Teaching schools are outstanding schools that work with others to provide high-quality training and development to new and experienced school staff. They are part of the government’s plan to give schools a central role in raising standards by developing a self-improving and sustainable school-led system. A teaching school alliance is led by a teaching school and include schools that are benefiting from support, as well as strategic partners who lead some aspects of training and development.
Teaching schools play a fundamental role in developing a self-sustaining system where:
- trainee teachers learn from the best teachers, supported by a culture of coaching and mentoring;
- professional development is school-based and classroom focused – teachers, support staff and leaders improve through exposure to excellent practice within and beyond their immediate school, through observation, mentoring, coaching, practice, reflection and sharing with peers;
- talent development and distributed leadership are the norm – staff demonstrating potential are encouraged to lead and are given structured and stretching opportunities to grow and develop;
- leaders have local knowledge and can identify where key resources and expertise lie.
As well as offering training and support, teaching schools identify and co-ordinate expertise in partner schools, using the best leaders and teachers to:
- play a greater role in recruiting and training new entrants to the profession (initial teacher training);
- lead peer-to-peer professional and leadership development (continuing professional development);
- identify and develop leadership potential (succession planning and talent management);
- provide support for other schools;
- designate and broker specialist leaders of education (SLEs);
- engage in research and development activity.