School Direct

The Penistone Area Partnership is a fantastic place to work and learn. It provides a unique school-based learning opportunity in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University who are the initial provider, following the School Direct model offering a PGCE with QTS.


This is an inspirational partnership of primary and secondary schools, many of which have achieved Good or better Ofsted ratings, as has the education programme of its partner university. Within the partnership you will learn alongside dedicated professionals who will support and guide you in your teaching journey.


All this alongside our excellent bespoke CPD programme, dedicated coaches, and incredible students, you will have to look hard to find a better partnership to learn to be a teacher. The lead primary school in the partnership is Penistone St Johns with Penistone Grammar School being the lead secondary school.


Why choose School Direct & the Penistone Area Partnership?

School Direct offers a bespoke program that will develop and support every trainee during their training year. From day 1 you are at your host school building relationships with students, meeting your colleagues and learning the systems of the school. We believe this approach supports trainee teachers better than other teaching routes because of the relationships you will build with students and staff from day 1. The programme also offers bespoke CPD that is tailored to support and develop your needs and provide you with strategies you can apply in your teaching.


The vision, shared by all the schools, is straightforward but powerful – the highest standards of education and care for all. We prepare our young people to be responsible and ethical global citizens.  We equip them with the skills, knowledge and understanding that will allow them to develop the creativity, resilience and tenacity to take on the challenges of growing up in the 21st century.  We try to create an environment in which staff, pupils and trainee teachers feel valued and supported.

The schools in the partnership have all worked with trainee teachers for many years and fully recognise how much vibrancy, enthusiasm and drive they can offer to a school community. A School Direct placement with us will provide an excellent experience, fully equipping you to excel in your NQT year and beyond.

Located in the beautiful surroundings of the Peak District and within easy commuting distance of Sheffield, Huddersfield and Leeds, a placement with Penistone Area Partnership offers you the opportunity to develop your practice in one of our excellent partner schools with the support of a dedicated and experienced team of staff.

As we have a diverse range of participating schools and settings within the partnership, we can offer you a wide range of teaching and training opportunities ranging from Key stages 1 to 5.  You will gain experience in the Key stage you wish to teach and have a short placement in the stages either side, confident in the knowledge that you are contributing to creating a culture where success is achievable for all.

Did you know?

  • SHU will reimburse you for your travel costs to university on a Friday

  • From 2019/20, SHU will be working with Trauma Informed Schools to offer training on Relationship Management and Working with Children, unique to SHU

  • All SKE’s have a bursary attached to support you over the summer whilst you study, which now includes Computer Science. Once a conditional offer is given, you will be contacted regarding a possible SKE depending on your requirements

  • Your professional standards portfolio is completed ONLINE, one of the first in the UK to offer this

  • SHU is the 4th largest provide to teacher training

  • We work with a variety of schools across Huddersfield, Wakefield and Barnsley

How to Apply

All applications for teacher training must go through UCAS. For further information on how to access teacher training, visit the Get Into Teaching website.

Applicants should be able to see information about our training programmes on the UCAS site from early October each year.


We also advise you to ensure that you have agreed and received references from two contrasting referees in order to submit your application.

Bursaries and Scholarships are available for unsalaried School Direct. Full breakdown of incentives for 2021-22. 


Entry requirements

  • A UK honours degree preferably at classification 2:1 or above or a recognised equivalent qualification in a relevant subject area. (Though we are willing to consider applicants who have a 2:2 who can demonstrate a real aptitude for teaching.)

  • GCSE English, Maths (and Science for Primary) at Grade 4 (C) or above or equivalent*. You must have these at the time of applying.

  • We recommend you gain school experience during the year, before or after application to prepare you for the course.

*For details of GCSE equivalents please contact Sheffield Hallam University on 01142255555 If English is not your first language; you will need an IELTS average score of 7.0 with at least 6.5 in all skills or a TOEFL score of 570 (paper based) or 235 (computer based).

How We Select
St John’s Primary School and Penistone Grammar School ALC are the lead schools in the partnership and will be co-ordinating the recruitment process on behalf of the partnership. We consider each application on its merits. Suitable applicants will be invited to a selection event involving an interview.

As you will be working with children, you will be required to complete a declaration of criminal convictions and health check forms.

The selection process will involve some time spent at one of the partnership schools and may include teaching or supporting a 15 minute observed session, written tasks for literacy and numeracy and a personal interview. You will be told in advance about the content of the lesson and the age group you may be teaching or supporting. Our University partner and staff from other schools in the partnership may also be involved and have a say in the selection. It is a rigorous and thorough process, designed to get the best match of applicant to the places available.


Meet the Team

The team is led by Mr G Teasdale (Director of Teacher Development: School Direct & ITT) and Mr J Garcia (Director of Teacher Development: Teaching & Learning).

For further information, or to arrange school experience, please contact Mr G Teasdale at Penistone Grammar School on 01226762114 or at

For further  information on training with one of our partner primary schools or to arrange school experience please contact Lynn Fieldsend or Pat Cartwright at Penistone St. John’s Primary school on 01226762496 or email

For further information about training to teach in the Yorkshire region, please visit


Mr G Teasdale
Director of Teacher Development
(School Direct & ITT)

Mr J Garcia
Director of Teacher Development
(Teaching & Learning)

Primary Link
Penistone St John's Primary School