School Direct Teacher Training in partnership with the University of Birmingham


We offer school direct initial teacher training programme in partnership with the University of Birmingham, whom we work with to recruit and select trainees and provide a high-quality training programme. This route into teacher training places school-based experiences at the heart of your training. You will begin your training in our lead school Victoria Park Academy, learning from experienced professionals and giving you a sound basis from which to begin to apply theory to practice.
Successful completion of our programme leads to the award of Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDipED) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).The course will provide 120 Master’s level credits, enabling you to progress on to an MA in Teaching Studies at the University of Birmingham if you wish. 


Why train with us?

We are invested in school direct training because we want to train, develop and retain our own teachers so they go on to become future teachers and leaders within our Trust. We have been involved in teacher training since 2015 and have employed almost 50% of the teachers we have trained in schools across our Trust.

From the start of your training, you will benefit from high-quality learning experiences alongside skilled teachers who will help you understand what good teaching looks like so you can become the best teacher you can be.

All students are assigned mentors during their school-based placements, who provide individualised support on a day to day basis and are committed to developing creative, innovative and passionate teachers. You will also have the opportunity to network as a group of students during Trust sessions aimed to develop your skills and practice further in a supportive, peer-to-peer environment

See what some of the teachers we have trained and employed have to say about the support they recieved from our training...

Martin Year 5 Teacher

“I was supported really well through my training and strongly believe that gave me the best start to my teaching career.”

Tanya Year 3 Teacher

“My mentors were very supportive, very helpful and very kind. I don’t think I could have had a better experience!”

Laura Year 5 Teacher

“My mentors couldn’t have been more supportive. They invested a lot of time in me and their encouragement and feedback really helped me to develop as a teacher.”

Why train to teach?

Listen to what some of our previous students, who now work in our schools, love most about teaching:

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge"

Albert Einstein

Course Overview

The course begins in September 2021 and lasts for one academic year. Over the year your time is shared between time in school and set training days at the University of Birmingham, where you will focus on key educational theory and practice. Alongside this you will attend additional twilight training sessions hosted by Victoria Academies Trust designed to help develop your teaching skills further.

During your training year, you will complete two school based attachments within the nine primary schools that form Victoria Academies Trust.  Although all of our schools have shared values, ethos and approach, you will find the schools very diverse, preparing you well for life after training. Just some of the diverse differences across our schools include pupils with English as an additional language; schools with a social enterprise; a school with an autism base; schools with nursery settings and without; small one-form entry schools to larger three-form entry schools and a new free school which opened its doors in 2019.

Our Academy Trust schools include:


Victoria Park Primary Academy (Smethwick)

Devonshire Infant Academy (Smethwick)

Devonshire Junior Academy (Smethwick)

Northfield Manor Primary Academy (Northfield)

Fibbersley Park Primary Academy (Willenhall)

Foley Park Primary Academy (Kidderminster)

Birchen Coppice Primary Academy (Kidderminster)

Rowley Park Primary Academy (Stafford)

Poppyfield Primary Academy (Cannock)

Course Requirements

We are looking for enthusiastic and committed trainees, who have a passion for working with children and a desire to become outstanding practitioners and the ‘best they can be’. School experience is not required but we would strongly recommend spending time in schools to be sure that teaching is the right profession for you. If you are looking for a school placement and experience prior to your teacher training application, contact

Applicants must have:

  • Grade 4/ C or above in GCSE English, mathematics and science.
  • A good honours degree, preferably 2:1 or above (although we will consider a 2:2 classification on a case by case basis)

You must also:

  • Complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before taking up a place
  • Complete relevant checks to ensure you have the health and physical capacity to teach
  • Agree to abide by the University of Birmingham Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise

Applying for School Direct 2021

Applications to train with Victoria Academies Trust are made via UCAS teacher training, which opens on October 13th 2020.

Fees and Funding

The cost of undertaking the programme is £9,250. Once individuals have accepted a place, they can make applications for tuition fee loans through Student Finance England, to cover the cost of their training. Bursaries and Scholarships are also available to eligible individuals to part or fully fund their training.

For more information on funding:

Find out more information about teacher training with Victoria Academies

To find out more about our teacher training course and our Trust, get in touch with