The Training Centre
By Aspire
Dec 14 20



School Direct Training Programme (Tuition Fee)

Initial Teacher Training is an exciting opportunity for exceptional individuals who wish to pursue a career in teaching. Working in collaboration with The Pilgrim Partnership, we offer the School Direct programme, a practical ‘hands-on’ programme, designed to nurture the talents of future generations of outstanding teachers.

Our School Direct tuition fee route into teaching training is structured on a blended learning model, comprised of subject lectures, master lectures, context-based learning and school placements. Trainees following this route will work towards QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) and are supported to study towards an accredited PGCE. This approach to learning equips trainees with the knowledge, skills and understanding of the key aspects required to be an effective teacher.

On this route, trainees meet weekly at their training venue, but spend the majority of their time in schools and will experience two contrasting school placements across the age ranges of either 3-7 or 5-11. Our training locations and placement schools are based throughout Hertfordshire, so applicants must be happy to travel within this area.

The Training Centre by Aspire is committed to training our next generation of outstanding teachers and is looking for candidates who are ambitious and enthusiastic, with a wide range of skills, knowledge, experiences and an aptitude for teaching.

Entry Criteria

Those wishing to apply to the programme must fulfil the following criteria before making an application:

  • An honours degree in any discipline, awarded by a UK Higher Education Institution (or recognised equivalent qualification).
  • Grade C or above in GCSE English, Maths and Science.

Prior experience in a school is not required.

We welcome candidates who have studied outside the UK, but trainees will need to check first with ENIC to establish if their qualifications are equivalent to UK GCSEs, A levels or an undergraduate degree.

Fees & Funding

The School Direct tuition fees for 2022 are £9,250.

This route is open to all graduates and is funded by tuition fees paid by the trainee.

Candidates can apply to the Student Loans Company for a tuition fee loan to be paid on their behalf. Candidates may also be eligible for a maintenance loan and/or grant dependent upon their circumstances.


We consider a wide range of evidence to judge applicants’ suitability to train to teach. This will include:

  • Information from application forms, including the personal statement.
  • The quality of spelling, grammar and punctuation within the application.
  • Relevant references.
  • References should be either professional (from an employer or recent previous employer) or academic (either from a recognised academic institution in which you studied, or one in which you have worked or volunteered). References should include a professional email address. 

All applications for entry onto our teacher training programme must be made through the DfE Apply system.


Candidates will be invited by email to attend an interview.  This usually takes place in one of our partnership schools. Elements of the interview are:

  • Meet the panel.
  • Spend time interacting with children in a classroom.
  • Read a story to the children in the same class.
  • Formal interview questions.
  • Written task.
  • Fundamental skills audits in English and mathematics.
  • Candidates attending interview for a SEND setting will spend time with a pupil panel answering questions.

If face-to-face interviews cannot take place due to Covid-19 the interview process will take place via Teams. Elements of the interview are:

  • Meet the panel.
  • Read a story to the panel (as though they are your class of children).
  • Formal interview questions.
  • Written task.
  • Fundamental skills audits in English and mathematics.
  • Candidates attending interview for a SEND setting will be invited to visit one of the special schools by arrangement.