What are Teaching Schools?

Teaching schools work with others to provide high-quality training and support for school improvement in their local area. Launched in 2011, there are now more than 800 teaching schools across the country.

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.

Teaching schools lead in 3 areas:

  1. Co-ordinating and delivering high-quality, school-based initial teacher training (ITT).
  2. Spreading excellent practice by supporting other schools, particularly those that need it the most.
  3. Providing professional and leadership development for teachers and leaders across their network.


System Leaders

System leaders work beyond their own school or setting, and can be senior or middle leaders in schools or other expert practitioners. Their work 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 NCTL or teaching schools:

  • National Leaders of Education (NLE) - Outstanding headteachers who, together with their national support school, work with schools in challenging circumstances.
  • National Leaders of Governance (NLG) - Highly effective chairs of governors who use their skills and experience to support chairs in other schools and improve the quality of governance.
  • Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE) - Experienced middle or senior leaders with a specialism, who work to develop other leaders so that they have the skills to lead their own teams and improve practice in their own schools.

Increasingly, school-to-school-support is co-ordinated by a teaching school, as they can draw upon a range of system leaders and partners to provide a comprehensive support package individually tailored to the school in need of support. There is usually a cost for system leader support, which is negotiated between the receiver of support and the system leader or their school. There are also specific funds that teaching schools can apply for to help groups of schools or a specific locality, such as the Strategic School Improvement Fund.


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?

  • Offering and facilitating the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leaders (NPQSL).
  • Providing accreditation to NQTs.
  • Facilitating an RQT + 1 series of CPD sessions
  • Providing a pre-route to teaching programme offering salaried positions in departments to gain experience and develop subject knowledge for potential teachers.
  • We offer Teacher Subject Specialism Enhancement (TSST) for Physics and MFL. This is aimed at those teachers wishing to return to teaching after a break or non-specialists who are teaching these subjects.
  • Providing School-Based Initial Teacher Training (please contact Sarah Swindin, the Director of SCITT, for more information mtssswindin@middtech.com) http://www.rochdalepioneerspartnership.com.

Please contact Kate Davies, the Director of Teaching School, for any further information mtskdavies@middtech.com.