Blackpool South MP Scott Benton visits Armfield Academy to learn about SCITT, a new teacher training programme on the Fylde Coast

The MP for Blackpool South, Scott Benton, has visited Armfield Academy on Lytham Road to learn more about a new teacher training programme helping with recruitment across Blackpool and the Northwest.

By Aimee Seddon
Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 4:03 pm

Fylde Coast SCITT (School-Centred Initial Teacher Training) are on-the-job programmes which serve the recruitment needs of local schools and colleges, because they allow people to teach where they live, without attending university, and qualify after one year with Qualified Teacher Status and an optional PGCE.

Over 200 teachers have been trained through this Ofsted Outstanding provider, and earlier this month, Scott Benton visited the training suite within Armfield Academy, part of The Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT), to meet some of them and find out more about their preparation.

Scott spent time with primary and secondary trainees as they worked together to complete their trauma-informed practice module with Rebecca Calvert from the NHS, PC Jo Mills from Blackpool Council and A Better Start team.

Scott Benton MP visited Armfield Academy to learn about the new school based SCITT programme. Left to right: Andrew Kenworthy, Aly Spencer, Scott Benton, Jane Leigh.

He also met Jane Leigh, Senior Assistant Principal for St Mary’s Catholic Academy who designs the safeguarding curriculum for SCITT, and she explained how unique this programme is and how much it better prepares teachers for the realities of the classroom, with many even being Blackpool children themselves.

John Topping from FCAT, and a former Senior Leader in Blackpool schools, said: "We are really grateful to Scott Benton MP for visiting the Fylde Coast SCITT during this day of Brain Architecture workshops. As a qualified teacher himself, Scott recognises the vital importance of this high quality teacher training being available in Blackpool, for Blackpool".

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Aly Spencer, Head of SCITT, added: “The teachers who graduate from this route are confident practitioners who are properly prepared. Many have gone on to secure promotional positions and our aftercare service provides support long after they have left us”.

Scott Benton with Rebecca Calvert (both standing) looking at the trauma-informed practice module worksheet
Left to right: Linda McCully, Jonnie Cooper, Scott Benton, Abbie Simpson.