Brooke Weston has become one of the first schools in the country to be selected for an important new role aimed at further raising standards. It is one of only 100 schools in England to be granted teaching school status – a new designation entitling it to lead training and professional development for staff.
It was selected by the National College for School Leadership which had about 1,200 expressions of interest in the first recruitment round. Staff from the school will now be invited to the National College’s Learning and Conference Centre in Nottingham in September for a formal induction.
The milestone marks a shift towards school-centred training and development. Teaching schools will be responsible for leading a group of schools, working with other partners including at least one university, to deliver high quality support for teachers and leaders at all stages in their career.
Trish Stringer, Principal at Brooke Weston said: ‘I am absolutely delighted that we have been designated in this first cohort of teaching schools. This is an exciting opportunity which will enable us, along with our strategic partners, to shape the professional development opportunities for teachers currently in schools and for new entrants into the profession. We will be working in partnership with Leicester University offering a range of development pathways and leadership and management research opportunities for professionals already teaching in schools.
‘For those wishing to train to become teachers we will be working closely with the University of Northampton and University of Derby. Our school partners are based across a wide geographical region, covering a range of specialisms and age groups. This is an excellent opportunity to work with other head teachers, school leaders and with our HE Partners to develop a first class Teaching School which provides the very highest quality professional development and training for all teachers in the region.’
The National College has responsibility for the designation and quality of the teaching schools programme, working closely with the Department for Education (DfE) and Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) as the national network grows to 500 teaching schools by 2014.
Steve Munby, Chief Executive of the National College, said: ‘To take on this role, teaching schools like Brooke Weston need to be among the best in the country - outstanding in their own performance and have a track record of raising standards through school-to-school support.
‘Over time teaching schools will harness the finest teaching talent in the profession to drive school improvement, and bring real benefits to pupils. Trainees will learn from the best teachers in action and those who want to step up to more senior leadership positions will be exposed to excellent practice within and beyond their immediate school.’The first year of the programme will be a design and development phase. As they develop, teaching schools working with other schools and universities will help to provide a strong supply of new teachers, develop leaders and the next generation of heads, and support schools in challenging circumstances.