Teaching schools are strong schools led by strong leaders; centres of excellence charged with supporting other schools to deliver high-quality training, development and support to new and experienced school staff.
The Spencer Academies Trust’s ‘outstanding’ George Spencer Academy (GSA) has a seven year record as the lead school for the local Teaching Schools Alliance (TSA). The TSA combines primary and secondary schools, alternative provision, and other subject organisations and networks. As of 2018, the Teaching Schools Alliance has more than fifty partner organisations, including universities, schools and alternative education providers.
- co-ordinating and providing high-quality school-led initial teacher training (ITT)
- providing high-quality school-to-school support to spread best practice, particularly to schools that need it most
- providing evidence-based professional and leadership development for teachers and leaders across the TSA network
Lead schools must be accredited to provide school-led teaching training through the School Direct or School-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) model. Thereafter, TSAs are responsible for driving external improvement by ensuring that newly-qualified teachers are recruited to schools in areas of need.
Lastly, TSAs have a role in providing continuous professional development, ensuring that initial teacher training is co-ordinated with professional development activity, and organising alliance members to provide school-led professional development.