School Direct and Initial Teacher Training

The Aspirer School Direct course really prepares you for the challenges you will face as a teacher due to the amount of time you spend in the school environment. The training school is also linked to the Research School so you are being trained on all the new and up and coming research into teaching that you get to use in your own practice when in your placement schools. I thoroughly enjoyed my teaching training in this supportive and fun environment!’ 
Jess (2018 Graduate)

Why choose School Direct with us?

School Direct is a way of training teachers which puts schools at the heart of the process.

You won't be a "student".  You'll be an Associate Teacher, working in the classroom alongside the teacher in one of our core alliance schools, taking on some of the roles of a class teacher from the start.

The lead school of Aspirer School Direct is Ash Grove Academy, an "Outstanding" school in Macclesfield. 


We work with schools in the Macclesfield area, Wilmslow, Manchester (Fallowfield), Sandbach, Crewe, Northwich and Buxton.

We have designed a programme with our partners, Sheffield Hallam University (SHU), which is school based - Associate Teachers spend the vast majority of their time in the classroom - but supported by high quality professional development both at Aspirer and SHU.

We work in close partnership with SHU, sharing the teaching and assessment of Associate Teachers with them.  A recent OFSTED inspection of teacher training at SHU rated the provision, including the Primary and Early Years School Direct partnership as "Outstanding", saying,"Attainment of trainees across the primary phase and in all routes, is consistently high", that trainees are,"very well prepared for their future careers" and that there is,"excellent support provided to trainees to help them seek their first jobs, ensuring that employment rates have been consistently very high".


Our link with the Aspirer Research School also means that Associate Teachers have a direct link to the most up to date research about teaching improvements and internationally respected researchers.

Successful completion of the course will award you a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and 60 Masters Credits from Sheffield Hallam University.               

School Direct provides the ideal balance of practical experience and solid pedagogy. As a career changer with little school experience, it left me confident in the classroom, not just with day to day teaching but with being responsible for 30 little lives day to day. As a learning junkie, the Aspirer Teaching School equipped me with the very latest research based knowledge, skills and approaches. The perfect balance.

(Rebecca, 2018 Graduate)


You will:

  • spend the entire year learning how to teach in a real classroom;
  • work towards being an outstanding teacher; 
  • have experience of working in two contrasting schools and key stages over the course of the year;
  • be mentored by your Learning Coach, who will be an experienced, expert and outstanding teacher;
  • have a good expectation of employment in an Alliance school at the end of the course;
  • follow a rigorous but rewarding programme of professional development;
  • have lots of opportunity to collaborate with other Associate Teachers.
  • have access to the most up to date research evidence through the Aspirer Research School

To apply please click HERE and you will be taken to information about the courses that we run Primary (5-11), Primary Early Years (3-7) and Primary (5-11) Physical Education Specialism.  Click on "Recruitment and Selection" on this page for lots of helpful information that you will need before you apply.

For more information, to arrange a chat, visit one of the schools or arrange some school experience before applying, please contact Mark Avis (Aspirer School Direct Programme Leader) on or telephone 01606 288973