What is it like undertaking initial teacher training via the school direct route?

Connor WhelanI am undertaking a school’s direct route with Lincolnshire SCITT. The programme is structured so that I spend four days of the week in school, and one day training. As a trainee, by the end of the programme, I will achieve qualified teacher status and a PGCE which is supported by the University of Lincoln. I chose a School Direct route into teaching, as opposed to a university-based programme, because from training you go straight back into school to observe in action what you have been learning about, and then implement this into your own teaching practices.

For most of the school year, you are based in your main training school. This allows you to gain a strong relationship with your school-based mentor and therefore they can tailor the progression of your training year based on you as an individual. This is supported by a personal development record which allows you and your mentor to record your progress throughout the year, record observations and set weekly targets. For 6 weeks, you spend time in a different school setting which will enhance your experience as a trainee. By working closely with your school-based mentor, you will set targets that your second school placement will enable you to achieve by offering you a different experience than that of your main training school.

For me, the best thing about a School Direct programme is the networking opportunities. During training days, you learn alongside a variety of different subject secondary trainees, as well as subject based training days where you work more closely with other mathematics trainees. Moreover, by having a main training school this allows you to become a member of a mathematics department and form networks with teachers with a variety of different experience.

The SCITT programme provides trainees with a plethora of different CPD opportunities and events to attend. Alongside this, and the fact that I believe the SCITT programme gives trainees the best experience of what it is like to be a fully qualified teacher, are the reasons why I chose to do the School Direct route into teaching.

By Connor Whelan



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