Get Into Teaching

What is the PTSA School Direct (tuition fee) training route?

With this training route you’ll be based in a Plymouth primary or secondary school and will also be taught by our university partner. Plymouth Marjon University have been training educators and teachers since the 1840s and have a huge alumni network and extensive school relationships to support your future career.

You will be based out of two different schools across the year, immersed in school life and taking an active role in the school team. You will work mainly out of a lead school, with an additional placement to give you breadth of experience.

As well as on the job training from your lead and additional schools, some subject specific training will be provided by PTSA, led by current outstanding practitioners and provide you the opportunity to work with other trainees from different schools. You also attend university for core academic learning.

PTSA School Direct trainees benefit from a full 40-week schedule. Some training will be school-based, led by our network of subject leaders of educations (SLEs) who are on hand to provide evidence informed, school based subject and pedagogy input and support. You will be learning and working with other trainees from across the city.

The school won’t be your employer, and in many ways, your training will be similar to other programmes in universities, colleges, and SCITTs.

Successful completion of PTSA’s School Direct course leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and a PGCE qualification, with up to 60 Masters credits after one academic (September – July) year.

What is a Primary Teaching Apprenticeship?

A new route into teaching, a school works with Plymouth Marjon University and PTSA to train the apprentice, who is employed within a school.

A training programme which offers a combination of classroom teaching, practical learning and a salary for the trainee

On completion of the apprenticeship, the individual will have achieved QTS and be ready to enter the teaching profession

Who can apply for an apprenticeship?

Anyone who has an undergraduate degree with a 2:2 classification or above

A Grade 4 (C) or above in GCSE English, Maths (and Science for Primary/Special School) 

The applicant may be someone who is already working within your school (as a support staff member, HLTA etc) or maybe someone new to the school

Key points

Study mode: Full-time

Study level: Postgraduate

Course type: School-led

Teaching qualifications: Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) & Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)

Student loans: Yes (Both for tuition fees and maintenance)

Application method: Apply for Teaching Training GOV.UK

Classroom experience: Preferred Yes – but not essential

Fees: Fees payable £9,250

Funding: Click to find out about Funding your training

More information: Click to visit the Get into Teaching page

Apply now: Click for Postgraduate Teacher Training

Why Train with PTSA?

The PTSA School Direct model brings together all the necessary elements required for excellence in Initial Teacher Education and Training.

Our combination of expert school-based practitioners and experienced university partner brings together teacher education pedagogy and up to date research within a school-based setting. We nurture talent and provide the essential classroom experiences that allow trainees to put theory into practice as they develop into an outstanding practitioner.

Each trainee has triangulated support provided by tutors from Plymouth Marjon University and in school subject and professional mentors. PTSA provide an additional layer of pastoral and pedagogical support. Offering pastoral and wellbeing school visits, social events, bespoke professional development and 1:1 coaching and guidance.

100% of Secondary and Primary PTSA School Direct Trainees 2019-20 secured employment in schools. Our close working relationship with local teacher supply agency, Supply Plus, means we can ensure you have the best chance of securing work on successful completion of the programme.

Listen to Sam talking about the PTSA School Direct course


“School Direct trainees are perceived by Plymouth Heads as the best postgraduates to employ.”  Plymouth Primary Headteacher

“I host trainees in my school as I am able to train them to the high expectations our school requires. I tell my trainees in week one it’s the longest interview you’ll ever have, and as such I have employed the last 4!!”  Plymouth Primary Headteacher 2020

“School Direct students are fully immersed in the school culture and gain so much by being part of the College.  My experience is School Direct are so much more prepared for their NQT year compared to other routes.”  Plymouth Secondary Principal 2020

“School Direct is a great choice if you feel confident in yourself and want to get into school practice as soon as possible. You will be part of the school community from day one, allowing your face to become known by both staff, students and parents. You will also have an advantage over other teacher trainees when applying for jobs, as they start to get advertised around Easter and you will already have plenty of teaching experience by then.”  School Direct Trainee 2020

“For me the opportunity to learn ‘on the job’ was the main attraction. I believe the more immersive course better prepares for being an NQT.”  School Direct Trainee 2019

“The SLEs who teach our subject knowledge days are inspirational, enthusiastic, current practitioners.”  School Direct Trainee 2018


You must have achieved the following minimum requirements to be eligible to apply for the PTSA School Direct (tuition fee) programme:

  • You’ll need to hold an undergraduate degree awarded by a UK higher education provider, or a recognised equivalent qualification.
  • You’ll need to have achieved a standard equivalent to grade C/4, or above, in the GCSE examinations in English and mathematics
  • If you intend to train to teach pupils aged three to eleven (Early Years and Primary), you must also have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C/4, or above, in a GCSE science subject examination.

If you want support applying for our programme please get in touch with PTSA directly at or find helpful information by visiting Get Into Teaching.

PTSA want to hear from you if you:

  • Are passionate about improving the life chances of young people in Plymouth
  • Have excellent communication and organisational skills.
  • Are resilient and prepared to work hard
  • You have the ability to engage and work well with adults and young people.
  • Want to be part of a professional team from day one
  • Are committed to continuous professional development and learning
  • Want to pursue excellence for all in education


UCAS Teacher Training is for postgraduate teacher training programmes in England and Wales.

UCAS Teacher Training is the scheme you need to use to search and apply for PTSA School Direct (tuition fee) programme.

Search for PTSAs training programmes with the Department for Education’s ‘Find postgraduate teacher training’ service. You can search by typing in: PTSA – Plymouth Teachers and School Alliance (1T7) as a training provider.

You’ll then need to register with UCAS Teacher Training to submit, and track the progress of, your application. UCAS is now open for Teacher Training 2021-22 applications.

PTSA are offering Primary and Secondary School Direct courses in the below subject areas. However, due to our large network of SLEs and great relationship with Plymouth Marjon University if you would like to enquire about training to teach in another subject area please get in touch!


  • Primary [General]
  • Primary with Physical Education
  • Primary with Mathematics
  • Primary with SEN [Special Education Needs]
  • Primary with EYFS [Early Years and Foundation Stage]
  • Other specialisms are available, please get in touch to find out more.


  • Secondary Art & Design
  • Secondary Biology
  • Secondary Chemistry
  • Secondary English
  • Secondary Geography
  • Secondary History
  • Secondary Mathematics
  • Secondary MFL
  • Secondary Physical Education
  • Secondary Physics
  • Secondary Religious Education


It’s a big investment, but there’s often funding available to help you.

Scholarships – for certain in-demand subjects, you can apply for a tax-free scholarship to support your training. To be eligible, you will typically need a 2:1 degree or above in the subject you want to teach (or a closely related subject). Visit Get Into Teaching to find out more.

Bursaries – tax-free bursaries are available for training to teach a range of subjects. The level of funding and eligibility will vary depending on the subject you choose to teach, and your degree classification. For more information, visit Get Into Teaching.

Tuition fee and maintenance loans – if you’re not eligible to receive a bursary or scholarship, you can still apply for a student loan to cover your training programme fees and living costs. Find out more from Student Finance England.

Extra student funding – if you have dependents, you could access further funding to support your teacher training, such as Parents’ Learning Allowances, Childcare Grants, or Child Tax Credits. The student finance calculator from Student Finance England allows you to estimate the level of funding that may be available.

Disabled students and care givers – universities and colleges have different ways of supporting you in higher education. Check if you are entitled to additional support and funding.

School Direct was the only route I wanted to take into education because it offered the mix of full-time, in-school experience and weekly lecturing from current professionals that I felt was so unique about the course. I enjoyed my time on the course and would recommend it to anyone looking to get into teaching.

School Direct 2018 Trainee

Have you ever mentored a School Direct trainee? It’s a rewarding experience.

Spending time explaining your practice, ethos and methodology to a trainee enables you to understand your own practice more deeply, you gain an extra professional in your classroom which can positively impact on the progress and wellbeing of your children.

CPD developing your own coaching and mentoring skills and in my case developing more understanding and empathy, seeing the trainees grow into good and outstanding teachers and knowing that you have been a crucial part of the process, your legacy to education.

School Direct PTSA School Mentor & Assistant Head Teacher