Member Case Study: West Essex School Direct Partnership



David Parker

West Essex School Direct Partnership


The West Essex School Direct Partnership provides a school-based initial teacher training (ITT) experience with online professional development experts Tes Institute. The partnership is based at the lead school, Davenant Foundation School, and involves 18 secondary schools in West Essex, Harlow and Chelmsford and a small primary programme for a Trust in Harlow.

David Parker, who is Assistant Headteacher at Davenant Foundation School and part-time Director of ITT at West Essex Teaching School Alliance, said that NASBTT membership has been valuable on many different levels. “For the partnership, NASBTT connects us with the national picture and teacher training discipline, and enables us to see the woods from the trees,” explained David, who is also a NASBTT Trustee. “We get insight on major developments such as the Early Career Framework, knowledge through the weekly blog and reassurance that we have everything covered. Importantly, the Headteachers in the partnership trust that I know what I need to know. NASBTT also understands that the needs of School Direct lead schools are different to SCITTs.”

The networking opportunities provided by NASBTT membership have been particularly well received by the West Essex School Direct Partnership. “I have personally undertaken various NASBTT training, most recently around mentoring, and our new administrator has been to three or four events, including one on growing trainees without increasing staffing,” David said. “It is the opportunity to meet other School Direct lead schools and other Trustees which is incredibly valuable, and as a member I always find these to be informative and supportive in nature. There are few, if any, similar platforms in the sector.”

David also highlighted the advocacy role being played by NASBTT. “In a period of political turmoil, NASBTT attempts to temper political ideologies to change things for the better,” he said. “Emma Hollis (Executive Director) has given NASBTT incredible presence in influencing national policy and the organisation’s ‘voice’ has moved up to another level. It has been transformed from a small organisation with a quiet voice to a large organisation with an inside track. As a NASBTT Trustee, I am proud to be able to represent the interests of School Direct lead schools directly to Emma and fellow Trustees.”


Provider details: West Essex School Direct Partnership


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