Member Blog: 1st April 2019

A lifelong learning model: underpinned by mentoring and coaching framework

   

Nicky Hepworth

Programme Manager, Basingstoke Alliance SCITT
Assistant Headteacher, Dove House Academy Trust

The Basingstoke Alliance SCITT (BASCITT) was established in 2014 through which we provide a unique school-based initial teacher training programme led by Dove House Academy, an outstanding special school, and currently have 14 schools within the partnership.

Basingstoke and Deane is one of the Government’s target areas for school improvement. For a number of years there was a distinct lack of appetite for the schools to work together, but over the last few years the SCITT has made a significant impact on the schools working collaboratively through a shared vision of ‘enhancing the life chances of the local community and beyond by providing high quality training to the teachers and leaders of the future ensuring the pupils of tomorrow has access to outstanding provision’.

Our trainees are highly sought after with 100% employment, 96% retention to the profession, and over 70% of trainees becoming teachers in the local Basingstoke secondary schools, thus helping to meet the required supply and demand of high-quality teachers in the local area.

High-quality mentoring, coaching and collaborative coaching are at the heart of BASCITT in order to support the quality of teacher training and development of the teachers leading to improved outcomes for children and young people. Basingstoke headteachers have made a real commitment to ensuring all mentors and Initial Teacher Training Co-ordinators (ITTCos) have protected time in order to provide training.

Over 95% of mentors attended the annual cycle of three training sessions and 100% of schools felt that their staff’s mentoring skills had been developed through the training sessions and moderation visits. Experienced mentors are used to support the delivery of the mentor training, the quality assurance process and undertake the role of Subject Board Tutors (SBTs).

In September 2017, the BASCITT Mentoring and Coaching Recognition Framework was launched, drawing on the recommendations from the Carter Review (2015) and the Teaching Schools Council work on mentoring standards (2016) to support coherency and consistency of school-based mentoring for trainee teachers. It also incorporates the work developed in the North West of England on Mentor Recognition and Accreditation (2007-2012) and piloted nationally with Teach First (2011) which includes the CUREE (Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education) mentoring and coaching principles and skills.

The framework has been designed to support a lifelong learning model from trainee teacher to senior leader and to support the development of a collaborative learning community within Basingstoke, underpinned by mentoring, coaching and collaborative coaching. There are three key aims of the framework:

  1. To raise the profile of mentoring and coaching, providing a framework for professional development for current and aspiring mentors/coaches.
  2. To foster greater consistency in the practice of ITT mentors through the identification of a common set of characteristics and skills that underpin effective mentoring leading to a more coherent experience for trainee teachers.
  3. To build a BASCITT community of practice in mentoring and coaching where collaboration and opportunity to engage in critical reflection on current and innovative educational practice will support teachers’ ongoing professional development from trainee to teacher and leader in education.

In 2017-18, 21 mentors, ITTCos and SBTs completed the new BASCITT Mentor/Coaching Recognition Framework using this as evidence for performance management. Here is the view of one senior leader and ITTCo: “I’ve had the opportunity to work more closely with colleagues at all levels and have seen these staff develop and improve further over the year. Delivering bespoke training to BASCITT trainees has given me the opportunity to use my own knowledge and research to facilitate their professional development as well as encouraging me to reflect on my own practice”. This is not an isolated view.

Our aim over this academic year is not only to increase the number of mentors engaging in the Mentor/Coach Recognition process but also to widen the brief to NQT mentors, induction managers and aspiring middle and senior leaders as a tool to support their professional development. The longer term vision is to add an accreditation strand to this work through a Postgraduate Certificate in Mentoring and Coaching.


Provider details: Basingstoke Alliance SCITT

Website: http://www.basingstokealliancescitt.com/basingstoke-alliance-scitt/basingstoke-alliance-scitt

Twitter: @bascitt

 

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