Teacher training providers merge to create new offer for schools and future teachers across Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk
A new local teacher training organisation operating across Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk will support recent graduates and career changers into the classroom from September 2024.
Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk Teacher Training (NESTT) is being formed following a merger of experienced “tried and tested” school-centred local initial teacher training (ITT) providers Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT and BEC Teacher Training.
The merger has been agreed following the Government’s recent ITT market review report which made recommendations on how to make sure all trainees receive high-quality training, how the ITT market maintains the capacity to deliver enough trainees and is accessible to candidates, and how the ITT system benefits all schools. One of these recommendations was around the development of local partnerships.
Whilst Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT and BEC Teacher Training will continue to operate as individual ITT providers until the end of the 2023-24 school year, NESTT leaders are already laying firm foundations for the future for the new organisation, including working with subject experts to design a new and exciting curriculum for the teachers of tomorrow.
The NESTT programme will feed into provision for the Early Career Framework, which sets out what early career teachers are entitled to learn about and learn how to do when they start their careers, and ensure a coherent three-year training cycle for new teachers as well as comprehensive support for mentors in school.
“The two SCITTs merging to form NESTT share a vision of working with all our local partners to nurture a vibrant, research-engaged community of teachers in our area,” said Anna Richards, Executive Leader of Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT.
“We are a tried and tested local provider and will continue to be responsive to local need. Collaborating with local head teachers in each area will enable us to consult widely amongst our partnership schools and local multi-academy trust CEOs.
“Unlike some of the new national entrants to the market, the SCITTs merging to form the new partnership all have 22-25 years’ experience of delivering ITT. Both legacy SCITTs joining NESTT currently have five-year teacher retention rates above the national average, in some cases by a substantial margin.”
Christine Jarrold, Director at BEC Teacher Training, added: “The records of ourselves and Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT show the vast majority of teachers we train take jobs in local schools and continue their careers working in the area.
“NESTT teacher trainers have all worked in local schools before moving into teacher training and have a wealth of contacts and personal knowledge of the region, which facilitates that. Existing excellent relationships with schools mean that NESTT will be able to ensure that every trainee has a suitable school placement and a skilled mentor from the start of the course.
“The NESTT team will continue to foster the culture of trust and transparency which enables us to work with schools effectively to provide the best training for our beginning teachers.”
NESTT will continue to provide the majority of training face-to-face rather than relying on online platforms and pre-recorded videos. “Face-to-face interactions provide valuable experiences for trainee teachers, facilitating learning through activities such as rehearsal and micro-teaching, which research has found to be highly effective,” Anna said. “It will also enable them to develop supportive networks in our area, aiding future retention of teachers.
“We will keep up our current open-door policy and our locally-based teams will be able, as now, to respond quickly and flexibly to any questions raised by our schools. As well as trainees, the mentor training and skills’ staff develop as teachers will support broader school improvement. All this will be underpinned by our core values, Nurture, Empower and Teach.”
The development has been welcomed by education and local authority leaders across the region, including both Suffolk County Council and Norfolk County Council who have long been strategic partners of Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT.
Mark Bennett, Senior Education Officer at Norfolk County Council, said: “We are confident that NESTT will provide high-quality staff for our local schools and ensure they gain enjoyment and satisfaction from their careers, remain in the profession and continue to develop their expertise, contributing to their own schools and to the training of future teachers.”
Samantha Fletcher, Assistant Director for Education Strategy and Infrastructure, Norfolk County Council, concurred: “Relationships are key, and we will continue to build on the strong partnerships with local schools that characterise our full provision, and offer our communities high-quality training and personalised support.”
Ahson Mohammed, CEO of Compass Trust, the parent body of BEC Teacher Training, added: “We are delighted to be cooperating in this new venture. Our Trust has always had a strong commitment to providing the very best in training and development for our staff. The formation of NESTT will enable us to make our offer to trainee teachers even more attractive.”
The University of Suffolk will continue to validate the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) on NESTT primary and secondary ITT programmes. “We are pleased to be able to extend our relationship with NESTT, and look forward to supporting staff and trainees alike,” said Dr Clare Gartland, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Suffolk.
Primary and secondary schools in the following cities and towns (and surrounding areas) will be supported by NESTT: Basildon, Billericay, Brentwood, Bury St Edmunds, Colchester, Chelmsford, Clacton-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth, Harwich, Hornchurch, Ipswich, King’s Lynn, Lowestoft, Norwich, Rayleigh, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea, Thetford and Wickford.
NESTT is hosting Train to Teach Information Events on 9th May, 14th June and 13th July. For more information, go to www.nestt.org.uk.