“The Schools Direct Route with The NSCTSA has definitely been the best route into teaching for me. The additional support that you receive from Cal and Julie is second to none and being in a department that is used to supporting trainees – and know Edge Hill’s expectations – meant that I felt supported every step of the way. Knowing where I was going to be placed well in advance of placement starting was also extremely reassuring for me as I was able to familiarise myself with school policy and schemes of work well in advance of the start date. It also meant that I was able to shape my university assignments around subjects that I knew would be beneficial to me in my second placement. The Tuesday morning CDP sessions also meant that I got the opportunity to visit all of the schools before my second placement, giving me a feel for them and allowing me to see different settings.

I was lucky enough to secure a job at a local school during my first placement and know that the additional support and community links that I have gained as part of The NSCTSA played a significant role in this.

I think the most beneficial part of The NSCTSA has been the supportive network of trainees across different subjects. They have undoubtedly become part of my support network both in and out of placement.

Benefits of schools direct:

  • You know where you are going from the outset and there are never delays to being placed
  • Support to source enrichment placements
  • Guaranteed regular PM sessions
  • Be in a school that is used to supporting trainees and knows the expectations of Edge Hill
  • Additional CPD
  • Large group of trainees that become your support network
  • Support to gain jobs”

“Training with the NSCTSA was ideal as it meant that I had the security of placements in the Southport area which was a huge advantage over other trainees just doing the PGCE route. Not having to travel too far to placement is extremely helpful in terms of time management during a very busy year. Additionally the support from Cal and the rest of the team was brilliant and gave me an optimistic start to my teaching career.” 

“I would definitely recommend the Schools Direct route purely for the level of extra support you are given. Weekly training sessions in the Alliance schools encourages development of teaching and learning practice and enables you to create a network of reliable, dedicated teachers. The programme coordinators are there to support you personally through your training journey, providing an extra layer of confidence and familiarity when the course gets stressful. Also, you have the added benefit of knowing your placement schools well in advance; a huge plus for me has been staying in the local area of Sefton and Formby. All of the schools in the Alliance are fantastic, from the staff to the environments and standards. I am proud to have chosen North Sefton Coastal Teaching Schools Alliance for my PGCE and feel much more prepared to start my teaching career as a result of their training and guidance.”

“The North Sefton Coastal Teaching School’s Alliance was vital in terms of my personal progress for my professional development; I knew from the outset which schools I was going to be placed in, and therefore I was in contact with my schools whilst other PGCE students were still waiting to hear where they were going to be placed. 

The Coastal Alliance provided myself with key training, extra support when needed and brilliant schools to train in. I would highly recommend the School Direct Route over other teacher training courses. You have all the benefits of a PGCE course, whilst also having the great working relationship with the schools within the cluster. I am currently working in an excellent school within the Coastal Alliance: a school that I trained in during my PGCE.”

Dan McArthur

“I would recommend that School Direct programme with the North Sefton Coastal Teaching School Alliance.

I found that being part of the alliance has allowed me to be more successful as I was aware of my placements school well in advance of starting. I really valued additional training sessions from real world teachers who have helped me develop in my teaching.

 I have also benefited from having extra support from the alliance which is important as I want to be the best teacher I can be. I now feel that I will be successful during my NQT and longer teaching career.” 

“I would recommend undertaking the School Direct programme with the North Sefton Coastal Teaching School Alliance as you have more control over where your placements are compared with the traditional PGCE. All the schools are in Southport and Formby and the majority are graded ‘outstanding’. As someone who lives locally in Southport I found this a real benefit compared with PGCE colleagues who had to travel far distances to their placement schools. It also means that you get to know the schools in the area really well and become aware of any job opportunities very quickly. The Tuesday morning training sessions are held at schools in the local area and give you a practical and real-world insight into the different issues you might face as a teacher compared with the theoretical sessions at university. I now feel very well prepared for my NQT year in September.”

“The coastal alliance is a great opportunity for extra training and interaction between trainees at different schools. Thank you!” – Initial Teacher Training Student, 2016