School Direct

The Thames Teaching Alliance is a large alliance made up of primary and secondary schools within the Gravesham area.

We have primary schools, special schools, faith schools, high schools and grammar schools within our cluster. You will have the opportunity to work with several schools across your training year.

We have a proven track record of delivering and providing excellent initial teacher training, and very good links with academic providers who have been rated Good and Outstanding by OFSTED for their initial teacher training programmes.

As an alliance, our strength is our diversity in school situation and type, which has enabled us to create a bespoke package of training and development opportunities that will enable you to reach the best of your potential as a prospective teacher.

In addition, we have worked with outstanding providers to ensure that our School Direct programme is rigorous and robust. We want to train people to work in Gravesham schools who can support teaching and learning of students at the highest levels of expertise. Our aim is to support and challenge our student teachers to that end.

What is the difference between QTS and PGCE?

PGCE, or postgraduate certificate in education, is a qualification that some routes into teaching supply you with at the end of the course, in the same way as you receive an MA or BSc.

To teach in the state sector in the UK, you need QTS, or Qualified Teacher Status (or equiv. in N. Ireland and Scotland). A PGCE course will usually also provide you with QTS, whilst some school based employment will only provide you with QTS.

To teach in some (but not all) municipalities abroad, you will need a PGCE in addition to QTS, or will have to do extra training/qualifications. If you decide that you would like a PGCE or Masters level qualification after you qualify with QTS, we might be able to help.

The Alliance is working with the University of Brighton to develop a course to run concurrent with NQT or NQT + 1 years for those who would like a PGCE subsequent to completing a course that gave them QTS.

Our routes into teaching

RouteWhere will I be based?What will I have to pay to train?What would my salary be?Could I apply for a bursary?I'd like more information
School Direct - Salaried In an alliance school Nil Point 1 of the unqualified teacher scale no More...
School Direct - Training In an alliance school Tuition fees Nil yes* More...
School direct - Self funded In an alliance school Tuition fees Nil yes* More...
P.G.C.E. course At university Tuition fees Nil yes* More...

* There are conditions that need to be met to apply for a bursary. View the page about the specific route into teaching to find out more

As an alliance, we are currently working with two outstanding providers to support and accredit our initial teacher training. Please follow the links to external websites for more information regarding the providers.

The University of Brighton is a modern and innovative university with an outstanding record of initial teacher training.

NB: Alliance schools will also have individual links with other providers. Please contact us for more information.

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Thames Teaching Alliance,
c/o Ifield School
Cedar Avenue,
DA12 5JT

T: 01474 362465

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