Sunday, 04 October 2015

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West Cumbrian schools given top teaching status

A handful of west Cumbrian schools have been granted a special status which will allow them to pass on their expertise to other schools.

Helen Tinnion photo
Helen Tinnion

The five schools which will form the new Western Lakes Teaching School Alliance are Bridekirk Dovenby Primary, St Patrick’s Catholic Primary at Cleator Moor, Whitehaven’s Mayfield Special School and both Keswick and Cockermouth secondary schools.

The schools have all gained good or outstanding status in their latest Ofsted reports and are now among only 150 schools in England to be granted Teaching School status in the third wave.

The Teaching School initiative began in 2011, marking a shift towards training and development programmes being delivered within schools themselves.

It gives high achieving schools the freedom and autonomy to lead a group of schools, working with other partners, including the University of Cumbria and Cumbria County Council, to deliver high quality support for teachers and leaders at all stages in their careers.

As they develop Teaching Schools, working with other schools and universities, will help to provide the next generation of teachers and headteachers and support schools in a variety of ways.

Bridekirk Dovenby headteacher, Helen Tinnion, said: “We are delighted at being selected as a Teaching School Alliance. This was a unique Primary–Secondary–Special School bid and we look forward to working closely with a wider alliance of partners in raising standards, training new entrants to the profession and school-to-school support.”

Emma Jackson, headteacher of St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School added: “It is a real boost for west Cumbria to have schools designated as Teaching Schools. We know we have the capacity and professional skills in our five schools in the alliance to make a real difference and we look forward to the challenge.”

Planning for the Teaching School will start in the summer term and the Teaching School designation will initially last for four years.


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