Rachel is first of the top class...

The Fylde Coast Teaching School Alliance teacher Rachel Wolstenholme
The Fylde Coast Teaching School Alliance teacher Rachel Wolstenholme
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Education bosses are celebrating seeing their 1,000th teacher through a professional development programme.

The Fylde Coast Teaching School Alliance has worked to develop hundreds of teachers, at various levels and stages of their careers, in just three years.

The Alliance, a collaboration between Blackpool Sixth Form College, six primary schools, four secondary schools, a special school and the University of Cumbria aims to develop excellent teaching and leadership across the area.

The first to graduate from the scheme, taking the Schools Direct teacher training programme, was economics and business teacher Rachel Wolstenholme, a former Baines High School and Blackpool Sixth student.

She is now coming to the end of her first year teaching at the Blackpool Old Road college and has been praised by bosses as an “excellent” teacher.

She said: “It’s hands-on training immediately putting theory into practice.

“Teaching is the one job where you need to jump in head first and try new things every day.

“Schools Direct gives you a wider experience and shows you as many different angles of teaching as possible before you qualify.”

Co-director of the Alliance, Tim Freeman, added: “We are focusing on developing the skills of Fylde coast teachers to innovate and improve the experience of all pupils.

“Rachel and others like her are great role models for children in our local schools.”