Session 5 Tim Allan Bowerham Community Primary School


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Session 5 Tim Allan Bowerham Community Primary School

  1. 1. TDA Case Study Regional Priority Integrating Initial Teacher Training into Schools’ Performance Management Framework.
  2. 2. Cluster Schools • 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
  3. 3. Project Objectives • To link Initial Teacher Training to Performance Management, using the Team Working and Collaboration strand of the Teachers’ Standards. • 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 Performance Management. • To encourage other schools to train more mentors and increase the number of placements being offered.
  4. 4. Starting Points • 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 professional development. • 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.
  5. 5. Training • 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.
  6. 6. 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.
  7. 7. Outcomes • 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.
  8. 8. 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.
  9. 9. 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’ Standards.
  10. 10. 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.