Session 5 Tim Allan Bowerham Community Primary School
TDA Case Study
Integrating Initial Teacher Training into
Schools’ Performance Management
• Lead School - St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School
• Bowerham Community Primary School
• Carters Charity Primary School
• Sandylands Primary School
• St Michaels on Wyre CE Primary School
• Trumacar Primary School
• To link Initial Teacher Training to Performance Management, using
the Team Working and Collaboration strand of the Teachers’
• To evaluate the impact of training all teachers in a school to be
mentors and asking every teacher to have a trainee teacher each
year and be the mentor to them.
• To produce a portfolio for the University of Cumbria to share with
others on their web-site including guidelines linking ITE to the
continuing professional development of teachers through
• To encourage other schools to train more mentors and increase
the number of placements being offered.
• The five partner schools agreed to use Initial Teacher Training as a
Performance Management objective for as many teachers as
possible, linking Performance Management to continuing
• The partner schools consulted both teachers and potential trainee
teachers through a questionnaire to find out which mentoring
qualities are most useful. Each school then evaluated its own
provision and advised staff on training needs.
• Staff from all the schools took part in a Mentor Training Day to
develop their skills and knowledge. This was led by staff from the
University of Cumbria.
• Two adjacent courses were run - one for new mentors and a more
advanced course for experienced mentors.
• Many teachers then undertook a programme of exchange visits and
paired observations of students. This enabled them to share good
practice and develop professionally.
Spreading the message
• Each partner school produced a case study to show how the
process worked in their own schools. The case studies were shared
between Partner Schools and are available through the TDA.
• Each of the schools then approached a ‘buddy school’ with their
case study to discuss the emerging impact of the project. The
underlying motive was to persuade them to increase the number of
trainee teachers they normally take on the basis that it can help
Performance Management. We supplied each school with our
materials in order to make the process easier.
• Many new mentors were trained and many experienced mentors
were given new information, advice and skills. Contact was made by
teachers from the various schools, giving opportunities for further
liaison and support.
• Within each school, teachers felt that they had more support and
could discuss their role as a mentor with other teachers.
• The teachers found it interesting that, even though the schools were
different, their experiences and issues and how they were dealt with
were very similar.
• Trainee teachers found great benefit in having their classteacher as
their mentor, because support and feedback were ongoing, very
effective and without sudden surprises at the end of the practice.
The Real Benefits
• The Partnership produced a handbook, not altogether original, but a
very useful ‘Toolkit’ to support teachers in being a mentor.
• Schools found it much easier to make decisions about trainee
teachers early on. Those that are good know it quickly. Those who
may need support get it quickly.
• The partner school initially linked their work to the Teamwork and
Collaboration strand, producing ideas for professional development
and linking them to Performance Management. We realised that all
the strands could be used in the same way and we have now
produced a complete version whereby we offer professional
development ideas linked to all the standards at every level.
• Buddy schools have all agreed to train at least one new mentor and
so hopefully increase the number of trainee teachers in 2009/2010.
The Real Benefits
• Staff from the partnership schools felt that whole school training and
working with teachers from other schools helped them reflect on and
evaluate their own practice, gaining advice from newly found
partners from the cluster.
• What was particularly welcomed was that all teachers, including
those who covered PPA and HLTAs, had the opportunity to
undertake training. They felt that this whole school approach gave
them the opportunity to support trainee teachers more effectively.
• Trainee teachers felt they had the opportunity to reflect on their own
professional development effectively and considered their mentors
to be very important. They all said they understood better how to
link their own Performance Management objectives to the Teachers’
The Future Impact
Although we feel that the project overall was a success and
helped the Partnership Schools to support trainee teachers
more effectively, we have concluded that schools must use
trainee teachers in a way that will improve standards.
This will require innovative thinking on the part of school leaders
and also will require more flexibility by Universities and Colleges.
We believe it also requires the classteacher to be the mentor.
Trainee teachers must be seen as a valuable extra resource
for teachers to improve achievement and standards.
Many teachers may be sympathetic, but they are not yet
convinced that this can happen. The key is that weak trainee
teachers must be identified quickly and must improve quickly.
Then the argument has a chance.