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University tutors provide “exceptional” support to those training to enter the classroom, Ofsted has said.

Exeter receives outstanding rating for its Teach First programme

Outstanding teacher training programmes run by the University of Exeter and Teach First are helping to supply effective teachers in areas of social and economic disadvantage.

University tutors provide “exceptional” support to those training to enter the classroom, Ofsted has said.

Inspectors have praised the Teach First Leadership Development Programme, designed to produce staff for schools in challenging circumstances, and have given them an outstanding rating in a newly published report.

The programmes are run by the Graduate School of Education in partnership with the charity Teach First and 29 schools in the South Coast, from Poole to Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight and the Isle of Portland. They offer participants a route to train either as a primary teacher or a secondary teacher in English, mathematics, science or RE.

This is only the third year the programmes have been run in the South Coast and Ofsted inspectors have said the “cohesive” way all partners work together has “resulted in an extremely strong training route for participants who all exceed the minimum level of practice expected to gain qualified teacher status”.

The “extremely thorough” training means new teachers are confident and have an acute awareness of the needs of disadvantaged and the most able pupils.

The Ofsted report says: “At the very heart of this extremely effective partnership is the cohesive bond between Teach First, the University of Exeter and local participating schools. Together, they successfully ensure that participants achieve outstanding outcomes.

“Participants report that the support they receive from the University of Exeter tutors is exceptional. They know that whenever they have a problem or concern, their tutor will be there to support and advise them. The excellent communications between Teach First South Coast, University of Exeter, the leadership development officer and the participants contribute to the outstanding outcomes of this partnership.”

Dr Nigel Skinner, Head of the Graduate School of Education, said: “This outstanding result is testament to the high quality of the support to participants provided by the University of Exeter, and the strong partnership between the University, Teach First colleagues and partner schools in the South Coast region.

“Working together we provide a programme which enables participants to use insights about teaching and learning gained from research and theoretical ideas in order to develop their practice based skills in schools. This approach adds real value to the quality of the educational experience for pupils being taught by Teach First participants.”

Training begins with a high-quality six-week summer institute. Participants spend four weeks in their region and two weeks at a national summer institute.

Those on the teacher training programme then work as unqualified teachers, teaching a slightly reduced timetable from the first week of the school year. Those accepted onto the programme commit themselves to working for two years in a school in challenging circumstances. At the end of the first year they are awarded Qualified Teacher Status and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).


Date: 18 January 2016

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