Harlow and Epping teacher training providers join forces

TEACHER training providers in Harlow and Epping Forest districts are joining forces to promote the area as an attractive place to learn and work.
Schools and multi-academy trusts providing ITT (Initial Teacher Training) in the two towns are working together to increase the number of quality trainee teachers within their settings.

Within the group, representatives from BMAT, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Multi Academy Trust, NET Academies Trust, Forest Independent Primary Collegiate, West Essex SCITT, West Essex Teaching School Alliance (WETSA), Essex Teacher Training and Essex School Direct share best practice for recruitment and retention of potential new teachers.

The group is keen to bring trainees to the area, to support them through their training and help them to settle into permanent jobs, regardless of which training provider they use.

Ian Kendal, executive headteacher, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Multi Academy Trust, said: “We are bringing together, in a more coherent and co-ordinated way, all ITT providers operating in Harlow and surrounding under an umbrella structure to reduce the negative effects of a fragmented, confusing and competitive training system.

“We all have the same aim, of bringing more trainees to the area. We started to think if we collaborated, we would get more trainees than if we competed and that has been the case.

“Once in Harlow, the community supports trainees as they grow through their career, with 95 per cent of trainees offered permanent jobs. It is about us growing our own talent and giving teachers a really good start to their career.

“This work makes sure the future of Harlow schools is secure.”

While some providers offer volunteer placements for those unsure about whether to step into teaching as a career, some are inviting existing staff to bring along a friend to try their hand at the teaching profession, while others offer in-house teaching programmes for those interested in the profession but in need of school experience.

For trainees about to start on their Newly Qualified Teacher year this year, the group held a jobs fair to promote local professional development opportunities open to them.

Rosie Lawson, Secondary School Direct trainee at Burnt Mill Academy, said: “Through my degree, I was lucky enough to gain work experience at Burnt Mill Academy, which opened my eyes to the amazing things they do across BMAT. The high expectations the Trust has of teachers and students really impressed me and this was evident in the teaching and learning I observed in the classroom. I am excited about joining BMAT as I know it will be a challenging, but very rewarding experience in which I will be pushed to reach my full potential as a teacher.”

Richard Foster was at St Luke’s Catholic Academy for two years, before moving to St Alban’s Catholic Academy to take on a leadership role. He said: “The opportunities that I have been given and to come out of the SCITT programme in Harlow have been fantastic. I am eternally grateful to the Essex Teacher Training programme for organising and giving me the opportunity to gain such a rewarding career.

“You are supported from start to finish by high quality mentors, external mentors and course leads to become the best teacher that you can possibly be.”

A Train to Teach event is being held on January 7, between 4.30pm and 7pm, at Harlow Study Centre. To be considered for training, candidates must have GCSEs in English and maths of grade C / 4 or above – plus science for primary school teaching – and a degree. Contact angela.cass@efspt.org for more information.

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