Schools Direct

As a part of Westcounty Schools Trust (WeST) we run Initial Teaching Training Programmes in a number of subjects in conjunction with Exeter University.  All our programmes lead to a University of Exeter PGCE with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Key Points:

We work with primary and secondary schools to deliver a fantastic programme of opportunity

Exeter University is an outstanding ITT provider in the South West

Ivybridge Community College is your ‘home’ school (additional to your two placement schools) and is a support network for all your training needs

You have a Lead Mentor and a Reflective Mentor in each placement, you have a University Visiting Tutor (UVT)


  • On the School Direct Training Programme you could be eligible for a tax-free bursary of up to £25,000, dependent on the subject you want to teach and the degree class that you hold.  You may also be eligible for a scholarship in certain subjects. Applications for School Direct are through Department of Education Apply ITT (from October 2021-22). The application system will show the subjects and number of places offered by each lead school.
  • Successful completion of a School Direct course with these two partners will lead to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and a PGCE.
  • Trainees on the School Direct Training Programme, who are eligible for bursary funding and scholarships, will receive bursaries in the same way as trainees on other postgraduate ITT routes.
  • Scholarships may be available for candidates who wish to teach priority subjects, and are awarded by the relevant subject associations through a competitive application process.  Please visit the DfE website for more information on how to assess whether trainees are eligible for a bursary or scholarship.
  • The partner ITT provider will receive an allocation of bursary funding from the NCTL for all eligible ITT places, including those bursaries allocated for School Direct places.  The provider will then pay the trainee the bursary directly.

The University of Exeter is the provider for the Westcounty Schools Trust School Direct Programme, recognised by the NCTL and Ofsted as an outstanding provider of Primary and Secondary teacher education.

Why study a PGCE at the University of Exeter?

6th in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research in Education and influencer of national education policy

Ranked 3rd amongst university providers of initial teacher training in the Good Teacher Training Guide 2017

Consistently recognised by Ofsted and the National College for Teaching & Leadership as an outstanding provider of Primary and Secondary initial teacher education

Very high student satisfaction with 96 percent of our former trainees rating our provision of training as good or very good (NQT survey 2015)

Partnership arrangements with over 250 schools

Fantastic choice of PGCE programmes making Exeter one of the 10 largest PGCE providers in the UK

Home to one of the largest education libraries in the UK

Excellent graduate employment statistics, with 91 percent of PGCE trainees who achieved QTS in the 2014-15 cohort securing a teaching post within 6 months of completion