The key similarities and differences between a local university and  school direct (non-salaried) route through MVTP are as follows:


  • Both University and School Direct (non-salaried) routes with MVTP schools can lead to a full PGCE qualification with credits towards a Masters degree.
  • They follow a core curriculum that involves practical teaching with academic studies into teaching pedagogy and specific subject studies outside of a classroom.
  • They attract the same access to bursaries, scholarships and student loans to help fund fees and living expenses.
  • They involve an A and B placement school experience.
  • They require a formal application through DfE APPLY.
  • They have comparable eligibility criteria and interview procedures.


  • School Direct (non-salaried) trainees have up to 10 weeks more practical teaching experience in schools.
  • School Direct (non-salaried) trainees can apply and choose the school that they wish to train in. This becomes the “home” school and is responsible for delivering the majority of your school-based training.  Universities choose the schools that you will train in.
  • School Direct (non-salaried) trainees begin their training on first school day of new year or 1st September and gain experience of school life right from the beginning of a school year. University trainees visit their A placement school end of September for observation week and then begin their teaching experience from mid-October.
  • School Direct (non-salaried) trainees train at their home (chosen) school from the beginning of the course until Mid February. From then until End- March you will be on a  B placement contrasting school and then from End-March – End of course in June, back to your home school.
  • There is no home school with the University course. You have two placements. A placement is from Mid Oct – Christmas the B placement at a contrasting school from Mid Feb – End of course.
  • School Direct (non-salaried) trainees with MVTP can opt for the cheaper QTS course at £7,100 recognised throughout England and Wales or an upgrade to a full PGCE for an extra £1,950*. The upgrade to the full PGCE can be taken in the year of training or up to two years after completion of training.
  • The University course are typically full PGCE at £9250* and is completed in your training year.
  • There is often only a single place in each subject area for school direct (non-salaried) trainees in a particular school although there are numerous positions within a partnership of school. There are often multiple places on university courses
(*fees to be confirmed)

There is no doubt that Schools are looking more and more at trainees following the SCHOOL DIRECT route.


  • As much as the trainee chooses the school, through the interview process the school chooses the trainee. This already creates a working bond between trainee and school as there is already a trust that the school’s children will have a positive experience when taught by the trainee.
  • The bond between mentor and trainee is enhanced because you will working together at your home school for all but approximately six weeks of a second placement, and if employed, beyond your training year.
  • Schools see School Direct trainees as an investment towards the calibre of staff that they would like to employ in the future.
  • The act of teaching is a practical activity. With the extra time that School Direct trainees are able to practise and hone their skills, practically in front of a class, the more competent they are likely to become.
  • Schools have a much greater involvement in the training process and much of this training is focused directly at the employing of practical skills in teaching and learning.
  • The majority of training is led by practicing teachers who are able to advise on the latest developments in education and on what that means for the teacher of today working in the school environment.
  • The trainee is fully exposed to the ethos of their home school and will often be employed by their home school at the end of their training period.
  • Because you begin your course at the beginning of the new school year, you feel and are viewed by staff and students more as a new member of staff and not just a trainee teacher
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