School Direct

The role of Newman University

Newman is one of the largest Accredited Provider of School Based Initial Teacher Training in the West Midlands. It has an established reputation for producing high-quality teachers, who understand the needs of the children they teach, and develop creative and effective practice. Newman’s experienced tutors and strong relationships with schools throughout the West Midlands will support your learning and ensure high quality education through whichever programme you choose.

OfSTED (2015) recently commented that ‘The outcomes for trainees are good. Trainees’ attainment is high, especially through the School Direct route, where around three quarters of trainees were judged outstanding at the end of their training in 2015.’

Newman University is proud of its partnership with schools across the region.

Key features of our ITT/School Direct programmes include:

  • Support for schools at all stages of the School Direct process; from allocation requests and UCAS support to processing applications and recruitment
  • Leading and supporting both University and school based recruitment events
  • Marketing to attract high quality applicants
  • ‘Exceedingly strong centre-based training’ (Ofsted)
  • Interactive, engaging delivery and small group sizes
  • Enhancement and specialist weeks
  • Specialist subject and phase tutors that build highly effective relationships with partner schools
  • Personalised support for both schools and trainees
  • Primary and secondary induction programmes prior to commencing the course

The School Direct route leads to the award of a Masters level Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Assignments are moderated and graded by Subject Leaders, Professional Tutors and Newman University staff. There are two main assignment tasks – each about 4,000 words, that allow you to show how practice and research combine to provide a framework within which you teach, refer to practical pedagogy in the classroom, research of academic literature and both reflection and evaluation.


Primary routes focus on the study of teaching in all National Curriculum subjects, with emphasis on English, Maths, Science and ICT. The Primary Foundation Stage/Key Stage 1 course (3-7) includes a specialist study of the early years foundation stage curriculum and the distinctive pedagogies encountered in reception/nursery classrooms and children’s centres. School placements will be completed in relevant age phases. You will learn the principles of curriculum design and delivery, and theories of learning and teaching, alongside developing practical insights and skills in the effective teaching and assessment of young children.

You will be offered a series of learning experiences linking different perspectives on primary teaching to the development of your professional skills in the classroom. Tutors are involved in both Newman-based learning and in supporting the professional development of students in our school(s). Assessment of the PGCE Primary programme combines course assignments and professional practice in school.

You will access some of the university sessions (usually about 20-30 days throughout the year (depending upon the arrangements made) and key features of the training include:

  • Trainees start on a 50% teaching commitment in term 1, increasing to 70% by term 3.
  • 6-week second school placement; (usually undertaken in the second half of the Spring Term)
  • Lesson Observations: 1 per week (minimum); Mentor meetings: 1 per week; 6 review points through the year
  • Assignments: 2 x 4000 words: Contemporary, Creative and Innovative Practice in the Core Curriculum; Assessment of pupils’ work: purposes and practice
  • Regular University tutor observations/visits to support schools and trainees’ development.
  • Trainees complete reflective E-portfolio (Mahara)