The School Direct training route provides trainees with a balance of training and work experience which includes ‘on the job’ school experience, formal training, coaching & mentoring and academic study. Trainees attend lectures and seminars at the University of Bedford, one day a week, with the rest of the time spent in one of our DLPT schools or partnership schools. The training course covers the age range from five to eleven years, and operates either as a full or part time course.
Full time: over one school academic year.
Part time: over two school academic years.
You will have a base school where you will carry out the majority of your placement. A contrasting placement in a second setting is undertaken during the Spring term. This will provide a broader view of educational issues and experiences. On the part time course, you spend the whole academic year in one school and then transfer to a contrasting school in the second year.
You will be assigned a school-based mentor. They will meet with you on a weekly basis to provide guidance and support. Starting on a zero % teaching timetable, with the support of your mentor this will gradually increase over the academic year until you are eventually teaching around 80% of a full timetable independently. Teaching time on the part time course increases in a similar way over the two year period.
Upon successful completion of the course, all trainees will have achieved Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and credits towards a Masters degree.
All of our placement schools are part of the Diamond Learning Partnership Trust. The schools are in the St Neots and Fenland areas in Cambridgeshire. When placing trainees, we consider the distance they will need to travel from home to school, as well as matching them to a school that will suit their individual need. Our schools are: Middlefield Primary Academy, The Round House Primary Academy, Winhills Primary Academy, Great Staughton Primary Academy, Kimbolton Primary Academy, Braybrook Primary Academy, Roman Way Academy, Glebelands Primary Academy, Thomas Eaton Primary Academy, Murrow Primary Academy and Leverington Primary Academy.
Full time trainees have two placements during the year, each placement being in a different key stage. The base school is where trainees undertake their placement in the Autumn and Summer Terms, they will then be placed in a contrasting school during the Spring Term. This ensures trainees are provided with a broad view and experience of primary education and have the opportunity to teach in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Trainees spend four days a week in school so they can be immersed into school life right from the start. They become a member of the teaching team, taking part in all staff meetings and whole school staff development, with the opportunity to also get involved in after school extra-curricular activities and school events.
Part time trainees also have two contrasting placements,namely one placement per school academic year. They spend two days a week in school.
All trainees have a mentor who is based in their placement school - this is usually the class teacher. Our mentors a fully trained and receive annual update training. They are experienced teachers and support their trainee to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to become confident classroom practitioners.
We require all applicants to have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 or above in the GCSE examinations in English, mathematics and a science subject.
You must hold a minimum of a 2:2 degree.
We want to train the most ambitious, enthusiastic and committed graduates who aspire to make a difference to the life chances and education of children and have a rewarding and challenging career.
Applicants should have:
excellent communication and organisational skills
commitment to working hard
ability to establish good working relationships within a professional team
confidence and ability to engage positively with children
commitment to excellence in teaching
an interest in and understanding of the holistic and learning needs of primary aged children
The course fees for UK students in 2021 to 2022 are £9,250.
For the part time route, course fees are split equally over the two years of training.
About the training provider
The Diamond Teaching School Alliance (DTSA) is the choice for you if you wish to train with a provider that prides itself on treating every trainee as an individual, tailoring the training experience to meet individual requirements and providing a strong support network.
We want to train the most ambitious, enthusiastic and committed graduates who aspire to make a difference to the life chances and education of children and have a rewarding and challenging career. They will embrace all the opportunities we offer at the beginning of their journey to becoming outstanding teachers.
We work closely with The Diamond Learning Partnership Trust (DLPT), comprising 13 primary schools in the St Neots and Fenland areas (see website). Our partner schools are a mixture of large and smaller town schools, and small village schools.
Our pupils are at the heart of all we do. We are focussed on providing the perfect balance between an excellent education, uncompromising pastoral care and the nurtured development of every individual child’s qualities. We believe our staff are our greatest asset, so we invest in them to ensure they also reach their full potential. Professional development of staff is a key priority.
During your training, you will experience teaching in different settings and will deepen your understanding of a range of educational contexts. A large proportion of your training will be in classrooms learning from enthusiastic, highly skilled and experienced mentors. All of our previous trainees have gained QTS status and been employed, 75% within the DLPT.
About the accredited body
The University of Bedford has an excellent reputation in training teachers, which spans over 100 years. It has a strong working relationship reinforced by working with a number of School Direct partners in both primary and secondary phases. The Gateway building features high-quality teaching spaces, informal learning spaces, and lecture theatres; as well as a new student services centre. The university Teaching Practice resource collection offers a wide range of items that students can take into the classroom to enhance their teaching including books for children, audio-visual materials and boxes of artefacts.
How we select our trainees.
The Course Coordinator will check all applications to see if the applicants meet the entry criteria. Those who are shortlisted will be invited for interview both with the Lead school and the university. This will involve taking part in a range of activities and a formal interview to assess a candidate’s suitability for teaching. Successful candidates will be informed of the outcome within seven days of the interview date.
Training with disabilities and other needs
We support any trainees with disabilities and other needs. Please contact us to discuss any support you may need.
Applications from students who have the necessary academic qualifications/experience are also passed to the Disability Advice Team at the University to make a provisional assessment of educational and related personal support needs. Read more here: