Why should I choose the Essex School Direct Programme?

Essex School Direct has a long history of successful teacher training across many schools in Essex. Our programme, in partnership with TES Institute is innovative and flexible. In recent years our trainee completion and employment rates have been way above industry standard. The vast majority of our trainees find employment in local schools. So if you want to train with a great provider and work locally we should be your number one choice.

What qualifications do I need to apply?

The minimum qualifications to train to teach are GCSEs at grade C / Level 4, or above in English Language and Maths (+ a science subject for primary candidates) plus a degree at 2:2 classification or above. If your degree is of a lower level, or you qualified outside the UK please still speak to us so that we can establish the options open to you.

What sort of references do I need for my DfE Apply application?

You will need TWO references from professional sources, ie; your present employer and/or your current university or college lecturer. Past applicants have also used referees such as scout leaders and youth group leaders they have worked with, the clergy, past employers.

All references must be supplied with a professional email address. We cannot accept references from friends or from personal email addresses (such a @gmail.com address). We will ask your referees whether or not you are suitable to work with children.

What will happen after I apply?

You will receive a phone call from us to acknowledge your application and chat through it and discuss potentially suitable training schools if need be. We will then arrange an interview, and send you an email with the details of how this will work and what to expect on the day. You can expect a formal interview with at least two panel members; you are also likely to be asked to produce a lesson plan and perhaps teach for a short time also.

What subjects do you offer?

We offer a wide variety of secondary subjects taught across Key Stages 3 & 4 as well as route primary school teachers to train at our primary hub in Chelmsford (which includes Barnes Farm Infant and Junior Schools, Perryfields School, The Beaulieu School and Tyrrells Primary School. With the exception of Business Studies, we do not currently offer subjects which are primarily taught only at A level (such as Economics and Psychology).

I have no school experience, can I still apply?

Absolutely! While prior school experience is always extremely beneficial, the DfE have removed any requirement for in-school experience prior to application, so do not let that put you off. Once you have contacted us we will invite you in for an informal chat and will help you to arrange some school experience if we are able to.

What will my training programme be like?

Your training programme will be hard work, but very satisfying.

You will spend a year in school training, 5 days a week. You will experience what life in a local school is like, just like a qualified teacher, unlike some university based ITT where you a parachuted into schools for periods of placement. One day a week will be set aside for an on-line Professional Studies programme provided by TES Institute. On the secondary programme on Wednesday afternoon’s we have Face 2 Face workshops where all of the trainees, from all our schools, come together to develop their knowledge and skills. (It’s also a great chance to meet with other trainees to share experiences, ideas, highs and lows.) Much of this training will happen this year at ZincArts Theatre in Ongar (https://zincarts.org.uk/). The primary hubs have a slightly different, more bespoke programme.

You will gradually build-up the amount of time that you spend leading from the front of the classroom. There are guidelines for this, but they are adapted to suit each trainee. There will be lots of opportunities for you to observe experienced teachers in your own subject / phase and in others so that you can build up your toolkit of strategies and skills.

You will each have an in-school mentor who will meet with you every week and a TES Pathway tutor who will monitor your on-line work and meet with you for half a day each term, in school to guide and chart your progress.

Can I train to be a teacher part-time?


We offer a Part Time programme that entails 3 days a week in school and 1 day equivalent of online learning in your own time, that normally takes 4 terms to complete. It isn’t designed for everyone one but for exceptional trainees who would struggle to train full time it has proven over the past  few years to have been very successful with 100% completion and employment rates. If you feel this is the route for you contact us to discuss this route as soon as possible.

When does the course start?

Our course begins at the start of September each year. However we encourage you to apply as early as possible once the application window opens in October so that we can place you in the best school for you; we can arrange in-school experience if you want that and for those on eligible courses, you can complete the appropriate SKE for your subject. Additionally, ESD, TES and placement schools will also run induction days in the summer term prior to the course starting.

Which school will I be placed in?

At Essex School Direct we begin the placement discussions as soon as you apply. We listen to your preferences and match that to local school availability. Additionally, we also operate a ‘Grow you own model’ where, if you are already linked to a partnership school, we will strive to place you there if that suits both parties. Typically, trainees are interviewed at the school they will be placed at and have that confirmed on the day of interview.

How much will it cost?

For the most up-to-date information about the cost of tuition, visit our Course Fees page.

Fees can be paid by a tuition loan from the Student Loan Company and all students can also apply for maintenance loans.

Am I eligible for a bursary?

Bursaries apply for some (but not all) secondary subjects. Visit our Bursaries page for the most up-to-date information about bursaries. 

Who are TES Institute, Essex School Direct’s HEI Partners?

TES Institute are the teacher training arm of TES Global, one of the largest on-line education training providers in the world. TES have an unparalleled reputation for providing high quality on-line training and resources, having access to both the brightest minds in current research and expert teachers in the field. TES invest far more of your tuition fee in direct support of you than almost any other provider. The 6 half day visits from a subject specialist Pathway tutor; a huge library of on-line subject specialist support materials; and a commitment to a flexible, supportive approach to teacher training in partnership with local schools and expert teachers cannot be beaten.