Quality training delivered locally Doncaster schools have worked closely within the Partnership since 2002 and share a collective passion and vision when recruiting and training future teachers for Doncaster. For applicants wishing to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), Doncaster ITT Partnership schools offer a full training programme which will enable trainee teachers to access a range of schools who have identified excellent practice. Training schools have high quality, trained Mentors with significant experience of supporting trainee teachers and who, with the support of Partnership tutors, are able to cross-moderate training within the Partnership of Doncaster schools to ensure that all students have the best possible opportunity to achieve QTS.
Unlike some providers, a key factor of applying to train in a Doncaster ITT Partnership school, either on School Direct or SCITT, is that all training placements will be in Doncaster schools or local training venues. This means that students will therefore not be required to travel outside of the Borough / Local Authority (LA) area whilst training. So, unlike most providers, the Doncaster ITT Partnership is currently able to offer all SCITT & School Direct places as QTS only programmes, if preferred. This means that, unlike most providers that insist that their trainees complete a PGCE, we do not have to charge for the additional PGCE element if it’s not completed, and so our QTS tuition-fees can be substantially less than the £9,250 that most providers charge for a PGCE (with QTS) course. However, we still recognise that many trainees will wish to undertake the PGCE in addition to their QTS, (we encourage all trainees to consider this, as it underpins the QTS training) and this is therefore available as an optional additional programme, provided by the University of Hull (see Tuition-fees & FAQs).
History The Partnership was formed in 2002 to help Doncaster schools recruit, train and retain qualified teachers through ‘home-grown’ school-based training such as the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP). Our first cohort of trainees started in September 2003 and since then the Partnership has trained hundreds of Primary and Secondary teachers. Most chose to stay and teach in Doncaster, often in their training school. Many have secured senior management positions and some are now responsible for coordinating and delivering teacher training in their own schools. We believe that our ‘model’ of initial teacher training works because the Partnership is more than just the sum of its parts: the Local Authority (Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council), local schools, academies and the University of Hull – it is a genuine Partnership of people who passionately believe that teacher training can and should be delivered with the student at the very heart of why and how we deliver training. Headteachers, training coordinators, mentors, tutors and former trainees from Partner schools and academies (Secondary, Primary, Special Schools & PRUs) all know what makes a difference to student teachers’ learning. Because of this they are best placed to steer the Provider’s Strategic Management Board, enabling the Partnership to consistently deliver ‘outstanding’ trainee attainment (Ofsted 2012). Ofsted 2012 Report – Key strengths:
- The strong focus on meeting trainees’ individual needs that ensures trainees make good progress;
- The coherent programme of training and support for the trainees’ development, within schools and centrally;
- Well developed moderation procedures to ensure the accuracy of assessment;
- The rigorous selection procedures leading to the recruitment of trainees with good potential;
- The strong shared commitment to the partnership’s role in improving the quality of recruits to the profession.
Ofsted also stated that: “Training within schools is greatly valued by almost all trainees. In particular they stress the quality of feedback and support received from their mentors. In addition to their own specific course trainees are able to access their school’s professional development opportunities as well as training offered to trainees on other routes within the school. This training together with the central workshops provides a coherent range of experiences that ensure good progress against the standards.”
“The central training has been strengthened over recent years by drawing upon the expertise of consultants from the National Strategies and other staff with recent and relevant experience. Trainees’ recent evaluations of the quality of their training are very good and show an improvement over previous evaluations.”
“The promotion of equality and diversity is good. There are clear policies in place for ensuring equality of opportunity and for dealing with issues of harassment or racism. Trainees confirm that there are no issues in these areas and no claims of racism or harassment have ever been made. The strong support for individual trainees ensures that all can make good progress. Where trainees face difficulties additional support is provided through the liaison tutor and in rare cases trainees have been transferred to another placement. The ready access to support from the liaison tutors is a real strength and is greatly appreciated by trainees.”
The Future of the Partnership The Partnership is now well placed to expand and further enhance its training programmes with the now established School Direct routes and is proud to be working with a wide range of Doncaster’s Primary, Secondary & Special Schools, Academies and Pupil Referral Units (PRUs). In 2012, the Government announced the closure of the GTP and expansion of School Direct training and the Partnership was accredited to deliver these and the School Centred ITT (SCITT) programme. The School Direct programmes require training schools to commit to support the future employment of trainee teachers and all Partnership schools will endeavour to ensure that, once qualified, successful trainees are supported to secure a post as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) within Doncaster. The Partnership has a proven record of ensuring that the vast majority of previous trainees completed their NQT Induction year in Doncaster, many in either their training or additional placement schools.
Local Partners Partner schools work together in local alliances to promote professional learning and support initial teacher training, strengthened by collaborative working to deliver high-quality initial teacher training. The Primary ‘Partners in Learning’ – Doncaster Teaching School Alliance, represents the majority of Doncaster Primary schools and academies working together on many different aspects including: school to school support; succession planning; professional development and talent management, as well as teacher training. The Teaching School was designated in early 2013 and has two schools at its ‘hub’, Bentley High Street and Kirk Sandall Infant School – the Partnership’s Lead School for Primary School Direct. The Teaching School has over 100 partner schools within the Alliance, many of whom host and deliver ITT training sessions to enable trainee teachers to gain valuable experience in a number of contrasting school settings.
Secondary schools have come together to form ‘DRAFTTS’ – Doncaster Regional Alliance for Teacher Training Secondary, led by Ridgewood School – the Partnership’s Lead School for Secondary School Direct / SCITT.
With a focus centred on teacher training, the DRAFTTS Alliance is now also developing other aspects of professional development between like-minded schools with a proven track-record of supporting collaborative schools-based ITT. Partner schools within the Alliance host and deliver ITT training sessions to enable trainee teachers to gain valuable experience in a number of contrasting school settings.
The Partnership’s long-standing commitment to improve the area’s educational attainment has helped forge links between other local establishments with a common purpose and so we are pleased to be working with the University Centre Doncaster – a joint development between Doncaster College and the University of Hull.
The University of Hull is also supplementing and enhancing the Partnership’s QTS training programme with an optional programme of part-time study to Level 7 and to the award of PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education), in addition to achieving Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Trainee teachers with the Doncaster ITT Partnership on a programme to achieve QTS are able to apply to the University of Hull for 60 credits of Accredited Prior Learning (APL) to align their study with the Level 6 modules within the PGCE Secondary or Primary programme of the University. The Partnership and the University of Hull share delivery of the remaining 60 credits (at Level 7) from the PGCE Secondary and PGCE Primary programmes of the University. The Doncaster ITT Partnership delivers the majority of the programme with additional input and academic support provided by the University of Hull, delivered at both face-to-face workshops and via on-line support. PGCE trainees benefit from high-quality tuition delivered in well-equipped training centres in Doncaster and through schools-based learning in schools and academies.
Whilst the Doncaster ITT Partnership is very much a schools-based provider, it benefits from a strong commitment to support in-school training from the Local Authority (LA) – Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council (DMBC). The LA provides the Partnership with access to specialist personnel and the full backing of the Council, including Finance, Human Resources and the Education Standards & Effectiveness Team of advisers and consultants.