I completed a learning walk within one of our trust school’s the other day and I was really pleased with the quality of the teaching, level of engagement with children and how open staff were to developing practice. The SLT and I started to discuss the journey we had taken to develop this culture within school and one of the key elements that we identified as being one of the big driving forces was how many Schools Direct trainees we had employed and been involved within their training.
Schools Direct and School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) has had an enormous impact on the attraction of high quality teachers to our schools and the development of talent. Our engagement in these programmes has ensured that we give the time and resources needed to make sure people can fulfil their potential. It also meant that our experienced teachers took full responsibility for the student’s development because they were going to be their year group partners of the future and therefore as such must have the skills needs to be successful and add value to the team.
The teachers we employed through these schemes have certainly done that and have added great value to our schools in a myriad of ways. Not only have they felt part of the team since day one as they were immersed in school practice but also learn the underlying expectations and key practice we are trying to achieve. This has ensured that new teacher development has been integral into our school development and has changed the culture for others. Staff are much more receptive to joint practice development and take responsibility to share knowledge and skills at all levels. In fact I would go as far to say that it has had a direct impact on increasing professionalism within our school. Mercifully the students are never used for cover and have become a tool to support learning and improve long term outcomes for our schools. Experience teachers have increased their expectations of themselves and view their roles in a new light.
One of the most exciting developments is the partnerships with new SCITT providers such as Inspiring Leaders Teacher Training who involve schools throughout the process from the selection of the students they take to the design of the course. This has allowed rapid personalization and response to the needs of the trainees, no longer do they suffer a set unadaptable course that doesn’t meet their learning needs. Each cohort has a course adapted to their needs to ensure they achieve the very highest outcomes linked to the national teaching standards. This is clearly evident in schools as the quality of learning by children with Schools Direct NQTs is much more effective than their counterparts.
The support Inspiring Leaders Teacher Training gives each student if very impressive. There is a very much a family atmosphere within the course, with tutors providing real support and guidance by working together in genuine partnership giving coaching support where needed and challenge about quality outcomes. I think the future of the professional is looking really bright and incredibly exciting. It also lays the challenge down for people like me to match their levels of enthusiasm and drive!