School Direct Partners

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Last Updated: June 18th 2019

‘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.’
Ofsted Report, December 2015


Bishop Challoner, Kings Heath  – Primary (PE)

Bishop Challoner Catholic College is a Roman Catholic secondary school in the Kings Heath area of Birmingham, England. The school has a roll of 1,152 students, including 212 sixth form students. The Teaching School Alliance is committed to ensuring high quality ITT to meet the curriculum needs of all our schools, with particular emphasis on core and shortage subjects, looking at developing the more traditional PGCE routes and partnerships with HEI as well as the more flexible routes including SCITT and School Direct.  The Alliance is also committed to ensure placement of suitable trainee teachers in strong and viable departments with experienced mentors.

The Alliance aims to:

  • develop a programme of ITT which builds on established best practice in the Alliance
  • recruit high quality trainees into curriculum areas with most need
  • establish a high quality support programme with experienced mentors

As part of a national initiative to improve the participation and skills of primary pupils in PE a new school-led teacher training programme has been developed to increase the quality and quantity of PE teaching in primary schools.

The Lead School for the Bishop Challoner TSA School Direct programmes is St Paul’s School for Girls.


Bournville Junior School – Primary

An Alliance of 26 primary, secondary, special and nursery schools in Bournville.  Bournville Village Primary School was awarded Teaching School Status in April 2014. As an outstanding school, we wanted to work with other schools to access teaching school resources and to share and develop good practice and CPD opportunities.

The Teaching School Alliance is made up of schools from Birmingham and Hereford and Worcestershire.  We work with all of the Birmingham teaching schools as a member of the Association of Central Teaching Schools (ACT’s). Sue Barratt, the Director of the Teaching School, is the elected chair. Through Sue Barratt we work closely with the Birmingham Education Partnership (BEP) to support schools in improving outcomes for young people.

Teaching schools have an important role to play in a school-led system and school improvement. Teaching schools are centres of excellence, taking a more focused role that prioritises:

  • co-ordinating and providing high-quality school-led initial teacher training (ITT)
  • providing high-quality school-to-school support to spread excellent practice, particularly to schools that need it most
  • providing evidence-based professional and leadership development for teachers and leaders across their network

In our last OFSTED inspection we were judged as an “outstanding school”. “This, together with the extremely accurate assessment of strengths and weaknesses and the clear drive to raise standards, means that the school is outstandingly well placed to continue on its upward path”.

St John Bosco Teaching School Alliance – Primary and Secondary

St John Bosco Catholic Teaching School have been allocated 32 places on the School Direct training programme for the academic year 2019/20 in both secondary and primary . This will be the non-salaried mainstream route with PGCE run in conjunction with our ITT partner, Newman University College.  If you train with us, you will work with experienced, expert professionals and you will have the opportunity to work in ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Good’ Primary and Secondary Schools across Birmingham, Sandwell and Dudley. We work with partner teaching schools to enhance our Initial Teacher Training (ITT) School Direct teacher trainees experience. Our Teaching School works in collaboration with 2 other Sandwell Teaching Schools,  Lightwoods TSA and St Francis Xavier TSA  we all work in partnership with Newman University, we take students who want to work at primary, secondary and in Special Education.  There are numerous schools within the primary phase and a small number of Smethick and Ormiston based school in Secondary, most notably Holly Lodge.  Further information about all of our schools can be found here.


Lightwoods Teaching School Alliance – Primary & Secondary

At Lightwoods Teaching School Alliance we have developed a close knit partnership which has a strong foundation based on a depth of experience within a family community. At the heart of our alliance is the need to provide outstanding teaching and a positive learning experience for all pupils. Our Secondary School Direct Alliance is led by St Michaels CofE School which has an outstanding record of training teachers with trained mentors across a wide range of subjects. The primary dimension is organised by Lightwoods Primary – an Outstanding school with an exceptional reputation for school support. Our aim is to train the next generation of ‘Outstanding’ teachers and ensure the next generation of pupils can have even higher aspirations for their futures.


Oasis Foundry– Primary

Oasis Academy Foundry is situated in Winson Green, Birmingham. Until January 1st 2014, Oasis Academy Foundry was called Foundry Primary School. The original school, Foundry Road School, was built in 1883 having been designed by Martin and Chamberlain.

Oasis Academy Foundry is an inclusive academy for children aged between 4 and 11 years of age committing to delivering first class-education whilst playing an active role in the local community.

Since winning the prestigious ‘School or Academy of the Year’, with Investors in Diversity, in February 2017, Oasis Academy Foundry have committed to ensuring that the teachers coming through their training scheme will be highly skilled and knowledgeable practitioners that are passionate about truly making a difference to the life chances of young people.

Having recently achieved a ‘Good’ Ofsted inspection with an ‘Outstanding’ judgement in Personal Development and Welfare, this school is unique when it comes to teaching and learning in primary education. Alongside training at Oasis Academy Foundry, one of the few ‘Schools of Sanctuary’ in Birmingham, trainees will have the opportunity to undertake placements with a respectable and high-performing network of primary schools in our regional academy family; each providing a variety of experiences in the academic and pastoral curriculums. Like Oasis Academy Foundry, they all share the same inclusive ethos and all aspire to the Oasis offer of exceptional education at the heart of the community. The academies in the group are:

  • Oasis Academy Woodview in central Birmingham
  • Oasis Academy Hobmoor in the Yardley area of Birmingham
  • Oasis Academy Short Heath in Erdington, Birmingham
  • Oasis Academy Blakenhale in the Garrett’s Green area of Birmingham
  • Oasis Academy Boulton in Winson Green, Birmingham (just a short walk from Oasis Academy Foundry)
  • Oasis Academy Warndon for those trainees for whom Worcester is a preferable destination in the Midlands

Our teachers have a proven record in training and professional development, and are keen to share their skills to develop the next generation of teachers

For further information on these specific academies and for more on Oasis, please visit


Prince Albert Primary – Part of the Prince Albert Community Trust

PACT comprises of four schools (Prince Albert, Heathfield Primary, Highfield Primary and Birchfield Primary)  with over 2500 children.  Ofsted recently rated the school as Outstanding, stating ‘every aspect of this school’s work is exceptional’.

Summary of key findings included:

  • Outstanding leaders at all levels work exceptionally well together to ensure high quality teaching throughout the school.
  • Pupils’ behaviour is impeccable.
  • Teaching is precisely focused on the needs of each and every pupil.
  • Procedures for keeping pupils safe and secure are of the highest quality.
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage provides an exceptionally good start for children.

Quality First Teaching is an essential part of the changes that have been implemented: This is the day-to-day interaction between teacher and pupil in the classroom which provides the basis for the effective development of personalised learning. In doing this, an educational experience to suit each child is created, leading to excellent progress in all areas.

From Nursery to Year 3 practitioners work with an EYFS philosophy towards teaching and learning. The children work in open plan year group classrooms which allows them to lead their own learning, make their own decisions, and plan and find out what they are interested in when they are not working directly with the teacher.

From Year 4-6 children are taught for numeracy, writing, reading and science in target groups depending on their ability. School funds at least two additional teachers in each year group in order to reduce the target group sizes as far as possible. We follow the national curriculum for non core subjects through a topic (Learning for life) based approach and we ensure that the learning is driven by the pupils.

The children are at the centre of everything that we do. Our focus is to meet all of the needs of the children and to support, challenge and develop each individual pupil in order that they reach their full potential. We strongly believe that by ensuring that our children feel safe, happy, and confident, it in turn provides the best conditions for learning.

Further information about the Trust and our schools please visit:


Sacred Heart / Blue Sky Teaching School Alliance – Primary and Secondary

At Sacred Heart, we value the education of the whole pupil so that each child fulfils their God-given potential. The purpose of a Catholic school, is to ensure that all pupils achieve their potential in a setting underpinned by Gospel values and practices.  We are committed as a team of staff, to do our very best to ensure that we sustain the provision as outstanding. We do this through evaluating the provision and talking to pupils, staff and parents alike to see what we do well and what we can do to improve further.  Our school is inclusive and we recognise that we are called in our vocation to support children in their journey of faith. Our Catholic life permeates all aspects and this was further validated by our RE Section 48 Inspection in November 2013 which judged us to be an outstanding Catholic school. The Blue Sky Teaching School Alliance was established in 2014 and is led by Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Coventry, West Midlands, which was judged as an ‘Outstanding’ school in September 2013.  Our Teaching School partnership consists of a number of Catholic, C of E and non-faith primary and secondary schools in the Coventry area. We work in collaboration with the other Teaching Schools in Coventry (Castle Phoenix, Swan and Whitley Academy).


Shireland Teaching School Alliance – Primary and Secondary

Shireland Teaching School Alliance is a partnership of outstanding Secondary and Primary Schools across the West Midlands and provides initial and continuing teacher education and development of the very highest quality.

The Lead School in the Alliance is Shireland Collegiate Academy; an Ofsted rated Outstanding school.  School Direct is a school-led teacher training course that gives the trainee the chance to learn ‘on the job’ in a school. The trainee will work as part of the teaching team from day one learning from experienced colleagues and immediately putting their new skills into practice. The School Direct teacher training course runs for an academic year and leads to qualified teacher status (QTS), a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) and 60 masters-level credits.

Shireland recruits the very best trainees for our schools and, working in partnership with Newman University, provides them with training of the highest quality to equip them to become outstanding teachers.

The programme will prepare you fully for the practical demands of teaching, learning from experienced outstanding teachers and immediately putting your new skills into practice.  Through the lead school of Shireland Collegiate Academy, we have strong working partnerships with:

  • Barford Primary School – Birmingham
  • Belle Vue Primary School – Dudley
  • Brindley Heath Junior School – Staffordshire
  • Cherry Orchard Primary School – Birmingham
  • Cradley CofE Primary School – Dudley
  •  George Betts Primary Academy – Sandwell
  • Glynne Primary School – Dudley
  • Halesowen CofE Primary School – Dudley
  • Hurst Green Primary School – Dudley
  • Meadows Sports College – Sandwell
  • Pitmaston Primary School – Worcestershire
  • Shireland Hall Primary Academy – Sandwell
  • St Margaret’s at Hasbury CofE Primary School – Dudley
  • Stanley Road Primary School – Worcestershire
  • Timbertree Primary School – Sandwell
  • Uplands Manor Primary School – Sandwell
  • Rockwood Academy – Birmingham
  • Hillcrest School and Community College – Dudley

Further information can be found at and


St Edmunds Catholic Academy – Secondary (Religious Education)

St Edmund’s is a mixed Catholic academy for students aged 11 to 19. It is part of Bishop Cleary Catholic Multi Academy Company.  St Edmund’s is a Catholic Academy for students of secondary age and operates under the Barberi and Newman Trust Deed of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham. Its primary purpose is the education of baptised Catholic young people and the nurturing of their faith. However, although priority is given to the admission of these young Catholics to the academy, we also have many students from other Christian denominations and from other Faith traditions who are fully a part of St Edmund’s learning community and who benefit from and contribute to its Catholic ethos.  Situated in Wolverhampton, St Edmund’s provides a learning environment that is both challenging and supportive, inspired by the gospel values. The intention of our curriculum is to create an aspirational, high-achieving culture which takes into account the individual needs and abilities of our students. It enables all students who work hard to experience success and leave St Edmund’s excellently equipped for advanced study and/or the world of work.


St Francis Xavier Teaching School Alliance – Primary and Secondary

The St Francis Xavier Teaching School Alliance is situated in Sandwell.  We are a thriving, multicultural and inclusive alliance of Catholic and non-catholic schools, which celebrate both diversity and the uniqueness of the individual. Our community provides a range of settings for trainees, using experienced, expert professionals from our cluster of school providers. We offer a varied School Direct programme which supports primary and secondary trainees to develop as reflective and inspiring teachers.

Secondary Partners:  Q3 Academy, Langley and Great Barr; Bishop Milner, Dudley or Hagley Catholic High School, Worcestershire

Primary Partners: St Joseph’s,  Dudley; Our Lady & St Hubert’s, Oldbury; St Francis Xavier, Oldbury; St Mary’s, Harborne; Our Lady of Fatima, Harborne; St Philip’s, Smethwick; St Gregory’s, Smethwick; St Joseph’s, Stourbridge; St Mary’s,   Dudley; St Ambrose’s, Kidderminster; St Wulstan’s, Stourport


St Paul’s Caritas Christi – Primary and Secondary

St Paul’s School for Girls is an outstanding Catholic Secondary school which works in collaboration with a number of Catholic primary and secondary schools, forming  the Caritas Christi group, having been involved in School Direct for 3 years and following our experience of being Lead School for the Bishop Challoner Teaching School Alliance (2016 – 2017). This alliance worked with over 40 schools.  We have combined our experience in order to set up this new alliance in order to develop the role of existing schools who have extensive experience of supporting new schools to offer school based initial teacher training. We have a cross-phase alliance of 13 schools, both secondary and primary located across the inner city region of Birmingham.  The Caritas Christi group of schools have formalised a Catholic based regional network of schools, using their collective experiences to provide extensive support to staff and trainees.

Our close partnership of inner-city schools, universities and other organisations are important to us because our schools are addressing similar needs and challenges: for example, very high levels of EAL, SEND, poverty and low baseline achievement in diverse communities which need our support. We are dedicated to reducing inequalities and giving children every opportunity to succeed at school and beyond. We are all committed to the best possible achievement for our children and staff and we set expectations high so that community aspirations can be raised.

We have a strong track record of training teachers, we can offer a large number of subjects and primary places. Our previous role as Lead School of the BCTSA had an excellent record of performance with trainees in all cohorts achieving 100% good or outstanding grades.  We have had 100% employment for all cohorts, with an average of 70% employed in our previous alliance schools and as a result of the success of our programmes we are keen to develop the next generation of teachers.  St Paul’s Caritas Christi currently includes the following schools:

  • St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School
  • St Chad’s Catholic Primary School
  • St Clare’s Catholic Primary School
  • St Edmund’s Catholic Primary School
  • St Francis’ Catholic Primary School
  • St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
  • St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School
  • St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School
  • St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School
  • The Oratory Primary School
  • St John Wall Catholic School
  • St Paul’s School for Girls  (Lead School)


St. Peter’s Catholic School High School – Primary and Secondary

St. Peter’s Catholic School. serving Solihull’s Catholic community, is a popular, oversubscribed school.  Our distinctiveness rests on the Catholic character and ethos of our school and this lies at the heart of everything we do. We endeavour to educate pupils in a Catholic atmosphere so that they are enabled to value life-long learning and the Gospel message can be related to everyday life and work.  St. Peter’s has an excellent academic record and all pupils who come here make very good progress. We welcome children of all abilities, whether highly gifted and talented or with special needs.  We are proud of our close links with partner primary schools which enable us to place each child in the most appropriate teaching groups for their ability and needs.  After five years, a high proportion of St. Peter’s pupils achieve very good grades in ten or more subjects. This is the result of their being placed carefully on appropriate courses and being entered for exams at a time to maximise their potential. A smaller, personally tailored programme of GCSEs is made available to pupils with special needs. The vast majority of our pupils continue into further education and our Sixth Form students regularly achieve entry to the most prestigious of universities, including Oxbridge.  St. Peter’s is proud to be a Specialist Science College. Through our specialism in Science and Mathematics we have improved standards, progress and outcomes in all curriculum areas. Innovative practices in teaching and learning developed in the specialist areas are now embedded across the school. Specialism gives our students a wide range of enrichment and engagement opportunities linked to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects.


Waverley School – Primary & Secondary

Waverley School were graded ‘Outstanding’ by an OFSTED inspection in December 2012. We are an ‘all through’ school for students aged 0-19 with a resource base for students with cognition and learning difficulties. We have high expectations of behaviour, attendance, uniform, achievement and attainment.

We improve the quality of Learning and Teaching by recognising that we are all learners and continue to develop our expertise and professionalism as teachers, promoting a climate of high expectation. We regularly review the work of the school so that learners get the best possible opportunity. We value the diversity of the school community and respect individuality. As part of our School Direct Programme, you will be joining a highly successful and dedicated team. You will gain the support you need to be the best teacher you can become.

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