A Lancashire school is pioneering a project to re-shape the way the next generation of secondary school teachers are trained.
A programme designed to give full time on-the-job training to post graduate trainees from across Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside has been drawn up by Tarleton Academy, near Preston.
The Academy is the first secondary school in the North West to be accredited by the Teaching Agency to award qualified teacher status to trainee teachers - something that at secondary level in the north west is usually reserved for universities.
Head of science and assistant headteacher Leanne Wren is leading the programme said Tarleton is part of a partnership of schools that will be delivering this alternative. She said: “ We are in partnership with Edge Hill University, already an outstanding provider and will still be working with them but this is very different to the university-based programme.
“Basically, instead of paying their fee to the university then going out on placement etc post graduates, or those wanting a career change, will pay us and come directly to school where they will spend the whole time..
She added that the programme, which had taken about a year to put together, was being hailed as a flagship model and would be rolled out in the region in conjunction with Edge Hill University and The Sutton Academy.
Entry standards are higher than other training courses and, combined with tougher tests in literacy and numeracy, this programme promises to deliver the very best teachers to o local schools.
Miss Wren said an added bonus of the school-based scheme was that besides trainees being awarded Qualified Teacher Status and a Post Graduate Certificate Education, they woudl also count towards two-thirds of a masters degree.
Tarleton Academy headteacher Lesley Gwinnett said: “Gone are the days when trainee teachers were left to their own devices in the classroom.
“Nowadays, outstanding teacher training involves all teachers in powerful conversations about how to deliver outstanding Teaching and Learning.
“The minutia of detailed lesson planning and assessment is thrashed out between trainee and subject coach so that every lesson is quality assured repeatedly.
“Building on this approach the MML partnership is confident that trainee teachers will continue to add value in the classroom and into the rest of their career.”
Recruitment for the first group, due to start in September, is being channelled at students in their final year of degree as well as people looking for a career change.
In-school training programmes already exist in primary schools in the county but this is believed to be one of the first nationwide in the secondary sector and fits in with government plans to re-shape teacher training.
Miss Wren said that the schools involved in the scheme are diverse so that students will be able to get a wide experience and they will all spend time in primary schools as well.