New School Direct fast track courses for trainee teachers to be based at St John's Academy

Written by Tony Millett on .

L to r: Nicky Edmondson, Principal of St Johns Marlborough, Maths PGCE student Malcolm Hay & Sarah Frame, Director of Excalibur TSAL to r: Nicky Edmondson, Principal of St Johns Marlborough, Maths PGCE student Malcolm Hay & Sarah Frame, Director of Excalibur TSAExcalibur Teaching School Alliance, based at St John’s in Marlborough is now offering primary and secondary school teacher training courses. They will start in September 2017.

The one year graduate School Direct training programmes are run by Excalibur Teaching School Alliance (TSA), a partnership of primary and secondary schools across Bristol, Reading, West Berkshire and Wiltshire, in collaboration with Bath Spa University and Bristol University.

Following its designation as a National Teaching School Alliance in March, Excalibur TSA is accepting applications for its teacher training programme and wants to recruit talented trainees at both primary and secondary level from across the region.

The School Direct training programme is open to recent graduates and to people looking for a career change, and offers the chance to be part of a teaching team from day one, by combining teacher training with on-the-job learning.

Successful candidates will be eligible for a tax free bursary or a salary, and will have the opportunity to train alongside experienced teachers in some the best primary and secondary schools in the country.

Trainees in secondary schools will be able to opt to work with either Bristol or Bath Spa Universities. The primary programmes are being run in collaboration with Bath Spa.

Sarah Frame, Director of Excalibur TSA sees the Teaching School as a huge opportunity for potential teachers in the area: “If you want to help children and young people in your area to realise their ambitions and you feel you can inspire them to fulfil their potential, we want to hear from you."

“It is a great way both to learn and qualify to become a teacher and many successful candidates quickly progress into leadership positions.”

St John's Marlborough is holding regular information events to enable potential trainees to find out more about what is involved in becoming a teacher and how to apply. The first event is on Friday 14 October, from 10:00-14:30 and places can be booked by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

More information on how to book is on the Excalibur TSA website.

There is a lot of support available nationally for people considering moving into a teaching career. The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) can help people through the application process. Kim Mitchell, a Teaching and Leadership Adviser for NCTL: “Teaching is a fantastic career - it offers a competitive salary, flexibility and great opportunities for people seeking career progression. With the bursaries and scholarships on offer this year, more talented graduates will have the opportunity and support to become teachers and help young people reach their full potential."

“School Direct allows individuals to learn alongside some of the best teachers working in our classrooms today, and be part of the team from day one. By offering bursaries in key subjects, or a salary, together with outstanding training and development, schools are attracting the very best new teachers.”

Around 30,000 trainee teachers need to be recruited every year and NCTL runs an annual recruitment campaign attracting high-quality new entrants to the profession.

In addition to bursaries, the government also offers teacher training scholarships for the most gifted maths, physics, chemistry, languages, geography and computing trainees, in partnership with highly respected professional bodies - the Institute of Physics, the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Geographical Society British Council and the Chartered Institute for IT.

This official website has information on the routes into teaching, including School Direct.  Or you can contact the Get into Teaching Line on 0800 389 2500.


L to r: Nicky Edmondson, Principal of St Johns Marlborough, Maths PGCE student Malcolm Hay and Sarah Frame, Director of Excalibur TSA

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