WISE ITT might have had a recent rebrand, but we have been serving initial teacher trainees in the North East for over ten years, previously known as Town End Teaching & Support Alliance. Our main site, at Town End Farm, is situated within WISE Academies Head Office in Sunderland and offers a fabulous purpose-built facility, where our training sessions take place. As a large multi-academy trust, based in Sunderland, we also provide training across the North East with training locations in Newcastle, Northumberland and Sunderland, which enables us to place trainees in a range of schools, geographically.

We have an outstanding track record, with 100% of our trainees achieving qualified teacher status after training with WISE ITT. We pride ourselves in being able to provide personal, bespoke training alongside Northumbria University, our accredited body. WISE ITT is an inclusive and diverse organisation and the expertise within WISE enables us to provide exceptional training sessions in line with the ITT Core Content guidance and Northumbria University.

What we offer

WISE ITT can offer you:

  • Outstanding pedagogy delivered by specialist staff in all areas of the curriculum
  • Training opportunities within Outstanding and Good Schools
  • School based training sessions delivered by outstanding leaders and staff in a range of settings across our partner schools
  • Bespoke, personalised offer due to small cohorts of trainees each year
  • Strong and skilled support networks in the application of effective teaching and learning methodology
  • Strong partnerships between Northumbria University and our school-based trainers
  • Continuing professional development opportunities
  • Employment opportunities
  • Professional and approachable ITT mentors


What is School Direct?

School Direct is a national teacher training initiative offering the exciting opportunity to train alongside outstanding practitioners, gaining valuable knowledge skills and professional attitudes that will enable you to start you on your journey to becoming an outstanding teacher and a future school leader.  

The School Direct Training Programme.  This is open to all graduates and is funded by tuition fees paid by the trainee, who may be eligible for a bursary from the Teaching Agency (TA).


WISE ITT & Northumbria University

The School Direct route into teaching with WISE ITT and Northumbria University is an exciting opportunity to train as a primary teacher in good and outstanding schools alongside highly experienced teachers and mentors. The School Based Training Plan is designed by WISE ITT in their role as a lead school and individually tailored to develop your skills and expertise.

Over the course of your training, you will gain experience in more than one school and teach across different year groups within your training age phase. The long-standing relationship between Northumbria and WISE has continued to grow and provides our trainees with a uniquely personalised training package.

Entry Requirements

All candidates are required to have, or are expected to gain:  - A good degree of a United Kingdom Higher Education Institution of 2.2 or above - GCSE English Language, Mathematics and a Science at Grade 4 (Grade C) or above.  Applicants must be a graduate with a minimum of a 2.2 degree although applicants with a 2.1 or 1st class degree will be seen as more desirable.  Graduates will need to be able to demonstrate a real aptitude for teaching.  Applicants can apply from any degree subject discipline; however applicants will need to demonstrate how the skills, knowledge and understanding developed within the degree are applicable to primary teaching.  Applicants who are currently retaking a GCSE or awaiting a degree classification will be offered a conditional place if successful on interview until the grade can be confirmed.  Admission is subject to a suitable DBS Enhanced Certificate and a satisfactory health check.

For programmes which begin after April 2020, applicants are no longer required to undertake the professional skills tests in English and Maths, but there remains a requirement for trainee teachers to demonstrate competency in the use of English and Maths in a professional context.  Northumbria students will be supported in developing these skills over the course of their programme and their competency assessed before recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

International Qualifications

If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English Language requirements

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 6 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

*Northumbria University accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in their English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications


Experience working with children in a school or other settings will enhance your application.  - An informed professional reference to support the work experience.  - A reference containing a strong recommendation that they are suitable to train as a primary school teacher.  In addition to the academic qualifications we will consider the full range of knowledge, skills and prior experiences of every application in judging whether the applicant is capable of meeting the requirements.

How to apply

If you would like to apply to train to teach with WISE ITT, visit Apply for teacher training - GOV.UK

Or for more information from us, please contact us at traintoteach@wiseitt.com

Once you have applied on the DfE, ‘Apply for Teaching’ page, we will be notified of your application and an interview date will be sent out to you within a day or so. If you think that teaching is for you and you are looking for a personalised, friendly and bespoke experience, WISE ITT could be the training option for you...but don’t just take our word for it, check out some of our testimonials from our previous trainees and stakeholders.

Meet the Team

Christine Robson

WISE ITT Lead and Townend Academy Head Teacher

Carol Stephenson

WISE ITT Lead Mentor

Admissions Information


It was a life changing experience that gave me the opportunity to learn practically.
It was an experience I’ll never forget but will forever appreciate

R. Lloyd, School Direct Trainee

My training year gave me the skills and confidence to deal with ‘real life’ situations in a school environment.
The School Direct program allowed me to build relationships with the children and with teachers which allowed myself to become a part of the school team.

R Coxan, School Direct Trainee

Our trainee teachers have both achieved jobs at great schools, due to their superior experience, depth of knowledge and understanding of Primary Education which being submersed in a full school year has given them. It’s been a resounding success

A Baker, St Margaret's School, Mentor
The success of Initial Teacher Training at HEI’s like Northumbria relies on effective partnerships with Teaching School Alliances. Our relationship with Town End is an example of such a professionally focused and joint endeavour that works to the benefit of our trainees. Through this partnership we create outstanding newly qualified teachers who will go onto to inspire children and encourage young people to reach their full potential.
Kevin Ardron MA PGCE NPQH, Programme Leader: PGCE School Direct