Five Huddersfield schools have been specially selected to become national teaching schools.
They have been chosen by the National College for Teaching and Leadership to take a leading role in recruiting and training new teachers, identifying leadership potential and providing support for other schools.
The new national teaching schools are Shelley First School, Scissett CE (VA) First School, Spring Grove Junior Infant and Nursery School, Shelley College and Holmfirth High School.
They are among only 200 schools in England to be granted national teaching school status this year. Shelley First, Spring Grove and Holmfirth High will be part of the West Yorkshire Teaching Alliance. Scissett First School will lead the Yorkshire Anglican Teaching School Alliance and will work closely with the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.
Debra Knowles, head teacher of Shelley First School, said: “We are delighted to have been designated as a national teaching school and to be working to improve outcomes for pupils beyond our own school. We welcome this exciting opportunity to identify and share outstanding practice.”
Elaine Watson, head teacher of Scisset First School, said: “We will work together to strengthen practice and share ideas which will benefit the pupils in our schools, provide opportunities for all staff to work and train together and further improve teaching and learning.”
John McNally, head teacher at Shelley College, said: “We are really looking forward to working with a range of excellent partners to help provide first-class training and support for staff at all stages of their careers. We have been committed to this type of work for two years now and have reaped the benefits of learning from others and sharing our areas of expertise. I believe the Teaching Schools Programme will help all schools to keep improving and support us in the aim of providing the best possible education for all children in Kirklees and beyond.”
Dr Andy Williams, head teacher at Holmfirth High School, said: “All schools have expertise that they can share for the benefit of others and it will be great to work with like-minded professionals. We grow stronger by working together and the Teaching School Alliance movement is a great way of working together for the betterment of educational opportunity, and to increase collaboration and partnership.”
Introduced in 2011, national teaching schools are all rated as “outstanding” and mark a shift towards school-centred training.
They work with partner schools in an alliance, including at least one university, to ensure high quality school-led initial teacher training and professional development opportunities for teachers at all stages of their career.
Charlie Taylor, the chief executive of NCTL, said the Kirklees schools should take pride in their teaching school status. He added, “In an increasingly school-led system, they are leading the way in training new teachers and helping existing teachers develop their skills - ensuring we’ll have the best people teaching our children for generations to come.”
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