Southampton University Partnership Alliance (SUPA) is a unique collaboration which combines the expertise of highly experienced teachers in secondary schools across three counties (Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire), with the renowned academic support of the education faculty at the University of Southampton.

Our training programme allows you, as a trainee teacher, to develop strong links with your home school from the very beginning, along with regular academic input from the University of Southampton - we think it’s the best of both worlds. With the SUPA experience, you will know your home school at least 3 months before you begin your training – plenty of time to visit and meet everybody.

You will then spend the first two weeks of the autumn term in your home school. You will get to know your new colleagues, and your new school, before joining the University of Southampton PGCE course. Throughout the year, you will attend training days at the University of Southampton along with other trainee teachers. This gives you access to excellent pedagogical and subject specific training and a network of trainee teachers who can support and help you.

Your home school mentors will support you throughout the whole year – even visiting when you are in your complementary placement school. All our home schools have a proven passion for developing new entrants into the profession. They have worked with the University of Southampton for many years and provide strong and knowledgeable guidance which will help you grow into a highly employable secondary teacher. Once you are qualified, our trainees usually find a job locally often within the SUPA alliance.

Jamie Biggs
Secondary Maths School Direct trainee
Bishop Wordsworth’s School
Why did you choose School Direct?

Having graduated from university with a scientific degree I spent a little time working for a large pharmaceutical company: the job, although rewarding, didn’t satisfy the way I wanted my career to go, at which point I looked into a PGCE Science at the University of Southampton.

How was the course?

I was placed at two really contrasting schools. This provided me with real variety and I developed a range of skills which I will be able to apply throughout my career. The school based part of the course was very supportive and the University gave great guidance throughout.

Top Tip

Make sure you listen to teachers; they are willing to give you help, advice and things to try. Be brave and always be willing to try something different.


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