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What is School Direct?

What is School Direct?

West Park Teaching Partnership School Direct is a school-led route into initial teacher training. It is run by a partnership between a lead school, other schools and an accredited teacher training provider.

Training as a PGCE School Direct student with the West Park Teaching Partnership ensures that you will be in your host school from your first day on the course and will have the opportunity to spend the year being part of an accomplished and experienced school staff team working within the wider curriculum. You will complete an additional placement in the spring term in one of our contrasting partner schools.

Through our partnership with The University of Sunderland, our School Direct training cohort will be awarded

  • QTS (Qualified Teacher Status)
  • PGCE with Masters credits

You will study at the University of Sunderland for around fifteen days during your full training year. The University will provide support with your education assignments and practice based research led by a Primary programme leader who has a clear understanding of the importance of school led training and how best to guide you through your learning journey.

Partnership Schools

In this case West Park Academy (W) is the lead school for the partnership and as a Lead School we help to advertise School Direct vacancies for our host schools. The Darlington primary schools in the partnership are: 

West Park Academy (W),

Red Hall Primary (R) Reid Street Primary (S), Gurney Pease,

Skerne Park Primary (K) and George Dent Nursery School (G).

Outside of Darlington we also have Wynyard Church of England Primary School.

Throughout the School Direct training year, the West Park Teaching Partnership will offer:

  • Support from highly skilled teachers and leaders helping you to learn the art of teaching.
  • Opportunities to work alongside a mentor who is an experienced teacher.
  • Opportunities to engage in the latest theory and research at Sunderland University which underpins our practice in school.
  • Alongside your mentors in school The University of Sunderland has an excellent team of University Mentors who will support you.
  • Practical experience in two contrasting schools in the partnership that is personalised to trainees’ individual strengths and needs.


We would be very interested to hear from you if you are thinking of becoming a teacher, or know someone who is. We’re looking for people who have (or will have) a degree, have a passion for teaching and want to inspire young people to fulfil their potential. For further information contact Emma Farrow at

Our School Direct Tuition Fee Vacancies to start training in September 2022 (Course Code – 35JQ) will be open for applications from October 2021.