School Direct (Primary)

We are very proud of our excellent partnership with the University of Derby, an experienced provider of school-based initial teacher training, with whom we run both forms of Primary School Direct (the salaried route – Course Code 24ZQ and the tuition route – Course Code 24ZM) at Postgraduate Certificate of Education level. The University of Derby’s School Direct programmes, including ours, were judged as “outstanding” by Ofsted in November 2015.

Our programmes

The School Direct programme, as you would expect, is heavily focussed on gaining practical day to day hands on experience of being a teacher in the classroom. You will be working in a school from day one. This is supplemented by study days (two days, fortnightly, throughout the programme) which are led by experienced lecturers from the University of Derby, team teaching with a range of curriculum leaders from our Alliance schools, who are there to lend a school-based perspective. Trainees do not need to travel to Derby for the taught element of the course – the study days take place at the White Water Rafting Centre in Northampton and we structure the course so that it is only necessary to travel to Derby up to four times through the year.

The taught and assessed element of the School Direct programme from the University of Derby is highly structured and sets out, week by week, the expectations upon the student, upon the school-based mentor and upon the school as a whole, so that the student gradually assumes more and more whole class teaching responsibility as the programme progresses. Course and training materials are clear and well structured so that our students know what is expected of them at all times.


Our students are well supported by a team including a school-based mentor (trained and inducted by the University of Derby), a link tutor (who makes periodic visits to the student in their placement school), our Teaching School Lead and the team here at Fairfields.  We work very closely together to support each individual student with their bespoke training plan – a characteristic feature of our course.

Due to us being a large Alliance with large primaries, small primaries, special schools and an ability to call on expertise from secondaries, we can match trainee to school intelligently. Wherever possible, placements are made through consultation and we try to avoid long daily journeys (including during second placements).

Future Employment

Employment prospects at the end of our programme are excellent, not only because we have over 70 schools in our alliance but also due to our excellent relationship with a wider range of school across the county and beyond. 100% of our trainees have been employed within 6 months of completing the programme.

Our track record

  • 2014-2015: 20 students successfully qualified to become teachers and gained employment in schools across our county.
  • 2015-2016: Another 15 students successfully completed their initial teacher training.
  • 2016-2017: Another cohort of 15 trainees successfully qualified.
  • 2017-2018: 13 trainees successfully qualified and are currently completing their NQT years.
  • 2018-2019: 25 students have successfully completed their training year with 100% achieving good or better and 56% outstanding. We wish them all the best with their NQT year.
  • 2019-2020: We have successfully recruited 16 students who will be starting their placements in September 2019 - we wish them every success for the year ahead.

This track record of success in providing School Direct at PGCE level is, we believe, a significant reason why aspiring teachers should consider training with us.

Teaching in Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire needs good teachers. You can find further information on teacher training in the county by visiting If you are thinking of coming to train with us from outside  the County, it’s a great place to be:


Thank youTeacherAtBoard for all your support this year. The course has been amazing and I feel incredibly prepared to go on to teach independently next year because of both the nature of the course and the incredible support from all involved - Trainee SP


I think this year has been challenging, but all of us on the course have said many times about the huge support and help we have had from the Teaching School and The University of Derby. So, thank you again for all the support and getting all of us through this year! - Trainee RA


I really must thank you for your support over the year  – you have always shown that you were fighting our corner and I know from the group discussions that we have all been grateful for that and impressed with your commitment to us. Nothing has ever been too much trouble. It has also been a really rewarding and positive experience! - Trainee JC


For further information you can call us on 01604 777895 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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