School Direct Training Programme

STEP Mission Statement: At STEP Academy Trust, we are committed to improving the life chances of all children. Where we have the capacity to make a difference, we are morally bound to do so.

Underpinning STEP Academy Trust is a shared belief that together academies can achieve things which are not possible on their own. Like a family, close collaboration and generosity of spirit, which includes transferring teaching staff to support vulnerable partners, ensures educational transformation can be achieved. A key principle of STEP Academy Trust is that member Academies maintain their own character. Although independent, by working in partnership, the STEP Academies are able to reach heights which would not be possible on their own. Currently, we have seven Academies in our partnership, located within the London Boroughs of Croydon, Bromley and Southwark. Those located in Croydon: Applegarth, David Livingstone, Gonville, Heathfield and Wolsey Juniors. In Bromley: our French specialist Free School, La Fontaine Academy and in Southwark: Angel Oak.

Having supported many terrific School Direct students previously, we relish the opportunity to give the support to enable every student to achieve their ambition to become outstanding educators.

Our University Partner – Roehampton University

The University of Roehampton has been at the forefront of teacher education for over 100 years and has a long-established, international reputation as one of the principal providers of teacher education in the UK. Many members of the academic staff are at the cutting edge of research in teacher education, which has a positive impact on the quality of provision for all of their students; and all tutors have extensive teaching experience in schools with many having served as consultants or as Ofsted inspectors.

The University views the support of its students as an integral part of its role. Every student studying on the PGCE course is there because Roehampton consider that he or she has the potential to become an outstanding, effective teacher. Roehampton recognises that teaching is a rewarding but demanding career and that there are times when even the best students will face challenges. Every student benefits from the strong support system in the School of Education as well as having individual named tutors to whom they can turn for advice and support.

Qualification Outcome – PGCE (M)

PGCE with Masters Credits. Successfully completing all aspects of the course, both during your school experiences and university based learning, will gain you the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Master Credits.


The programme is designed to support you in developing a range of skills that are required to become a successful primary school teacher. We want you to:

  • Become an effective classroom practitioner; planning and delivering engaging and stimulating lessons;
  • Appreciate the similarities and differences in pupils, particularly in terms of their needs, their behaviour and attainment and how to plan for this in your lessons;
  • Develop a critical understanding of the curriculum and pedagogy;
  • Begin to understand the complex range of whole school issues, the values and assumptions which underpin them and their application to school and classroom practice.

This is achieved through the collaborative approach between teaching placements within STEP and university based learning at the University of Roehampton.

Academic Requirements

The PGCE is a challenging, exciting and rigorous course. The entry requirements are, therefore, necessarily stringent, both academically and personally.

Applicants should ideally have a 2:1 in a relevant degree but candidates with 2:2s will be considered. You will also need at least grade C or above at GCSE in English Language, Mathematics and Science.

If you studied outside of the UK, you should visit the National Academic Recognition centre (NARIC) website to find out whether your qualifications are of an equivalent level to UK GCSEs, A Levels and an undergraduate degree.