Member Case Study: Alban Federation

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Member Case

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Alban Federation

Mark Nicholls is Programme Manager at the Alban Federation, which offers initial teacher training in local secondary schools in St Albans, Harpenden and across Hertfordshire. The Federation was formed in 2004 and Mark joined the organisation in September 2013 after it became a School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) provider. It is a top 10 SCITT, according to The Good Teacher Training Guide.

“As a SCITT we have grown considerably – from 12-16 trainees initially to over 50 now, and we are working with 20 secondary schools in our delivery as well as six currently hosting primary trainees,” Mark explained. “We have been a NASBTT member for the past five years and there is no doubt that their support has directly influenced our development. The teacher training landscape is not always clear and, given the ever changing approach of government, NASBTT’s insight is invaluable. Their availability to consult, not least on potentially thorny issues, and the wisdom they impart have been particularly important to us on our journey.”

Mark went on to highlight specific areas of guidance that NASBTT has provided. “There have been several stand-out experiences,” he recalled. “Advice we received on disability legislation when one of our applicants was hearing impaired, events on SEND and assessment which I attended, and the related documents and handbooks which provide important direction. It is this expertise that we get to buy in to. When we are not able to get an answer, NASBTT provides it through its weight of experience. They help us keep on top of new intelligence and the information that is disseminated is done so in a really useful format. There is a strong executive team driving the organisation.”

With continuing uncertainty over ITT, Mark is keen for NASBTT to continue representing the interests of the broad range of accredited providers up and down the country. “SCITTs are not a homogenous group – and we always need to recognise that,” he said. “So in terms of influencing policy and having access to the corridors of power, NASBTT is listening to those ‘down the food chain’ by giving us the opportunity to feedback on issues that matters most to us. We get to do that through surveys and in person.”

Provider contact details
Alban Federation
c/o Sandringham School
The Ridgeway
St Albans
Hertfordshire. AL4 9NX
Telephone: 01727 799560 Ext217
NASBTT contact details
Alison Hobson, Executive Officer
Address: The Priory Centre
63 Newnham Avenue
Bedford. MK41 9QJ
Telephone: 01933 627049
Mobile: 07925 805399
Media enquiries
All media enquiries and interview requests should be directed to Phil Smith, NASBTT PR Consultant
Telephone: 01778 218180
Mobile: 07866 436159