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    Acquiring teaching school status: what does it mean?

    Recently our Director of Teaching School and the London Representative on the Teaching Schools Council , Mr David Whitfield was interviewed by ‘The Key’ who develop case studies to answer questions from Headteachers and SLT members about leadership in schools.  David was answering:

    “Acquiring teaching school status: what does it mean?”

    What does it mean to acquire teaching school status?We outline information from the National College about becoming a teaching school.

    We also relay some of the benefits and challenges associated with teaching school status, as described by three teaching school directors.

    What does teaching school status mean?

    Who can apply to be a teaching school?

    The National College for Teaching and Leadership (National College) has information about teaching school status,available on GOV.UK. It says that teaching school status is open to all types and phases of schools in England.

    To apply for this status, a school must have been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted,give evidence of successful partnerships and excellent leadership, and have a proven track-record of school improvement.The headteacher must have at least three years of experience,and the leadership team must have the capacity to lead the six core areas of the teaching school role,which we explain below.

    Teachingschools:aguideforpotential applicants,GOV.UK–  NationalCollege

    What do teaching schools do?

    The   government’s policy on improving the quality of teaching and leadership says that teaching schools may lead ‘teaching school alliances’. Each alliance consists of the leading teaching school,the schools it supports, and their partners.

    Improving thequalityof teachingandleadership,GOV.UK –  DfE

    According to the National College’s guide for potential applicants,linked to above,teaching schools have six core areas of responsibility:

    1. Developing opportunities to provide school-led initialteacher training
    2. Offering a range of professional development opportunities for staff and extending the school’s learning culture to other schools they work with
    3. Leading the co-ordination of school-to-school support(usually through working with a school in challenging circumstances to bring about improvement)
    4. Developing successful succession planning strategies to identify and develop people to fill leadership positions in the future
    5. Recruiting and managing the placements of specialist leaders of education (outstanding middle and senior leaders who support colleagues in other schools)
    6. Undertaking research and development

    How are teaching schools funded?

    The guide for potential applicants,linked to above,says that teaching school alliances receive an annual grant,known as the core funding, of £60,000 in the first year,£50,000 in the second year and £40,000 in each of the third and fourth years.

    It adds:

    Annual core grant funding will, in general,decrease each year, which reflects the expectation that alliances, as they mature, become sustainable.

    Considerations in becoming a teaching school

    We spoke to the directors of three teaching school alliances,and asked what they believe are the benefits and challenges of becoming a teaching school. We outline their responses below.

    Supporting sector-wide school improvement

    David Whitfield is the director of the Southfields Teaching School Alliance in Wandsworth, and the representative for London on the Teaching Schools Council.

    He said that teaching school status gives settings with a track record of success an opportunity to help other schools develop.

    However he believes teaching schools should not be solely responsible for driving school improvement in their alliances; teaching school status is about finding ways to help all of the schools and partners in an alliance work with one another.

    Being part of a knowledge-sharing network

    David said the Teaching Schools Council supports a series of national, regional and sub-regional networks for teaching schools.

    For example, as the Council’s representative for London, David arranges regional and sub- regional information and knowledge sharing sessions. These meetings provide practitioners with an opportunity to come together, share and reflect upon their experiences, and discuss common challenges.

    Further information about the networks coordinated by the Council is available on its website: National and regional work-strands,TeachingSchoolsCouncil

    Becoming ‘outward-facing’

    David believes that teaching school status should lead to a shift in a school’s thinking. He said: All schools want the best for their pupils. However, teaching school status says to the world ‘we want to make a difference for all pupils, not just our own’.

    Teaching schools will therefore need to develop ‘outward-facing infrastructure’ by extending their existing provision, and finding new ways to work with other schools and strategic partners.

    David said that how a teaching school does this will depend on its individual circumstances.

    In another article from The Key, we look at whether teaching schools should restructure their senior leadership teams. You may find information in this article useful if you are considering how to put in place a staffing structure to support your alliance.

    Should a new teaching school restructure its senior leadership team?

    Download the article in full

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    Shifting Teacher Practice Course

    The ‘Shifting Teacher Practice Course’ is a bespoke teaching and learning programme, developed in conjunction with the Institute of Education that gives participants the opportunity to reflect on their current classroom practice.  Participants will be supported by highly experienced facilitators and coaches in the development of their pedagogy, through various activities, including an action research project.

    Please download the flyer which has dates, times, cost and further details:

    STP FlyerContact david.whitfield@southfields.wandsworth.sch.uk


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    London Region Teaching Schools Council Newsletter

    The latest edition of the London Region Teachings Schools Council Newsletter has been published: London regional TSC Newsletter 4


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    The Power of Hubs Event – a school led approach

    Discover the characteristics of effective hub working.

    Event details

    Date: Thursday 29th January
    Venue: London’s Living Room, City Hall, SE1 2AA
    Time: 9:00am-1:00pm
    Book your free place at: http://bit.ly/1rWHtWi

    The Teaching School Council and the NCTL are excited to be supporting this London Leadership Strategy event, in another step to building a cohesive approach in developing a school led system.

    In light of the recent Government announcement of support for Teaching Schools to deliver evidence-based professional development and the continued move towards a school-led approach to CPD and school improvement, this conference will tackle the following:
    Do you want to discover more around the role of hubs in sharing evidenced CPD?
    Are actively using hub approaches or considering exploring them in your work?

    The speakers include: Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture, Professor David Woods, Chair of the London Leadership Strategy and Anita Kerwin-Nye, Managing Director of the London Leadership Strategy alongside Sir George Berwick, Challenge Partners, David Weston, the Teacher Development Trust and David Whitfield, Teaching School Council Representative for London.  There will also be representatives from successful and emerging hubs.

    Sign up for London Leadership Strategy’s FREE Power of Hubs Conference to get all the insight, tools and advice you need to help you move your thinking forward.  There will also be sessions with experts in marketing and communications, school to school support, business planning and programme development to give you the tools and advice to progress your work.

    Following this important event the TSC in partnership with the TSA leading sub-regional networks will be running a series of London sub-regional fringe conferences, built around a succession of practical workshops.

    If you have any queries or want to know more then please contact Laura Smith laura@londonleadershipstrategy.com or 07766 651366



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    New & Existing Partnership Schools

    Southfields Teaching School Alliance SCITT is now accepting places from existing and new partnership schools for School Direct Salaried and Fee-Paying places for training places in all subjects.  Schools wishing to make bids for places for 2016-17 should contact Steve Derry at steve.derry@southfields.wandsworth.sch.uk.

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    Key policy changes for Autumn 2014, DfE guidance

    If anyone has any questions about the guidance available below or would like to discuss support options for themselves / their schools and also if anyone would like to offer themselves in a supportive capacity to other schools then please get in touch with David Whitfield, Director of Teaching School via email (david.whitfield@southfields.wandsworth.sch.uk) or through the Teaching School.

    Autumn 2014 educational changes guidance from DfE

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    School Direct Fee-Paying Induction Day July 8th

    The School Direct fee-paying induction day for trainees beginning September 2014 will be on Tuesday July 8th.

    This will be an invaluable introduction to the academy as well as an opportunity to collect vital information regarding the second school you will be placed at, policies and procedures and an introduction to key members of staff and respective departments.

    The School Direct fee-paying handbook  and professional studies timetable will be given to trainees as well as information on start dates which will be in line with the individual university providers.

    Trainees: Please be at the reception of the academy’s main entrance at 9:00, where you will be introduced to Jo Risolino the PCM at Southfields Academy and your lead contact on both placements.  The day will finish at 14:00 on Tuesday 8th July 2014.

    University providers: At 14:00 on the 8th July, programme leaders and representatives from our university providers are invited to look at the systems, policies and procedures we will embed to ensure all of our School Direct fee-paying trainees receive outstanding support from all avenues whilst on their training year. This will also be an opportunity for the university representatives to share their opinions on how the look forward to the future of School Direct training routes.

    Joanna Risolino (PCM)

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    NCTL Stonewall School Champion

    Southfields Teaching School Alliance has become a “NCTL Stonewall School champion”.

    Southfields TSA were selected by the NCTL and Stonewall to deliver the “train the trainers” course to empower schools to challenge homophobia and help make their schools a safer place for all students.

    The School Champions programme helps hundreds of schools from around the country to promote a safe and inclusive learning environment – empowering students and staff alike to celebrate difference and challenge prejudice.  Stonewall works with schools of all sizes and types – primary and secondary; maintained, academy, independent and free; co-ed and single sex – to make classrooms across the country happier and more welcoming places to learn.

    The Alliance now has two trained Facilitators who will run training days with school staff, who will then be able to train the teachers in their school.  Participating schools will also receive “NCTL Stonewall School Champion Status” and freedom to use the badge on your letterhead as well as a full pack of resources for your school.

    Why sign up to the “train the trainer” 1 day course?

    – You will be prepared for Ofsted and other legal requirements.

    – You will help your students reach their potential.

    – You will empower your staff.

    If you are interested in taking part please email david.whitfield@southfields.wandsworth.sch.uk or call David Whitfield (Director of Teaching School) on 020 8875 2600 ext: 2211


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    Challenge Partners joint Morning Conference

    Southfields Teaching School Alliance and Challenge Partners joint conference has been postponed at the request of Alliance members until the Autumn Term.  Please check back then for further details.


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    Exciting Opportunity to become an SLE (Specialist Leader in Education)

    The Alliance are pleased to announce that we have been accredited by the NCTL to designate 10 SLEs in Physical Education as part of the Cohort 4 application period.  If designated as a Specialist Leader of Education in Physical Education you would become a member of the Alliance outreach team who would be sent out to Primary schools to support primary teachers develop quality physical education provision.  Not only would there be a financial reward for your school, but having an SLE gives your institution a high level of kudos via recognition through the national agenda.

    For more information please contact David Whitfield (Director of Teaching School) on 020 8875 2600 (ext: 2211).

    To apply please fill out the application form (sle_application_form) and e-mail it to david.whitfield@southfields.wandsworth.sch.uk

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