What are Teaching Schools?

Launched in 2011, there are now almost 700 teaching schools across the country. Their role is to work with others to provide high-quality training and support for school improvement in their local area.

Teaching school alliances

All teaching schools form alliances between themselves, their partners and the schools they support. Partner organisations vary, but always include a higher education institution and often other schools and local authorities. Alliances are organised in a range of different ways. Some alliances have found it effective to appoint a director or other senior leader to coordinate their work. At Middleton Technology School this is
Kate Davies.


Teaching schools lead in 6 areas:

  1. delivering school-led initial teacher training (ITT), including School Direct (see http://www.rochdalepioneerspartnership.com/).
  2. providing tailored continuing professional development to staff across their alliances.
  3. supporting other schools, usually working with a school or academy in challenging circumstances to bring about improvement.
  4. identifying and developing future leaders.
  5. recruiting and managing specialist leaders of education: outstanding middle and senior leaders who develop leaders in other schools.
  6. building on existing research and sharing new research and development.

To become a teaching school, a school must be judged outstanding and have a proven track record of delivering ITT and supporting other schools.


System leaders

In the simplest terms, system leaders are those who work beyond their own school. This might include:

  • sharing successful practice with colleagues in other schools.
  • providing coaching in a specialist area.
  • a formal deployment to support a school in challenging circumstances.

There are a number of system leader roles that are designated by us or teaching schools:

  • national leaders of education (NLE) - outstanding headteachers who work with schools in challenging circumstances.
  • national leaders of governance (NLG) - highly effective chairs of governors who support chairs in other schools.
  • local leaders of education (LLE) - experienced headteachers who coach or mentor new headteachers, or headteachers whose schools are in challenging circumstances.
  • specialist leaders of education (SLE) - experienced middle or senior leaders with a specialism, who work to develop other leaders.

There is often a cost for system leader support, which is negotiated between you and the system leader’s school.



Who do we work with?

In Rochdale, there are two teaching schools; ourselves, and Hollingworth Academy. We work together to provide a programme of professional development from pre-teaching to headship and beyond. Our current model is structured as so:


"A journey to outstanding for all"

What is our Teaching School currently doing?

  • School-to-school support in schools across Rochdale (1 day per week) and Tameside(various).
  • We are a nationally accredited NQT Awarding body.
  • We offer and facilitation the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leaders (NPQSL)
  • www.ambitionschoolleadership.org.uk

  • We have an outstanding School Centred Initial Teacher Training Programme where we offer a fully comprehensive, salaried and fee-funded route to teaching. Our SCITT is led by our Training Manager, Paul Jones .
  • mtspjones@middtech.com


  • We have a pre-route to teaching programme offering salaried positions in departments to gain experience and develop subject knowledge for potential teachers.
  • mtspjones@middtech.com

  • We offer a Teacher Subject Specialism Enhancement (TSST) for MFL. This is aimed at those teachers wishing to return to teaching after a break; non-specialists who are teaching MFL or those who just wish to improve their MFL pedagogy. Our Head of MFL (Debi Lane) leads this, alongside the Head of MFL at Falinge Park, Louise Pottinger.



Registration can be accessed at

TSST Registration

If you would like any further information on Teaching Schools please contact mtskdavies@middtech.com.

Meet Our Team

Kate Davies
Director of Teaching School

Paul Jones
Initial Teacher Training Manager