George Spencer school-centred Initial Teacher Training Programme achieves Outstanding rating from Ofsted

The SCITT received a rating of “Outstanding” across all areas in its first inspection since 2013.

The George Spencer Academy School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme was rated as “Outstanding” across all areas by Ofsted inspectors. The George Spencer Academy SCITT offers programmes for both primary and secondary trainees, as well as apprentices.

The inspection spanned three days and nine schools, six of which are Spencer academies. Inspectors were impressed with the overwhelmingly positive feedback they received from SCITT trainees, writing, “Trainees are effusive in their praise for the course and the support they receive. One trainee, typical of all, said: ‘It is an amazing programme in the way it is sequenced, the knowledge learned and, especially, how it replicates the life of a teacher. The support is amazing too.’”

The report acknowledges the role of the SCITT’s strategy of partnership and collaboration in its successful outcomes. “Leaders have fostered a culture that embodies commitment to excellence by working in a mutually collaborative way with partner schools, trainers and trainees. . . As one headteacher said, ‘Our school is a better school because of our involvement with the SCITT.’”

The SCITT’s curriculum is described as “highly ambitious and well sequenced,” and inspectors write that “[t]he content exceeds the minimum requirements set out in the Department for Education’s core content framework.” The report is brimming with praise for the quality of the training, commitment of trainers and effectiveness of curriculum: “exceptionally well organised”, “high calibre” and “exceptionally well supported”, and variations thereof, feature throughout.

The programme’s excellence is also well-recognised within local schools: “Trainees are well prepared for the realities of teaching. Local school leaders recognise this. They say that trainees enter the profession with strong knowledge and skills about, for example, behaviour management, pedagogy and pupil assessment.”

The SCITT team are pleased that the hard work of all colleagues across the partnership schools has been recognised. Primary Course Lead Debbie Botting said, “We are extremely pleased that this report praises the excellence of our work, not only as a small, central team but as a programme which highly values and communicates well with all of our partners. It is particularly pleasing that the report recognises that we know and support our trainees well as they work towards such an excellent standard. The report commends and endorses our curriculum intent and implementation, of which we are extremely proud.”

CEO Paul West said, “Our schools are grateful for this pipeline of excellence into the teaching profession and our family of schools and it’s brilliant to see the drive for the best for all our trainees as future teachers in the profession recognised in this report.”