Trailblazing Initial Teacher Education Partnership lauded by Ofsted

A partnership providing high-quality teacher training to secondary schools across the North West has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

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The OAKS teacher training partnership, led by Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy (OSSMA) in Stoke alongside Keele University, is leading the way in addressing teacher shortages through its School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme. The programme is an innovative and intensive one-year teacher training course, after which trainees gain QTS certification and obtain a Keele University PGCE.

The partnership consists of over 25 secondary schools, Special schools and primaries located over five areas - Stoke, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Shropshire and Birmingham. The course is enabling education providers such as OSSMA, part of Ormiston Academies Trust, to 'home-grown' teachers and ensure all students have access to high-quality education. The Ofsted report highlighted the following key strengths of the partnership:

• Outstanding outcomes for trainees, including their achievement of the teachers’ standards at a high level, the quality of their teaching over time and their high completion and employment rates.

• The highly personalised, nurturing support provided by the OAKS for schools and for trainees, which contributes significantly to the quality of training provided and the quality of outcomes achieved.

• The model of school-led teacher training supported by higher education provision that ensures trainees have the opportunity to develop excellent teaching skills in an intellectually rigorous context Inspectors also commended the 'collaborative nature' of the partnership, which they say 'engenders high levels of trust between partner schools, and provides opportunities for all schools to contribute to training the next generation of teachers to teach exceptionally well.'

Stoke is among the areas of the country with the lowest rates of participation in higher education and has suffered from a shortage of qualified teachers, especially in the subject of maths. OSSMA, rated 'Good' by Ofsted, is tackling these challenges head on. In addition to leading the OAKS partnership, which both provides access to high-quality further education and ensures the region is developing and nurturing talented teaching staff, OSSMA played a key role in establishing a Maths Excellence Partnership alongside Tristram Hunt MP which is working to drive up maths standards in the area.

Mark Stanyer, Principal at Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy, said:

"Our team have worked extremely hard to deliver a high-quality and innovative teacher training programme to the region and we are thrilled that this has been recognised by Ofsted. Our trainees have access to the experience and expertise of our staff and benefit from the partnerships collaborative nature which ensures we are able to share best practice and experience effectively. Our hard work is paying dividends, evidenced by the very strong personal and professional attributes reflected in trainees, NQTs and former trainees, as highlighted by the report."

"We are committed to tackling the challenges facing education provision in Stoke and ensuring that all students, no matter what their background, have access to the high quality education they deserve. We look forward to building on this success and the progress made at OSSMA since it joined the Ormiston Academies Trust."

Tristram Hunt, Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central, said:

"I am delighted to see that the Sir Stanley Matthews Academy has been awarded an Outstanding grade for its OAKS teacher training partnership. This is a school that delivers remarkable results in an innovative, creative and rigorous manner. I am excited to know that a new generation of teachers will themselves be benefitting from the inspiring and determined ethos of the Sir Stanley Matthews Academy."

Rob Flello MP, Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent South, said:

"It is great to hear that Ofsted have recognised the fantastic work being done by OSSMA and Keele University on this project. OSSMA really has gone from strength to strength over the last few years and it is testament to the work of Mark Stanyer and all the team. The whole school should be very proud of their work."

Rob Tweats, Director of the OAKS Partnership, said:

"The OAKS staff and all school staffs in Partnership have worked extremely hard for this prestigious status. The trainees have done tremendously well too!"