Burnt Mill at cutting edge of teacher training

Communities / Wed 22nd Apr 2015 at 05:28pm

THREE schools in Epping Forest and Harlow are co-ordinating the training of teachers in both the secondary and primary phases.

Davenant Foundation School (Loughton), St. John’s Church of England Primary School (Buckhurst Hill) and Burnt Mill Academy (Harlow) are the lead schools in the West Essex Teaching School Alliance and are recruiting locally for the government’s School Direct Programme.

This is in response to a critical shortage of teachers who need to be trained in subjects such as Maths, Science, MFL, Computing, Technology and Geography as well as in the primary sector.

The government has identified a number of “shortage subjects” and these now attract either bursaries or a salary grant depending on subject and class of degree.

Locally trained teachers for local schools is the message and the partnership of eight West Essex secondary schools (also including West Hatch High School, Roding Valley High School and Epping St. John’s – and, in Harlow, St. Mark’s West Essex Catholic School, Stewards Academy and Passmores Academy) has been extremely successful at attracting applicants, who train and are then employed by the school.

They work with Hibernia College UK using a blended model of training with on-line subject knowledge provision, access to subject knowledge enhancement, in school training and mentoring supported by a Pathway (external) tutor who has subject expertise.

The National College of Teaching and Leadership has recognised the strength of the partnership and numbers have doubled in the last two years from 12 to 25 and there are already 20 teachers allocated to the eight schools for 2015-2016 with Maths and Science to the fore.

The primary training, led by St. John’s and Burnt Mill is organised differently.
Currently there are 17 trainees in primary schools across the area and there is an expectation of increasing this number to 28 in 2015-2016.

All of the 2013-2014 trainees found local employment and so far 21 of the current 25 have found employment locally for September 2015.

Trainees need to gain experience in schools before commencing their training, working as T.A.’s or Cover Supervisors or in some other classroom capacity, to prepare them for what they will experience.

Davenant Headteacher Chris Seward believes in the crucial importance of teacher training to the future of our local schools.

He said: “All Headteachers in West Essex are concerned about recruitment of teaching staff into the area and, consequently, we want to attract good people into starting their careers in our schools and, therefore, give us more supply in the years ahead.

“Our local schools collaborate very successfully to provide high quality training programmes that can lead to employment.”

Those interested in finding out more about training prospects can contact either Davenant, St. John’s Church of England Primary or Burnt Mill schools.

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