University of Cumbria – Education (School Direct)

School Direct is a new government initiative for teacher training. It’s for people who’ve already got a degree, who want to spend most of their training time based in school with school teachers and with the children. The University of Cumbria School Direct approach is unique because it is a PGCE at masters level but the majority of time is spent in school with school staff developing both the academic and the practical work
in conjunction with the university so you’ll be taught by the university tutors
and by the school tutors and the majority of it will be in school. The main difference with School Direct trainees
is that they are in school all the time from day one. They’re there from the staff inset day in September,
so they get all of that. They’re a member of staff, the students in school see them as a member of staff. The University of Cumbria School Direct
approach is unique because we work together in joint partnership where it’s equal partnership, where the schools and the university plan the programmes together. I think the School Direct route, obviously
being predominantly in the classroom, has given me a great experience of the role of an experienced teacher I’ve managed to attend staff insets,
parents’ evenings, open evenings. The staff offer the students a real variety of support,
whether it’s just from classroom practice, obviously feeding back, also emotional support when they need it. I feel I’ve benefited by being on the School Direct route more than I would from a PGCE,
because you actually get to be involved in like the wider school so I was in school right from the beginning of September and I’ll be in a school right until the end of July. School Direct with the University of Cumbria
can be anywhere in the UK. It’s not linked to a campus, it’s linked to the lead school. So if a lead school works with the University of Cumbria, that can be in London, that can be in Leeds,
that can be in Newcastle, that can be in Cumbria. In the beginning of their training,
the associate teachers do a lot of observation and in that observation, you know, we encourage them
to get up and get around the classroom, talk to the students and help them where they can and I think that’s a really important stepping stone on their way to becoming teaching staff. The university tutors have been in to help us with assignments and they’ve always told us straight away
they’re only at the other end of the phone or an email and whenever support’s been needed, it’s been available. I wanted to do the School Direct route
through the University of Cumbria because I was currently employed as a teaching assistant at a school and the School Direct route allowed me to work within a school, with Bishop Rawstorne, which was
one of the partnership schools that I was interested in It does encourage us to try new things
because they bring new ideas they bring a fresh perspective and clearly, just as a teacher my motivation and my passion is for
helping young people develop their potential that applies equally to the trainee teachers that I work with as it does to, you know, the students that I teach. Whenever I’ve needed the support of the University of Cumbria tutors they’ve always been there for me. Our tutor quite quickly emails you back
if you’ve got any problems with essays or any observations that you’re worried about,
or anything along those lines. Through the School Direct route and the University of Cumbria we’ve had much support. Currently, my letter of application, which I’m about to send off tomorrow I’ve had it checked over by people from the university and mentors at the school to ensure everything’s correct We keep in contact with the trainees. I’m in regular contact at the moment with a trainee that was on placement A here, who’s now on
placement B at another high school She very often texts me for ideas, resources and interview lessons, anything like that so I’m quite happy to carry on staying in contact It’s really important that we get the best teachers
in our classrooms to work with the pupils because that way our pupils get the best education so the School Direct route works with the university to ensure that we train the best teachers for the future.

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