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LVS Hassocks Principal, Jen Weeks, shortlisted for prestigious TES Head of the Year 2022 award

LVS Hassocks Principal, Jen Weeks, receives outstanding level of recognition being shortlisted for the prestigious Tes (Times Education Supplement) Head of the Year award at the Tes Schools Awards on Friday 17th June 2022.   Heralded as one of the biggest occasions in the education calendar, the awards and event simultaneously celebrates the work of teachers and schools across the UK’s state school and independent sectors.

Jen Weeks said “This is like the Oscars for teaching.   I’m so proud to have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award, and of the work the whole LVS Hassocks team does to provide an inspiring, inclusive educational environment for our students.”  She added “LVS Hassocks is a special place, we are able to make the curriculum adjustments that individual students need to progress in their education.  We get to know every student as an individual and we work with them to build trust by demonstrating that there are adults who can help them accomplish the massive achievements that they are capable of, we don’t believe in putting a ceiling on children’s achievements.”

Students at the school are given the opportunity to undertake qualifications that suit their abilities including BTEC and GCSE’s.  This year’s sixth formers were the first cohort to undertake Level 3 Qualifications with Art A Level and an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification). 

Sixth form student Jake, when interviewed recently, said “I was in a bad place before I came to LVS Hassocks, and I had been bullied at my previous school by students and teachers.  Jen and the teachers at LVS Hassocks helped me trust again.  After I finish sixth form this summer, I am going onto a mainstream college.”

Principal, Jen Weeks, added “Working in specialist education is incredibly rewarding.  Our teachers have to adapt the teaching methods they have learned through their careers teaching in mainstream schools to creatively deliver the same professional level of teaching and education in a way that recognises the challenges children with a diagnosis of autism face while inspiring achievement and celebrating success.” 

For more information about LVS Hassocks, please visit https://www.lvs-hassocks.org.uk/

THE BIG BANG FAIR RETURNS TO INSPIRE MORE YOUNG PEOPLE INTO STEM

WHAT: The Big Bang Fair – the UK’s biggest celebration of STEM for young people – returns for its first in-person event after a 2-year hiatus.

 

WHEN: Wednesday 22 June to Friday 24 June

 

WHERE: NEC in Birmingham

 

The largest celebration of STEM in the UK is free to attend and will feature scores of quality hands-on activities to inspire young people to discover and explore what a career in STEM can offer. Over the 3 days, young people will have the opportunity to hear first-hand from exciting scientists and engineers and connect with inspiring career role models, including The Engineering Baker and Bake-Off finalist, Andrew Smyth, Mission 44’s Stephanie Travers and Climate Scientist Sammie Buzzard.

 

The Big Bang Fair has signed some of the biggest names in STEM to exhibit at this year’s event, including the NHS, Rolls Royce, Unboxed, Network Rail & HS2 and the Environment Agency.

 

Dr Hilary Leevers, Chief Executive of Engineering UK, said: “We are so excited for young people and their families to experience this year’s event. With some of the biggest names in STEM, visitors will be able to hear about the brightest ideas from those working at the cutting edge. We are sure that everyone will be inspired, and we hope that young people will feel welcomed and attracted to explore STEM further.”

 

The Big Bang Competition:

An award ceremony on Wednesday will crown overall winners of UK Young Scientist of the Year and UK Young Engineer of the Year, who will receive a £2,000 prize.

 

A snapshot of this year’s incredible finalists, who have produced the following projects will be on the show floor:

  • ElectroPi – a robot designed to plant and water seeds, based on soil moisture levels, to speed up planting time and improve the quality of planting conditions
  • Air Quality Pavilion – an invention designed to explore how indoor spaces react to the air quality inside and how to improve the overall experience for the user
  • Working Healthy – a weather-proof open-air office that allows for a healthier work environment when working from home
  • AgriPod – an invention designed to tackle fertiliser misapplication by farmers
  • Smoothie Crusher – a bike powered smoothie maker
  • ISOPOD – a waterproof cardboard tent with a concertina design, created with the aim of tackling the number of non-recyclable tents left at festivals each year
  • Girls into school – a new design to provide a durable and affordable period product for the young women and girls living in Kibera in Kenya

Families, home educators and school groups have the chance to visit at The Big Bang Fair Unlocked, taking place on Thursday 23 June from 4pm to 8pm.

 

Book free tickets to The Big Bang Fair Unlocked at www.thebigbang.org.uk/fair

Two Discovery Education Services Win 2022 SIIA CODiE Awards

 

 

The Discovery Education K-12 learning platform won the Best Education Platform award for PK-20 and the Mystery Science service earned the Best Science Instructional Solution award for Grades PK – 8 as part of the recent 2022 SIIA CODiE Awards. The prestigious CODiE Awards recognize the companies producing the most innovative education technology products across the country and around the world. 

 

“Discovery Education is proud of SIIA’s recognition of its K-12 platform and Mystery Science service and we thank the CODiE Award judges’ for their commitment to carefully reviewing all the entries in this year’s competition,” said Scott Kinney, Discovery Education’s CEO. “Discovery Education is dedicated to preparing learners for tomorrow by creating innovative classrooms connected to today’s world, and we are proud of the role our services play in supporting that mission. This recognition will inspire the Discovery Education team to continue to create innovative services that support the creation of the dynamic digital learning environments today’s educators and students demand and deserve.” 

 

The Discovery Education K-12 learning platform, which earned the Best Education Platform award for PK-20, connects educators to a vast collection of high-quality, standards-aligned content, ready-to-use digital lessons, intuitive quiz and activity creation tools, and professional learning resources. Providing educators an enhanced learning platform, the Discovery Education platform facilitates engaging, daily instruction in any learning environment. The flexible K-12 learning platform is designed to work within the school systems’ existing infrastructure and workflows and provides safe, secure, simple access methods for educators and students. Through expanded, lasting partnerships with Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, Schoology, Canvas, Brightspace, and Clever, integrating Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform into existing IT architecture is easier than ever.   

 

Mystery Science, which joined the family of Discovery Education services in 2020 and won the Best Science Instructional Solution award for Grades PK – 8, provides K-5 educators simple to use, open-and-go, hands-on lessons that inspire students to love science. Each lesson begins by posing a question commonly asked by young students, followed by a series of brief videos and prompts to guide class discussion. The lesson concludes with a hands-on activity designed to bring learning to life. 

 

As the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place, Discovery Education has previously won CODiE awards for STEM Connectsocial impact educational initiativesScience Techbook, and the Social Studies Techbook Series

 

“The 2022 EdTech CODiE Award winners exemplify the outstanding products, services and overall innovation that enables learners of all types to connect with educators and educational materials,” said SIIA President Jeff Joseph. “We are so proud to recognize this year’s honorees – the best of the best – that provide solutions to many of the critical challenges facing learners today – from access and equity, to personalized and tailored learning and beyond. Congratulations to all of this year’s CODiE Award winners!” 

 

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, announced the full slate of CODiE winners during a virtual winner announcement. Awards were given for products and services deployed specifically for education and learning professionals, including the top honor of the Best Overall Education Technology Solution. 

 

A SIIA CODiE Award win is a prestigious honor, following rigorous reviews by expert judges including educators and administrators whose evaluations determined the finalists. SIIA members then vote on the finalist products, and the scores from both rounds are tabulated to select the winners. 

 

More information about the Awards is available at http://www.siia.net/codie.  

 

Details about the winning products can be found at https://siia.net/codie/eduaction-technology-winners

 

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit  www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.  

CAN’T GET THE STAFF?

MOXI BRINGS YOU CLASSROOM-READY CANDIDATES

One former head teacher’s struggle to secure classroom-ready staff for his school has led to the launch of Moxi, a specialist education recruitment and training company, which is set to revolutionise the way the sector sources talent. 

Moxi offers a nationwide service to fill schools’ recruitment needs at all levels, from support staff and teaching assistants to classroom teachers and senior management leadership professionals. It also specialises in supplying qualified professionals to support special educational needs. 

RECRUITMENT FOR EDUCATORS, DESIGNED BY EDUCATORS

Founder, James Lowe has over 16 years’ experience in the education sector. Having been headteacher at specialist independent school EdStart for 9 years, James now owns and runs EdStart, whilst also sitting at the helm of Grolife, a group of organisations all designed to support the education sector.

With EdStart schools spanning five sites across Greater Manchester recruiting quality teams was proving harder and harder.  Frustration and disillusionment with both the process and the quality of candidates finally prompted James to launch Moxi, bringing his hard-earned expertise to shake up education recruitment.

Moxi matches schools with candidates who are well trained and primed to hit the ground running in a range of education settings, so they are ready to serve the varying needs of pupils.  Like James, the whole Moxi team has worked at the coalface of education, meaning they understand the sector’s unique challenges.

James said: ‘’Over the years in my various management roles in schools, I’ve faced the situation of either having no support when short staffed or accepting support that is very much below par. This isn’t fair on the pupils, whose education suffers, or the existing staff who are already working incredibly hard to ensure every child receives the education and pastoral care they deserve. I’m passionate about helping schools to source the teams they need so they that they can continue to do the great job they do despite the challenges they face.”

For schools struggling to recruit, the latest Department for Education (DfE) figures will come as no surprise: there has been an 8 per cent fall in the number of people entering initial teacher training.  What’s more, only 82 per cent of secondary teachers needed for England in the 2021 -2022 academic year have been recruited.**

Moxi’s answer is to harness, and – importantly – train, talent from both inside and outside of the sector. As part of its recruitment service, Moxi offers a unique training provision which benefits schools seeking high-quality candidates as well as people looking for a role in the education sector who are keen to build their employability skills and boost their confidence. 

James said: ‘’We called the business Moxi, taking inspiration from the word ‘moxie’ which means confidence and determination. From my years at the frontline in schools, I know that skills can be taught, but natural energy and attitude are everything. That’s why we’re excited to help unlock the potential of people from outside the sector, or those just starting out in their career, who can bring invaluable transferable skills to a rewarding profession.

‘’From recent graduates who hadn’t considered teaching as a career option, to people returning to work after a career break, and even former professional sports people, there’s a wealth of talent just waiting to be accessed. We’re seeing lots of students, who are about to graduate in subjects like geography, sports science or sociology.  They’re not sure what to do with their degrees, and you can see that lightbulb moment when they realise teaching could be for them.  Our training course opens this door, it’s free to candidates and sets them up to feel confident and ready for an exciting new challenge.’’  UNIQUE TRAINING FOR CLASSROOM-READY CANDIDATES

Thanks to its close partnership with EdStart specialist schools, Moxi offers the unique opportunity for candidates to be trained at its own education facilities.  With a range of training available, its free, entry level course is already proving popular. Knowing that job seekers need flexibility to fit around their current work, study or job-hunting commitments, the course quickly readies them for success.  Totalling two weeks’ training, this very flexible course includes three days’ face-to-face learning in the ‘live’ EdStart educational setting, guided by a learning mentor. This is followed by online training, with modules that can be completed to fit around the candidate’s own timetable. From managing behaviours to working with additional needs, the training offers candidates a real competitive edge.

Further courses available through Moxi include teacher training with affiliated universities, the opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’ and to access part and fully funded training.

GAME-CHANGING CAREER SWITCH FROM PROFESSIONAL SPORT TO A CAREER IN EDUCATION

Stuart Howarth, 31 years old, enjoyed a successful career in rugby, playing in the Super League over 100 times, including for his hometown team Wigan Warriors. Ready for a change in direction, he has now built a rewarding career as a teacher at EdStart. He said: 

“Moving into EdStart gave me all the training and support I could have wished for in pivoting my career. It meant the world to me that the team recognised the value in my transferable skills as a sportsman.  Through the launch of Moxi, the team behind EdStart is now able to open doors for many more people, supporting them through the next steps in their career.  This will make a huge difference to lots of people’s professional woes. I, for one, am grateful for the opportunity to share my passion for science and make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable students.’’

HOW TO SPOT A MOXI CANDIDATE

James added: ‘’You can spot a Moxi candidate a mile off.  They’re calm, confident and classroom ready. They’re professional, well presented and fully prepared. It’s a win-win formula: schools can feel confident they’ll get the resource they need with Moxi supporting their recruitment, pupils are given the education and care they deserve, and candidates have a positive experience in education, helping attract and retain much-needed talent in the sector.’’ 

PRIMARY SCHOOL CELEBRATES QUEEN’S PLATINUM JUBILEE BY DESIGNING ROYAL COMPUTER GAMES

Pupils at a Rochdale primary school have marked the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in a royally creative way this week – by designing their own Jubilee-themed computer games.

Year 4 pupils from Parkfield Primary School in Rochdale put their digital skills to the test to create the apps, which featured HM The Queen as the main character.

The children worked together to build the games, which sent her Majesty on a maze treasure hunt in search of corgis and crowns. Pupils used resources from Discovery Education Coding to code the royal apps, before sharing them with classmates who enjoyed playing them on tablet computers.

The fun activity marked the start of Parkfield Primary’s Jubilee celebrations, culminating in a school-wide party for staff and pupils on Thursday.

One Year 4 pupil said:

“I liked how I could add lots of royal themed images onto my design”

While another said:

“I liked programming the Queen to collect all her valuable objects in my game.”

Teaching Assistant Simon Haughton said:

” The children enjoyed showcasing their coding skills by designing Jubilee-themed games for their friends to play. Discovery Education Coding offers primary schools a great child-friendly interface with just the right amount of coding blocks to combine together to produce both interesting and fun programs to run. ”

 

Howard Lewis, Managing Director UK and International at Discovery Education said:

“We were delighted that Parkfield Primary School used our coding resources to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. It’s clear that they had great fun designing their royal-themed apps and we were very impressed by their imagination and creativity!”

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.co.uk and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through TwitterFacebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Keep your School safe!

Hygiene standards have always needed to be high. However, recent times have highlighted the need to raise the bar – globally. People now expect more than just clean; they expect sanitised too.

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ZOONO works by coating the surface with a layer of positively charged molecular pins. This protective layer attaches to the surface via a covalent bond, which attracts and kills negatively charged microbes by rupturing their cells. When microbes touch the surface, they pop and are destroyed, making them less likely to affect you and prevent them evolving into superbugs. This clever popping action is proven effective on 99.9% of bacteria and against a range of other pathogens.

Get in touch with us at uksales@zoono.com to learn how we can help keep your people, customers and business protected.

Check out our case study here.

New Headteacher for East Hunsbury Primary School as tributes are paid to retiring Head after 21 years’ service

“Be kind, work hard, believe” – that is the message to children at East Hunsbury Primary School from new Headteacher Kathryn Pennington, who has taken over from Rita Arundel following her retirement after 21 years in post.

 

Kathryn, who joined the school as Deputy Headteacher in June 2020 before assuming a dual role as Acting Headteacher alongside Rita from April 2021, began her tenure as East Hunsbury’s permanent Head last month. Having previously been Assistant Headteacher at Bridgewater Primary School in Northampton and PE Lead at Nicholas Hawksmoor Primary School in Towcester, Kathryn is a familiar face across the Northamptonshire education scene. Born and raised in the county, she gained a first-class BA (Hons) Primary Education degree at the University of Northampton, and also worked as a specialist literacy consultant supporting school leaders worldwide.

 

“I am proud and privileged to be Headteacher of East Hunsbury Primary School,” Kathryn said. “I always wanted to be a teacher from a very young age, and as my career has developed I have always wanted to be a leader. My vision is for us to be a community-driven, family-focused school that delivers an ambitious, inclusive and enabling curriculum in which all children achieve exceptionally high standards from their given starting points. We want to be a school where everyone wants to be because they feel happy, represented, valued and prepared for every stage of their lives: the village school in a town that achieves the same as a private school. Children only get one chance at primary education, and it is our responsibility to make their education the best it can be.”

 

The 429-pupil school, which includes a 47-placed specialist unit for children with significant learning difficulties, is part of Northampton Primary Academy Trust – and both share a common vision of ‘Extraordinary Children doing Extraordinary Things’. “We are one school, mainstream primary and specialist unit aligned, a flagship school for our successful inclusive practice where children all learn from each other and a community in which diversity is embraced and celebrated,” Kathryn said. “With the uniqueness of our staff and quality of teaching, together we can be the greatest school. As Headteacher I will always act with all children at the centre of my decision-making.”

 

Kathryn also paid tribute to her predecessor and vowed to build on her legacy. “I get very emotional talking about Rita – we both share a love of East Hunsbury – and she believed in me, guided me, listened to me, has been a big support in the transition, and I am so grateful to her,” she said. “The foundations laid by Rita are really solid. She has, and always will be, at the heart of the school’s DNA. Under Rita’s leadership the school has offered a wealth of experiences which inspire the children – and we will strive to develop opportunities further across areas such as the arts and sports.”

 

At her final assembly, Rita – who has given 40 years’ service to education – was presented with a jug made emblazoned with children’s fingerprints and a quilt they had made. She has since donated some money for a reading chair in the school. “It has been an absolute privilege to lead such a vibrant school with such enthusiastic and engaging children, supported and challenged by caring, dedicated staff,” she said. “I have always tried my best to lead the school firmly and fairly, with compassion and rigor, ensuring that every individual is valued equally, feels included and encouraged to aspire to be the best they can be. In Kathryn, I am delighted to be placing the school in such skilful, ambitious, caring and enthusiastic hands. I look forward to watching the school continue to improve and excel – and I know that the school will continue to make memories for generations to come.”

 

Louise Whaites, Chair of Governors at East Hunsbury Primary School, said: “On behalf of the Governing Body, I would like to thank Rita for her long service to the school and wish her a happy and healthy retirement. We will always remember Rita’s dedication to East Hunsbury, and that the school was one of the most important things in her life. She was very passionate about the school’s development as part of the community, initially its establishment within a new community and then over the years responding to the needs of the changing community. It was also very important to her that we were positioned as one school – mainstream and specialist unit together – and Kathryn shares that.

“Looking forward, we are really excited about Kathryn’s plans for the school. She has some brilliant ideas to carry on Rita’s vision as a place in the community for everyone, not just the children, and is already re-building links externally that we were forced to put on hold due to the pandemic. Educationally her mission is research and evidence-based, everything focused on facts, and all with the objective of helping each individual child to fulfil their potential, giving them opportunities to thrive and do their best.”

 

Julia Kedwards, CEO of Northampton Primary Academy Trust, said: “Finding a replacement Head for East Hunsbury Primary following the retirement of experienced and skilled Headteacher, Rita Arundel, was no mean feat and we are thrilled to welcome Kathryn into our school Trust. Kathryn has significant education and leadership experience and is already building on the solid foundations left by Rita to take East Hunsbury forward into the future.”

 

Reception places at East Hunsbury Primary School are still available for September 2022. For more information, please contact the school office on 01604 677970 or office@easthunsburyprimary.org.

 

Celebrate Pride Month 2022 with British Army LGBTQ+ student resources

 

The British Army is marking the start of Pride Month by urging secondary school teachers to download its free, award-winning resource, LGBTQ+ Voices. It helps students build upon their understanding of the LGBTQ+ community, including trans rights. The LGBTQ+ Voices aligns to the Gatsby Benchmarks for good careers education, creating a space for discussion of careers and workplaces through curriculum learning. 

LGBTQ+ Voices has been downloaded more than 2,000 times since it launched last year and provides teachers with curriculum links to PSHE or Health and Wellbeing, Citizenship and History. It features both a lesson plan and an assembly with interactive tasks. Together, they aim to challenge perceptions of the LGBTQ+ community and help students aged 11–16 understand the importance of diversity and inclusion.

The award-winning resource enables students to explore the contributions of LGBTQ+ Army personnel past and present. It features four fascinating case studies, including Deborah Penny, the first trans soldier in the British Army.

Many teachers feel ill-equipped to answer any questions that students may have around trans rights. It is hoped that LGBTQ+ Voices will play an important contribution to the current debate. By giving students the tools that they need, they can play their part in addressing the inequality and discrimination felt by the trans community. Students will understand why being an LGBTQ+ ally is so very important, even if they don’t identify as LGBTQ+.

LGBTQ+ Voices was developed with teachers and support from the Army LGBTQ+ network. Teachers have remarked how the resources are “rich in information”. They offer “powerful” learning, are “self-contained” and are “simple to use”, especially for non-specialists and those less confident in discussing LGBTQ+ topics.

Lizy Watson, a lead practitioner for teaching and learning at Philip Morant School and College, said: “This resource challenges perceptions, linking modern day inclusion efforts with the exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community throughout history. The materials allow for discussion and reflection within the context of a self-contained presentation, making them well-suited to PSHE and history lessons or assemblies. It’s a powerful and engaging resource, without being overly complicated or time consuming. The links to modern day case studies and well-known historical figures will speak to a range of pupils and provide a unique perspective that can facilitate powerful conversations. As a form tutor myself, I consider this a ‘must use’ resource.”

Major Jennifer Close added: “LGBTQ+ Voices is part of the British Army’s dedication to addressing the inequalities within our organisation. We developed the free resource to help students understand the importance of creating an inclusive and supportive space for LGBTQ+ people – in and out of the classroom. Ethel Mary Smyth and Alan Turing are historical figures we all recognise. LGBTQ+ Voices addresses the selfless contributions of Ethel, Alan and every single LGBTQ+ service personnel. We do hope schools will choose to mark the start of Pride Month by downloading LGBTQ+ Voices.”

Teachers can download LGBTQ+ Voices for free at: https://bit.ly/3MUwfwE

Half of UK teachers have experienced harassment by students online

Half of teachers (49%) have been the target of inappropriate use of online devices and social media by students, according to new survey conducted by classroom management and safeguarding software provider, Impero. A similar number (43%) agreed that this type of behaviour is on the rise in UK schools.

 

Around one-fifth revealed they have been approached online (22%) or followed on social media by their students (21%), while 15% have been filmed without permission in the classroom. One in ten have been abused online (11%) and the subject of student group chats (11%).

 

Charlotte Aynsley, safeguarding expert at Impero, says:

 

“It’s not news to safeguarding experts that teachers are often on the receiving end of cyber-bullying, but the extent of the trend is unsettling – especially since harassment of other students is also on the rise. A natural curiosity from children will quite often lead to social media interactions such as follow requests from students; teachers therefore have a responsibility to ‘protect’ their identity so they can’t be obviously found on social media. They should also follow the professional standards around not allowing students to befriend them to prevent any unwanted interactions.”

 

She adds:

“In today’s world, you can simply pick up a mobile phone, create harmful or inappropriate content, and share it to a wide audience online without being held accountable. Whilst schools play a critical role in educating students about online safety, the long-anticipated Online Safety Bill will be a huge step towards a safer online world for both adults and children – making platforms more accountable for the harmful content being disseminated.”

Growing teaching pressures

 

The survey of 500 UK-based primary and secondary school teachers, also found that the vast majority (89%) have considered leaving the profession as they face growing workplace pressures and classroom challenges.

 

The most common reasons teachers have considered quitting, are:

 

  • Excessive workload (67%)
  • Anxiety and stress (53%)
  • Salary expectations (40%)
  • Lack of support from the school (30%)

 

However, almost one-fifth (17%) cited harassment by students as a key reason, while just 14% expressed a loss of interest in teaching itself.

 

A call for improvement

 

The research also found that the majority of teachers also believe their schools need to improve on issues such as teacher safety and wellbeing (71%), staff retention (65%) and diversity, equity and inclusion (52%).

 

Other areas where teachers called for improvement were:

 

  • More effective classroom management technology (69%)
  • Academic performance (66%)
  • Student safety and wellbeing (60%)

 

Justin Reilly, CEO, Impero and former headteacher, says:

 

“Teachers have a job unlike any other. Their workloads seemingly increase year-on-year, especially with the continued rise in concerns around student behaviour, academic performance, and safeguarding. There are clear actions which can be taken to remove everyday stresses if we are to empower teachers and retain them. After, all the top reasons for wanting to leave are not linked to losing interest in teaching but are instead rooted in safety and wellbeing concerns.

 

“It is vital to create a safe and open environment for teachers to work effectively and feel valued. This means reviewing practices for engaging, protecting and retaining teachers, as well as swiftly addressing emerging safeguarding issues, such as the myriad of online abuse which we know can cause great harm to both students and teachers alike.”

 

“Confident and highly competent teachers” developed by CTSN SCITT, as Ofsted awards ‘Good’ judgement to teacher training provider

CTSN SCITT, which provides initial teacher training (ITT) to primary and secondary school trainees throughout Cambridgeshire, North Essex and West Suffolk, has been rated ‘Good’ – with ‘Outstanding’ leadership and management – in its newly-published Ofsted report.

 

The School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) provider, which involves 86 partnership schools, was visited by an Ofsted inspection team in February and March and its report was released on 18th May. Every year around 120 trainees undertake a variety of routes, both salaried and non-salaried, leading to qualified teacher status with CTSN SCITT. Most trainees are non-salaried – supported by a student loan – and complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Anglia Ruskin University.

 

Led by The Cam Academy Trust, and supported by Teaching School Hubs in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Saffron (North Essex) and Unity (West Suffolk), the CTSN SCITT Ofsted report noted high-quality training centred around four training hubs at Bottisham Village College and Trumpington Park Primary School, in Cambridge; and Abbots Green Primary Academy and Kind Edward VI School, in Bury St Edmunds.

 

Positive comments in the Ofsted report included:

 

  • Primary and secondary trainees receive a good quality of education and training.
  • Trainees access a well-designed curriculum that supports them to develop the knowledge and skills to become effective, reflective and thoughtful teachers.
  • Trainees and their trainers share a passion and commitment for learning.
  • Trainees are well prepared to become confident and highly competent teachers.
  • Trainees are taught how to adapt learning effectively for pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and pupils who speak English as an additional language, so these pupils can access an ambitious curriculum.
  • Trainees speak very positively about the pastoral support they receive.
  • Trainees are given effective guidance and support to manage their workload.
  • Outstanding leadership has brought about good and improving quality of education and training.
  • As a result of their highly skilled leadership, school leaders and staff across the partnership wholeheartedly embrace leaders’ vision for excellence.
  • Leaders ensure that trainees place pupils’ learning and welfare at the heart of all they do.

“We are delighted with the Ofsted report which is the result of a great deal of hard work, from a wide range of people, drawn from a very wide network of partnership schools,” said CTSN SCITT Director Martin Lee. “I am particularly pleased that the inspectors noticed that the SCITT always puts the education of children and young people first, even in the training year. The sector has seen significant changes in the last two years, so it particularly satisfying that this report reflects our efforts to not only implement the requirements expected by the Department for Education, but also our ambitions to go beyond those minimum expectations to ensure our trainees become the best teachers they can be.”

 

Since it was formed in 2010, the SCITT has established an enviable reputation among education leaders across the region, who not only recognise the high-quality teacher training but also employ teachers directly from CTSN.

Stephen Munday, CEO of The Cam Academy Trust, explained: “Training the next generation of teachers is absolutely fundamental to our work as a Trust and our partnership with local Teaching School Hubs. Teachers are the single most important contributory factor to the quality of education received by young people in our country so providing a high-quality supply of future teachers for our own organisation and for others is crucial. It is really encouraging to have the work in this area so strongly vindicated by the recent Ofsted inspection of our CTSN SCITT, our School Centred Initial Teacher Training provision. High-quality provision is overseen by outstanding leadership according to this inspection and that is great for everyone. We are very grateful for all our partners in this work who make this possible and congratulate the leadership of the SCITT for their excellent work.”

Lesley Birch, Strategic Lead for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub and Deputy CEO of Meridian Trust, said: “CTSN SCITT is one of three ITT providers in the region that partner with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub. Through the Hub, and also CTSN SCITT’s delivery of ITT with schools in Meridian Trust, I have seen at first-hand how the team put children and young people at the heart of everything. Trainee teachers are very well supported, there is a real team approach with continuous improvement always the end goal, and this has led to a steady supply of teachers locally, regionally and nationally for the past 12 years. This Ofsted outcome is testament to the dedication of staff, excellent leadership, and the commitment of local multi-academy trusts to the system. We are also seeing the opportunity for staff in schools to become involved in CTSN SCITT in a variety of ways, including as mentors and as professional tutors, bringing a continuous CPD offer. Not only does CTSN SCITT collaborate effectively with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub, its relationships extend to three other Teaching School Hubs. It is a major influencer of teacher supply and development.”

 

Jonathan Culpin, CEO of Anglian Learning, added: “We are absolutely delighted by the extremely positive report from Ofsted. Anglian Learning is proud to be working in partnership with the SCITT to deliver high-quality teacher training, which in turn leads to excellent outcomes and opportunities for the children and young people in all of our schools.”

 

Places on CTSN SCITT programmes beginning in September are still available, and Martin encouraged anyone with an interest in becoming a teacher to get in touch with him. “Whether you are an undergraduate seeking your first career or someone looking to change direction, teaching is an incredibly rewarding career,” he said. “Opportunities for young people really are limitless, and helping to prepare them for endless horizons is extremely satisfying. It is also an intellectually stimulating profession, allowing both creativity and rigour. It is not too late to start training to become a teacher this year; the classroom door is most definitely open.”

 

For more information, including an opportunity to chat about training to teach opportunities, please contact CTSN SCITT on 01223 262503 (extension 223) or email scitt@catrust.co.uk, or visit https://ctsnscitt.info/.