Train to Teach

Train to Teach

We offer three different teacher training routes, all of which will help you to achieve your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in primary or secondary school settings.

  • School Direct
  • Level 6 Teacher Apprenticeships
  • Assessment Only

Painsley Catholic College is an outstanding 11-18 academy in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Painsley Catholic College School Direct and Level 6 Teacher Apprentices consortium is a group of very friendly, supportive schools, passionate about creating the next generation of teachers. Painsley Catholic College became a National Teaching School in 2014 and was designated Teaching School Hub status in February 2021, serving Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire Moorlands, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stafford.  The school is one of only 40 National Maths Hubs in the country and was designated one of 18 Secondary School Behaviour Hubs in April 2021.

We hold recruitment and information events throughout the year in partnership with other alliances, universities and SCITTs (school-centred initial teacher training). Please email to be added to our mailing list or follow our social media, The Golden Thread Teaching School Hub on Facebook or @GoldenThreadTSH on Twitter.

School Direct

Thank you for your interest in our School Direct.

Please click here for our 2022-2023 brochure.

For more information on primary teacher training, please click here to view the KNSTE brochure.

Applications for 2022-2023 are now open on DfE Find Teacher Training.

We work in partnership with the University of Derby for secondary and KNSTE SCITT (Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education school-centred initial teacher training) for primary training.

As a consortium, we aim to provide high quality, school based initial teacher training. We believe our provision ensures trainees feel fully prepared for life in the classroom and a career in education. The schools work closely with the partner universities and SCITTs in the hub area to ensure that our School Direct students gain their Teaching Qualification giving them qualified teacher status (QTS) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). You will experience placements in 2 of our consortium schools throughout the year, as well as opportunities to visit the other schools for educational and professional studies. There may also be opportunities to visit our partner special school for short placements.

All our staff are exceptionally skilled and passionate practitioners and you are welcome to contact us to discuss your chosen career.

School Direct is a route into teaching which moves the focus of study from a university-based course to a school-based course.

Whether you have just finished a degree, or have been working in a career for many years, the School Direct route enables you to learn to teach, whilst actually doing the job, maximizing the time spent in school.

Our programme aims:

  • the majority of the school year is based in one main host school from our consortium, with expert support from current outstanding teachers;
  • a second school placement in a school differing in context to your main host school;
  • at least 60 training days in total, with sessions taught by school colleagues and university tutors;
  • PGCE with up to 60 masters credits;
  • highly trained and experienced in-school mentors;
  • strong support provided by The Golden Thread Teaching School Hub, which has the added benefit of being one of only 40 national Maths Hubs and one of 18 Secondary School Behaviour Hubs, designated by the DfE;
  • networking opportunities with trainees from other schools;
  • a personalised approach to your training;
  • support to secure a teaching position on completion of the course.

The training programme we have designed will build your confidence and subject knowledge and give you the necessary skills to become an effective classroom practitioner. Throughout this time you will be supported by a highly-trained mentor who will hold weekly meetings to review your progress and set targets. As your confidence grows, you will deliver parts of lessons on your own, taking on more responsibility until you are teaching full lessons.

As part of your further development, you will undertake one other placement at another school, usually in a different context to your ‘home’ school. There will also be the opportunity to spend a varying amount of time in other school settings to further enhance your learning through experiencing a diverse range of educational settings. Our placement strategy is aimed at giving you the best preparation possible for a successful teaching career.

Level 6 Apprenticeships

The Golden Thread Teaching School Hub offer Level 6 Apprenticeships in both primary and secondary schools. These posts provide an excellent opportunity to gain employment in a school and valuable classroom experience, whilst achieving your QTS status to become a fully qualified teacher. You will have one to one support from both school based subject and university mentors, whilst working alongside experienced practitioners from the Teaching School Hub. You will have one day a week off timetable to complete your off-the-job training, including sessions with The Golden Thread Teaching School Hub and the University of Derby.

As you will be employed by the school, apprenticeship opportunities are available based on the needs of the individual schools. Please check the DfE Find Teacher Training website and our social media for advertisements or email to be added to our mailing list.

What are the entry criteria?

Placements on either training programme will be conditional to:

  • a degree qualificationfrom the UK (or equivalent). Please note, preference will be given to applicants with a 2:1 classification or higher. For secondary places, if your degree does not have direct relevance to the subject you wish to teach, you will need to hold an A level in that subject.  We will consider a 2:2 degree for exceptional candidates.
  • we recommend that all applicants have carried out at least 2 weeks work experience in a school, within the last 2 years.  We are a SEP placement school – see the links below.
  • GCSE English and Maths Grade C/level 4 or above(and Science grade C/level 4 if you are applying for a Primary place).
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance.
  • Occupational health screening to show you have a suitable level of health to work.
  • Entitlement to live and work in the UK.

What places are available?

We have wide range of places available in primary and secondary schools across the partnership. Most of our places are through the School Direct route, where tuition fees must be paid and you will work towards gaining a PGCE and QTS. Our 2022-2023 brochure for further details on current subjects and phases on offer will be available for you to download from mid September 2021.  This comprehensive brochure will guide you through the application process and the financial information.

School Direct Places

Trainees on a School Direct Training Programme will have to pay tuition fees to cover the cost of the course, but home and EU trainees will be eligible for a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of these fees. Bursaries are available from the National College of Teaching and Learning (NCTL) in many subjects (particularly shortage secondary school subjects such as maths, physics and MfL). They are dependent on your degree classification. This route into teaching is for high quality graduates who want to be part of a school team from day one. Please see our brochure (coming soon) for details of our 2022-2023 placements and financial information.

How to apply

Full details of how to apply for School Direct places can be found at the DfE Find Postgraduate Teacher Training website, click here.

Prior to our application window opening, we strongly suggest you:

  • Begin obtaining two references to support your application.
  • Ensure you have recent work experience in a school (with the age range you wish to teach.) This will prove invaluable when writing your personal statement and during the interview process. One way to gain experience can be through the School Experience Programme (SEP).
  • Read our brochure and sign up to our next information event (please see the Events Calendar for latest dates)

If you have any further questions in relation to the School Direct programme please contact our Teaching School Hub Administrator, Louise Bullock, by emailing

We wish you luck with your application.