Fylde coast’s on-the-job teacher training programme handed top rating by Ofsted

Tim Grayston, from Millfield Performing Arts College, Jenny McKinnon, the primary lead for the SCITT, Cheryl Brindle, head at Breck Primary, Roy Blake, SCITT lifecoach, Kate French, SCITT administrator, Phil Naylor, from St Mary's Catholic Academy, Aly Spencer, head of SCITT, Laura Foley, PSHE mentor, Jill Gray, head of Blackpool Sixth Form College, and Tim Freeman, the director of the teaching school
Tim Grayston, from Millfield Performing Arts College, Jenny McKinnon, the primary lead for the SCITT, Cheryl Brindle, head at Breck Primary, Roy Blake, SCITT lifecoach, Kate French, SCITT administrator, Phil Naylor, from St Mary's Catholic Academy, Aly Spencer, head of SCITT, Laura Foley, PSHE mentor, Jill Gray, head of Blackpool Sixth Form College, and Tim Freeman, the director of the teaching school
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A Fylde coast teacher training programme has been rated ‘outstanding’ following its first inspection.

Ofsted said the Fylde Coast Teaching School Alliance’s ‘school-centred initial teacher training’ – or SCITT – offers ‘quality’ training, and leaves newly-qualified teachers ‘equipped with the skills needed to teach well’.

The scheme, set up two years ago, provides on-the-job training for university graduates looking to become secondary school teachers.

It trained 20 people during 2016/17, who would have previously faced further university studies.

In its report, Ofsted said the programme’s ‘overall effectiveness ... is outstanding’.

It added: “Leaders and managers have a strong vision and a shared moral obligation to train the highest quality teachers for Blackpool and the Fylde coast schools.

“They are determined to support school improvement across the area by providing a pool of excellent NQTs (newly-qualified teachers) that meet local needs. They are resoundingly successful in this mission.”

Aly Spencer, who heads up the programme, said: “It’s amazing. I was expecting them to identify we are doing things in a unique way – because we have our own life coach and prioritise PSHE (personal, social and health education) and we are training them to be teachers of children and not subjects.

“But the report was more than we could have imagined.”

And Tony Nicholson [left], executive principal of Hodgson Academy in Poulton, which helped set up the alliance, added: “The Fylde Coast Teaching School Alliance is thrilled with the outcome of this inspection.

“It is rare that an outstanding judgement is given to a SCITT on its first inspection or indeed at any time.

“The magnitude of this achievement can not be underestimated. We can now train local people to teach in a nationally recognised outstanding provision.

“This is a huge result for the teaching school and a huge result for Blackpool and the Fylde.

“We want the very best teachers in front of our children and this outcome will help us provide that quality.”

The Fylde Coast Teaching School Alliance was launched in 2012 and now counts 20 schools as members.

From September next year, it will also be offering places to graduates hoping to become primary school teachers.