A brief history

Teaching Schools

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.

Teaching schools have a crucial role in driving school improvement through leadership in developing a self-improving and sustainable school-led system. Teaching schools are centres of excellence, taking a focused role that prioritises core or key objectives.  Originally holding six priorities known as The Big Six, this has since centred upon three; Initial Teacher Education, Continuing Professional development and School to School Support.

The teaching schools initiative began in 2011, marking a shift towards more school-centred training and development. The programme gives outstanding schools the opportunity to lead a group of schools, working with other partners including at least one university, to deliver high quality support for teachers and leaders at all stages in their career.

Create a strong supply of new teachers that understand their community

Develop innovative leaders and grow the next generation of heads

Support schools in challenging circumstances to guide improvement

The Big 6 becomes 3… or does it…

Teaching schools initially utilised their experience, leadership and specialist capacity to support schools in six key areas, known as The Big 6.  Following successful implementation over the years, three of the original objectives are now generally regarded as embedded practice; Succession Planning, Specialist Leaders of Education and Research.

  • Initial Teacher Education
    lead role in recruiting & developing new teachers
  • Continuing Professional Development
    peer-to-peer professional & leadership development
  • School to School Support
    provide & coordinate support for other schools
  • Succession Planning & Talent Management
    identify & develop leadership potential
  • Specialist Leaders of Education
    SLE designate & broker specialist leaders
  • Research & Development
    engage & lead in educational research   

We understand and accept the revised focus and drive for the three Teaching School priorities [1 – 3 above] but still feel there is work to be done across The Big 6 in total.  We also support the move away from the term Initial Teacher Training to the more accurate Initial Teacher Education, acknowledging the depth and commitment to this level of professional achievement.