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Positive Regard Teacher Training – Be the Difference

03 Apr 2020   |   Theresa Di'Iasio   |   Positive Regard TSA

The recruitment and retention of early career teachers can be very difficult, especially in the current economic climate; however, having the right strategies and support in place can make a huge difference.

There are many different routes for teacher training and schools have used different ones depending on the individual’s needs. In this article we will look at the School Direct route and how schools in the Trust have used this route to either support staff in their school attain QTS or have attracted external trainees to the Trust who have gone onto successful positions within the school.

With the School Direct route trainees are based in schools either in an unsalaried or salaried role and they will also attend
training at a university. Currently Positive Regard works closely with Sheffield Hallam, Bishop Grosseteste and Leeds Beckett universities. Half way through the year the trainees go out on a second placement at another school in the Trust.

An example school that is achieving a high-level of success in this area is the Barnsley Partnership led by Forest Academy
who have hosted trainees for Positive Regard Teacher training for many years. The success has come through a clear commitment to the model of ‘growing their own’ staff, a strong emphasis on the importance of taking on school-based trainees, and on choosing those trainees wisely. The school has successfully supported trainees through both the salaried route and unsalaried routes. Co-heads of school at The Forest Academy, Katie Pierce and Natalie Wathen agree:

We have hosted a number of School Direct students over the years which has enabled us to grow our own workforce from within and ensure that we are developing quality teaching professionals.”

Another successful strategy that a number of schools in the Trust have also recognised and adopted is through the
identification of potential in their current staff team with the school then subsequently supporting them through a ‘salaried route’.
One such school that has taken advantage of this strategy is Greenacre who fully buy into the concept of ‘Grow your own’ As Debby Tinker, Assistant Head at Greenacre identifies:

“We know how hard it is to find good teachers, let alone good teachers in SEN. We identify HLTAs that demonstrate outstanding practice and look to grow them through the ACT ‘Academy Co-Teacher’ programme.”

Training and support are key to success with the School Direct route. Schools invest time in training, and know the credentials of a trainee and their skill set, so they know that they will be a great part of the team. Hence at the end of the training they don’t want to lose them, especially as the trainee will have gained a strong understanding of the school context, the ethos, and the expectations of the school.

Through this route trainees quickly become part of the school and also have access to expertise and the opportunities to observe outstanding practice. They will have been well supported and this will continue into their NQT induction year.

Successful school leaders are able to identify talent early and look ahead, to ensure that they can plan for a range of eventualities. Positive Regard teacher training values working closely with school leaders to support their succession planning ensures that we provide excellent bespoke support to trainees, NQTs and RQTs. We are proud of our track record of providing the first steps for hundreds of professionals who are our teachers of today and leaders of tomorrow.

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