Member Blog: 30th November 2018
Our journey to evidence-based and outstanding training
SCITT Director, The South Downs SCITT
November has been a proud month for The South Downs SCITT (School-Centred Initial Teacher Training). We have received the Ofsted report from our recent inspection and are celebrating our outstanding grade: a recognition of the quality of the early teachers that we have supported into their teaching careers.
The dream started several years ago with plenty of optimism and a drive to have the best teachers for the children in our community at a time when teacher supply was, and still is, an issue. Back then, I was a professional tutor and led an exceptional group of skilled mentors. We were aware that we were contributing towards producing some very good new teachers.
Two of our associate colleagues at my school approached me to see if we could offer School Direct. That way, they could stay at the school and train with us to teach. So I said why not, and we applied to be a lead school for School Direct.
Over the next couple of academic years, we supported several trainees through School Direct at several of our local schools at both primary and secondary level. This was all done through the University of Chichester. The University’s Head of School Partnership then asked us if we would consider being a SCITT, and I said why not!
The idea was that we would add to the already strong training by the three universities in our local area so we could train more local people for our local schools but now we would be accredited to award Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) ourselves. We would continue to work with the University to offer a PGCE at Masters’ level.
We were successful in our bid. The planning stage was the important part. We thought long and hard about the Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) we wanted for our children and the type of teachers we wanted to train them in our SCITT.
We decided that our NQTs would all be:
- Using the latest research to inform their teaching and able to access this easily through the University, the Research School and the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) so they could ultimately be efficient with their time and effective with their planning.
- Tough and resilient, and able to create an ideal learning environment for any class with their strong behaviour management.
- Have a sense of followership as strong as their leadership skills so they could be an asset to any school community and immerse themselves in school life with high standards of professionalism.
- Trained by tutors who are credible teachers, many of whom are leaders in their schools; and with input from the Research School team to ensure that their training with the SCITT was based on recent research and knowledge of cognitive science.
- Supported by their tutors so they have a strong sense of bespoke care not just through their training year, but throughout their early careers in their schools in our local area. The CPD package offered in collaboration with the Research School would train them and their colleagues that work directly with them in order to support their schools.
We are now training our third cohort and are recruiting for our fourth cohort for 2019-20. We have 100% good and outstanding trainees and 100% employment for our trainees. Ofsted agree that we are making a positive contribution to the supply of teachers in the region. They have specifically said this of our trainees and NQTs:
“High-quality training enables trainees and NQTs to develop into well-prepared and confident professionals. All trainees, regardless of which route through training or age phase they follow, surpass the expectations of the teachers’ standards for that point in their career by the end of their training. They demonstrate excellent practice in the majority of the standards for teaching quality and exemplary personal and professional conduct.”
A proud outcome for everyone involved.
Facebook: The South Downs SCITT
For further reading you might be interested in viewing NASBTT’s Member Case Studies