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Mercia Learning Alliance

Who We Are

Our vision as Mercia Learning Alliance is to become a centre of educational excellence with a national reputation.  Our ethos is that every professional in our alliance should strive to be the absolute best they can be.  This places professional learning at the centre of all that we do and we see initial teaching training as integral to this.

The Mercia School Direct Primary course is overseen by Dore Primary School. Dore has been at the heart of School Centred Initial Teacher Training for over 20 years, and has worked with many providers for the more recent School Direct programmes of study.  Dore Primary was a founding member of the ‘National SCITT in Outstanding Primary Schools’ in the late 1990s, and have been advocates of the school-centred approach to teacher training ever since.  Our Mercia School Direct programme is accredited by The Sheffield SCITT.

Why train with us

We believe that teaching is a wonderful and inspiring profession, for both the children we teach and for the lifelong learning we are privileged to pursue ourselves.

As educators, we need a firm foundation from which to build excellence. Our training programme offers such a foundation.

Our offer to each person who studies and learns with us is that they will:

  • Receive excellent, well trained and regular support in the schools in which they teach.
  • Learn up to date and relevant pedagogical theory which will have practical implications for them in the classroom.
  • Work in a range of schools with a range of contexts. All trainees will spend time in two schools with all of the following between them:
    • A high percentage of high ability pupils;
    • A high percentage of disadvantaged pupils from low income families;
    • A high percentage of pupils who speak English as an additional language;
    • An outstanding judgement.
  • Be able to link with the other trainees to form a group who learn and develop together.

Our partnership schools are all committed to finding and developing their own teachers, therefore they are committed to their trainees - you won't find yourself as a visitor just passing through a school to carry out a placement for someone else's course. Our alliance schools aim to supply most of their Newly Qualified Teacher needs from recruitment of their own trainees, meaning you will be working in schools who will invest in you as an integral and important member of their staff team.

We offer unrivalled choice in terms of type of school and location across Sheffield to train and work in, but we remain small enough to know every trainee as an individual and give every partner school a voice in the running of this training programme.

At Mercia we are passionate about education and the difference it makes to young people and society as a whole. If you share our passion, please come and join us!

Our Approach to ITT

The 100% school-based approach we use means our own outstanding teachers are at the heart of your development. You will train by working alongside - and being mentored by - people who won't ask you to do anything they can't demonstrate by doing well themselves.  They will be working with the same children you will be teaching, meaning conversations regarding pedagogy and methodology are pertinent and relevant.

With no blocks of time out at a University you will also experience the full cycle of the school year from welcoming and settling new students in September to celebrating the success of school leavers in July and the full annual cycle between.  By the end of your year with us, you will be ready to teach across the full year as an NQT.

We offer two Primary courses:
Primary PGCE with QTS
Primary with QTS

Where to Find Us

The Mercia Learning Alliance website can be found here.

Dore Primary is the lead school for the Primary teacher training programme within Mercia Learning Alliance.

Schools that we are currently working with are:

  • The Nether Edge Primary School
  • Totley Primary School 
  • Hunters Bar Infants School
  • Brunswick Primary School

To find out more about the course, or to apply to train with us, search for Mercia Learning Alliance on UCAS.

 For more information about teacher training: