment process.

This will involve time spent at the school and will include teaching a 20 minute observed lesson, some short written tests for literacy and the opportunity to talk to some staff and pupils. The process concludes with a small panel interview.

You will be told in advance about the content of the lesson and the age group you will be teaching. Our university partner, Liverpool Hope University, will be involved throughout and will have an equal say in the selection.  If the placement is at another school in the partnership, staff from that school may also be involved.  It is a rigorous and thorough process,designed to get the best match of applicant to the places available.

Teaching School Contact Info

Mrs Jane Kennedy
Position : Teaching School Director
Phone : 0151 235 1620
Email : jane.kennedy@stjohnbosco.org.uk

Teaching School Contact Info

Mrs Mary Houghton
Position : Teaching School Manager
Phone : 0151 235 1620
Email : houghtonm@stjohnbosco.org.uk