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Blog: Exciting times in Teacher Development

Blog written by Lisa Fathers, Director of Development, Partnerships and Teaching School Hubs (Bright Futures Executive Team)

Without a doubt home schooling has given parents a valuable insight into the challenges of teaching and a little bit more widespread appreciation of the skills and knowledge required! After the last year with little or no real school holidays due to Covid related pressures it seems there is a renewed thanks for the role of teachers and the fact that schools are absolutely at the centre of communities.

At Bright Futures Teaching School Hubs we want to celebrate and shout about the important role that teachers play in society. We also want to put teacher wellbeing front and centre of all our work. We know one way to support teachers is to invest in high quality professional development and we welcome the significant reforms in professional development nationally. Together, these reforms will help teachers and school leaders in every phase, subject and context feel more confident, clearly supported and in control of their careers. They will establish strong professional development cultures both within individual schools and across the country, elevating the quality of teaching and ultimately improving pupil outcomes. The Teacher development reforms are by career phase and will create a ‘golden thread’ of high-quality evidence underpinning the support, training and development available through the entirety of a teacher’s career. You can read more about this in the DFE information here : Teacher development narrative FINALFORTSH.docx.pdf

We know Teachers are the foundation of the education system – there are no great schools without great teachers. The quality of teaching is the single most important in-school factor for improving pupil outcomes, it is that simple.

You will know about the national roll-out of the Early Career Framework ( ECF). The ECF entitles early career teachers in the first two years of their career access to thorough support and mentoring during their induction. It is one of the most significant reforms to the teaching profession in a generation, aimed at providing extensive , evidence-based development that will produce better-trained teachers who are more likely to stay in the profession. Support for Early Career Teachers is being extended from one year to two years. Protected time in their second year will be supported by additional funding – providing them with an extra 5% non-teaching time in their second year.

The second lot of exciting updates are the huge changes to the National Professional Qualifications. Three new specialist qualifications will allow middle leaders and senior teachers opportunities to develop further specialist expertise. The remaining leadership qualifications for senior leaders, Headteachers and Executive Leaders are also being refreshed and updated making them more relevant for those who lead our schools.  

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This golden thread will be accessed through the new infrastructure of Teaching School Hubs.

Teaching School Hubs will partner with DfE approved Lead Providers to deliver training. Teaching School Hubs will be the backbone of the delivery mechanism and will be essential to the success of these reforms. The 87 Teaching School Hubs are school-led centres of excellence in professional development run by the country’s best MATS and schools.  Each Hub serves a designated area of the country, ensuring every school has easy access to support. Schools should work with their local hub and Local Authorities are of course supporting this national agenda and working closely with Hubs too.

Sir Kevan Collins points out, the ongoing professional development of teachers is “undoubtedly the best catch up offer” we have to respond to Covid.

Eleanor Davidson one of the Bright Futures Deputy Hub Directors responsible for ITT & ECF across our Hubs said “ the ECF has the power to shift thinking, transform the experiences for our newest entrants to the profession and secure success building on the ITT core content seamlessly”.  

This is about a long, sustainable impact, it is not a quick fix, we need to take a bigger picture view here and these changes will only have real impact if the school led system and other colleagues in localities embrace the changes, support the changes and work with Teaching School Hubs  to ensure sustainable, professional development that builds long-term success.

Alliance for Learning
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