School Direct

Mildenhall College Academy is a designated School-centred initial teacher training academy (SCITT), working alongside the University of Bedford to deliver initial teacher training (ITT). We work in partnership with a number of schools in Suffolk, Norfolk & Essex to deliver our School Direct programme.

  • One year full time or two years part-time
  • In school 4 days per week
  • Primary and Secondary

Our School Direct programme will help you to:

  • Gain a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), with Qualified teacher status (QTS)
  • Acquire comprehensive knowledge and understanding of your chosen phase and subject
  • Develop your understanding of professional skills including a strong focus on national priorities
  • Develop practical teaching skills, ideas and activities to use in the classroom
  • Gain knowledge of schools through working as a member of a school team
  • The ability to reflect critically and think on your feet
  • Become confident using new technologies

Who can enrol – Entry Requirements

Our School Direct ITT course is a school-based programme, leading to the award of a PGCE with QTS, which is delivered in two placement schools. The PGCE is validated and awarded by the University of Bedford, our partner university.

If you’re looking for an in-school initial teacher training route then School Direct could be ideal for you. To join our School Direct programme you must have:

  • A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree or equivalent in the subject for which you are applying to teach, or a degree of which at least 50% is in that subject, is required for entry onto this programme.
  • A levels in the subject and/or related subjects are desirable
  • A  standard equivalent to a grade 4 (or GCSE A* to C) in the GCSE examinations in English and mathematics (and Science if you are training to teach at primary level). The results of these could still be pending whilst an application is made.
  • Show competency in fundamental skills in English and maths before the award of QTS. Please note the need to pass skills tests in literacy and numeracy before commencing training has now been removed.

Personal qualities

Possess the appropriate qualities, attitudes and values expected of a teacher. These are skills such as resilience, commitment, adaptability, along with good communication skills. Applicants should have gained some experience of working with children or in education. We are seeking highly motivated individuals with a passion for their subject and in making a difference to the lives of the young people and communities we serve. Being a team player as well as being able to work on your own initiative is important and a good sense of humour is key!

Other requirements

You must have undertaken the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and/or any other appropriate background checks (and such checks must not identify them as being unsuited to working with children)

How is the programme delivered?

Our School Direct programme is delivered in partnership with a number of schools in Suffolk, Norfolk & Essex. We offer a primary (age 5-11) and a secondary (age 11-18) School Direct training programme in key teaching subjects including:

  • Art and design
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Design and technology
  • Drama
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Maths
  • Physical education (PE)
  • Physics
  • Primary
  • Primary maths

This course involves spending 4 days a week in a placement school and one day a week at the University of Bedfordshire. Over the course of the training year you would gain experience in 2 placement schools. Full information regarding the academic study element and essay requirements can be found on the Initial Teacher Training section of the university website.

Interview process

Interviews take place initially at the university where candidates will find out further information about the course and be interviewed by members of the partnership. In addition candidates will visit the lead school, Mildenhall College Academy, to meet key staff.

How school placements work

Placements will be allocated based on capacity but will also take into consideration the geographical location of trainees. Trainees will get the opportunity to teach from 11-18 at secondary and early years to year 6 at primary level.

In total there are 6 schools in our partnership but we also work with a number of other schools in the area to support initial teacher training.

Candidates will have 2 placements, one for the Autumn term and one in a different school for the Spring/Summer terms.


The course fees for UK students in 2021 to 2022 are £9,250

Financial support

You could be eligible for either:

  • a scholarship of £26,000
  • a bursary of £24,000

To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in Mathematics or a related subject. For a bursary you’ll need a 2:2 or above in any subject.

You can’t claim both a bursary and a scholarship – you can only claim one.

Find out how to apply for a scholarship. You don’t need to apply for a bursary – if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out how you’ll be paid.

You may also be eligible for a loan while you study – note that you’ll have to apply for undergraduate student finance.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.

Your school mentor

You’ll have weekly meetings with your experienced in-school mentor who will support you throughout your programme.

For further details, please contact Mrs Carolyn Kerr, Assistant Principal NQTs & ITTs, at: