One Cumbria Teaching School Hub

One Cumbria Teaching School Hub, which has been a member of NASBTT since the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year, is the designated Hub for Cumbria. Its lead school, West Lakes Academy, is part of the West Lakes Multi-Academy Trust.

“Although I have several years’ experience in Headship, out of the four strands under our remit as a Teaching School Hub I had no prior experience of ITT,” explained Judith Schafer, who took up her Director role in September having been part of the original bid writing team, and is also Deputy CEO of West Lakes. “Cumbria’s children need the best schools in their own communities, and they need aspiring professionals to help them shape their world. NASBTT membership, and its support, was recommended to me by experienced ITT colleagues.”

Judith’s first interaction with NASBTT was a briefing with Executive Director Emma Hollis, who provided an overview of the ITT landscape. “The time I had with Emma was absolutely fascinating,” she said. “Getting a concise account of what the key issues are was incredibly valuable. She also provided me with contacts around the country which has allowed me to build my network. Emma was very generous in putting me in touch with other people – not for her own benefit, but more for someone who is the new to the ITT market. If I do not have the answers to something, I can now get in touch with those who do, and people who have more expertise than me. The networking side of things has been most valuable outcome so far.”

She also emphasised the significance of NASBTT’s representation for the ITT sector, and the wider benefits for Teaching School Hubs. “Our Hub is very embryonic so having an independent body to go to for advice is so important and will continue to be in the future,” Judith revealed. “NASBTT is an organisation, and a platform, to trust and it is clearly acting in the interests of school-based ITT. We need an effective voice for ITT, and the provision of sound leadership which helps us to form opinions without seeking to influence our thinking. On a day-to-day basis the information provided is consistently good, presented fairly and delivered with integrity. The weekly newsletter that we receive, and the ability to click through stories and digest these as and when, is really good.”

Judith’s colleague Tina Beddoe is overseeing the Early Career Framework strand of One Cumbria Teaching School Hub. “Accessing NASBTT resources has been so valuable,” she said. “I have personally attended Expresso Shot Networking Events, and NASBTT’s Teaching School Hub and Appropriate Body events, as we are the only AB in the county. I get lots of information from the Teaching School Hubs Council, and Teach First as our delivery partner, but NASBTT’s input has been critical given the specific focus on Appropriate Body services.”

Case study developed: November 2021

 

 

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