Secondary Teacher Training

Secondary Teacher Programme

Do you want to train to be a secondary school teacher?​

South Cumbria School Direct is based at Furness Academy, Barrow-in-Furness and works in close collaboration with the Ripley ITT in Lancaster.

We offer 12 month Primary and Secondary programmes which give you PGCE and recommendation for QTS. The PGCE is awarded by Leeds Beckett University and includes 60 credits at Master’s level.


For 2022-23 we are recruiting for the following 11-16 subjects:

As soon as you accept your place with SCSD you will be offered a range of pre-training events to help prepare you for your training year whilst enabling to meet your fellow trainees.

Our ITT curriculum begins early in September and involves teaching practice in school each week between Monday and Thursday, with Friday as a training day. The training days will be hosted and delivered by outstanding trainers and classroom practitioners, many of whom teach or lead in our partner schools. In addition, there will be subject pedagogy days during the year where you will focus on your subject specifically – developing the required subject expertise. These will be delivered by subject experts, who have been appointed due to their successful track record in subject leadership.

Across the year you will audit and develop your subject knowledge for the topics you will need to teach at KS3 and 4. Lead Subject Mentors will guide you towards great resources for this and you will be encouraged to join a professional subject association. A shared network drive enables you to share resources with each other and school mentors. We can also organise additional training courses and access to resources at no cost to you.

Leeds Beckett provide the PGCE for our ITT and this is all online. The modules perfectly compliment the training we deliver and you will gain 60 Master’s level credits-

Assessment of trainees for QTS is based on all of the following:

  • Regular observations of lessons with feedback and target setting
  • Grading against our curriculum strands at the end of each placement
  • Formative feedback about progress against our curriculum throughout the placement and against the Teachers’ Standards at the end of the course
  • Assessment of a Best Evidence Portfolio at the end of the programme.

You will complete placements in two partner schools. The first placement will begin early in September, an excellent time to see how rules and routines are established at the start of the academic year. You will start with focused lesson observations across the whole school before you join your subject department and begin to plan teach parts of lessons. After a few weeks you will be planning and delivering whole lessons, building up to approximately 7 hours per week by Christmas.

The second placement begins after Christmas in a different school which will give you a contrasting experience and broaden your professional development. Again, you will gradually increase your teaching timetable and for the last few weeks will be full time in school, teaching up to 12 hours per week at that point.

Placements are selected for you on the basis of high quality mentoring, strong subject departments, contrasting schools and reasonable commuting distance. We work with a wide range of schools located throughout South Cumbria and North Lancashire.

On both placements you will teach the full 11-16 age range in your subject.

There may also be opportunities to spend some time in other partner schools and settings as training needs arise. There will be additional opportunities to experience primary education and sixth form education on the programme.

As the lead school in the partnership, Furness Academy and Furness Education Trust have a successful track record in training teachers and have provided training and professional development for teachers at every stage of their career, from trainee to school leadership. The schools in our partnership are also highly experienced and we provide training placements in a range of diverse schools.

The schools and academies that form the partnership are:

  • Furness Academy
  • Walney School
  • Kirkbie Kendal School
  • The Lakes School
  • Millom School
  • Chetwynde School
  • St Bernard’s School
  • Dowdales School
  • Carnforth School

Our partner schools are involved in the recruitment and selection of trainees and have a real commitment to their training. Our trainees are highly valued and well supported at all stages of their training by expert practitioners and outstanding mentors. Trainees thoroughly enjoy the exciting and innovative curriculum which we have designed, and make excellent progress in our schools. Placements will be distributed across partner schools according to the training needs of successful applicants.

The South Cumbria School Direct programme will be delivered within the Ripley ITT partnership. As the Lead School in the partnership, Ripley St Thomas has a successful track record in training teachers. All The schools in the partnership are highly experienced and have all been graded outstanding or good by Ofsted.

Rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted

“The highly integrated structure and content of the programme produces confident teachers who are very well equipped to contribute immediately to their employing schools” – Ofsted

Read the full report here

Course Fees and Funding

National ITT bursaries, scholarships and tuition fee loans apply – please see the Department for Education website for more details.

  • £9250 PGCE and QTS
  • £7500 QTS only
Bursaries and Scholarship Information

Please see Get into Teaching and The Department for Education website for bursary and scholarship details.


Applicants who meet the entry requirements will be invited to interview at Furness Academy in Barrow in Furness. The interview process includes a written task, subject knowledge audit, short teaching task and panel interview. You will be interviewed by the Programme Leader, School Leads from across our partner schools and a teacher from your subject. Pupils will be involved in the teaching task. We are looking for the potential to be an excellent trainee, someone who is ready to start training in a school setting from early September. We are also looking for potential employees in our schools and the vast majority of our trainees go on to gain positions in local schools.


Throughout the selection process, the panel will consider your:

  • Quality of subject knowledge.
  • Ability to communicate effectively.
  • Capacity to establish effective relationships inside and outside the classroom.
  • Passion and drive to deliver the highest quality of educational standards.
  • Commitment to develop as an educator of character.
  • Suitability to train to teach and to meet the Teachers’ Standards by the end of training.
  • Flexibility to adapt to change and ability to think instantaneously.
  • Resilience and your ability to commit to tasks.
  • Time management and organisation.
  • Enrolment procedures and pre-course support

If successful at the  interview process, SCSD will then provide you with a conditional offer based on the selection process outcomes. If you choose to accept the offer, we will enrol you in our pre-course Microsoft Team so that you can begin to get to know your new colleagues from your cohort. We will also use this Team to get information to you and share some resources to prepare you for the start of your course.



Qualifications Required

UK Bachelors degree or equivalent

Ideally your degree would be a class 2:2 or above and in a subject relevant to the secondary subject you wish to teach, but there are Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses available for shortage subjects such as Maths and  Science.

All candidates must have GCSE grade 4/C or above in English and mathematics or an equivalent qualification.

Personal Qualities

We are looking for people who are keen to learn in a school setting and this model suits trainees who are able to learn as they go along and incorporate their own experience into this learning process. Successful applicants will have an understanding of the professionalism and resilience needed to become a teacher and to be reflective learners. A real commitment to a career in teaching, a love of their subject and positive attitude towards young people are essential qualities.


As part of the enrolment process, you will be required to complete documentation including safeguarding checks which are outlined below.

Statutory Safeguarding Checks

South Cumbria School Direct are required by statutory guidance to make specific safeguarding checks on everyone we place in schools. We undertake the following documentary checks as part of our programme registration process.


South Cumbria School Direct checks your identity against the DBS approved list of documents, most commonly:

  • Passport
  • Photo driving licence (UK)
  • Utility bill or bank statement (dated in the last 3 months)

Right to Work in the UK

  • Valid or Expired UK/EU passport or
  • Non-EU passport with visa and Biometric Residence Permit or
  • EU National ID card or
  • Full UK birth certificate and NI number or
  • Certificate of Naturalisation and NI number

Criminal Record Check

  • Enhanced DBS Enclosure from Protocol Education dated within 12 months or
  • Enhanced DBS Enclosure with valid Update Service subscription
  • Overseas Police Check (where applicable)

Barred List

  • Checked as part the Enhanced DBS Check and then re-checked annually

Prohibition from Teaching Orders

  • Checked against the DfE database

Entry References (2 required)

  • Most recent employer
  • One other professional reference
  • University tutor and references from school placements (work-based and volunteering)
  • Non-school references and character references are accepted where you have not previously worked in schools.

Health Check

Before being accepted onto the programme, all trainees must satisfy the DfE requirements with regards to health and capacity to teach. You will be required to complete a confidential medical questionnaire if you are offered a place on our training courses.


Other requirements

All applicants who are successful at interview will need the following before they can start:

  • DBS and barred list check
  • Medical check
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK for the duration of the programme

It is important that you have a good awareness of what the role of a teacher involves so that you can be sure it is the right career choice for you. We offer school experience for people at all stages of this career decision, including after interview, in order to support you with this.

We welcome applicants of all ages, from university graduation to mature career changers.


Interested in becoming a teacher?