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Ormiston Venture Academy acknowledged for its dedication to providing outstanding education


he executive principal of one of Norfolk’s leading schools has been awarded the status of National Leader in Education (NLE). The status was awarded to Nicole McCartney, the executive principal of Ormiston Venture Academy in Gorleston-on-Sea, by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCLT). The NCLT also gave accreditation to the Academy’s bid to become Norfolk’s first secondary National Teaching School.

Both were given approval by the NCLT when Ormiston Venture Academy’s bid to be designated a National Teaching School and Ms McCartney’s leadership in education met the very strict criteria required.

The Teaching School Alliance will be called “Ignite” and a range of courses will be on offer. As Ignite will be a coastal site it sits with the government agenda for improving education in such areas.

Ms McCartney said: “I am beyond delighted that Ormiston Venture Academy has been accredited as a National Teaching School. This means that we have the freedom and autonomy to lead a group of schools, working with other partners including the University of East Anglia, to deliver high quality support for teachers and leaders at all stages in their career. “As a National Leader of Education I firmly believe that all children have high aspirations and it is the duty of educators to nurture and empower students they teach with the drive to succeed. I will work to help those schools that find themselves in challenging circumstances to provide the best education possible.”

The National Teaching School programme is a Government initiative, marking a shift towards school-centred training and development. To be designated a Teaching School it is essential for the applicant school to be judged outstanding by Ofsted, have consistently outstanding results and demonstrate a history of collaborating with other schools to secure pupil improvements. Venture is the first secondary teaching school in Norfolk to be designated.

Jodie Gilbert-Barnham, assistant principal of learning and teaching at Ormiston Venture Academy, explained:

“The work of the teaching school has already begun. We are facilitating professional development programmes, working with the UEA to recruit teachers in the profession through the

School Direct programme and collaborating with other schools.

“A range of courses will be on offer at Ignite. These will be aimed at teaching and non- teaching staff and will meet the professional development needs of staff at all levels in their career - from trainees through to executive. We are already offering the Improving Teacher Programme (ITP) and the Certificate in Educational Business and Administration (CEBA) aimed at support staff.

“We are currently working towards offering the NPQML and NPQSL aimed at developing middle and senior leaders in schools, and the Outstanding Teacher Programme (OTP). In addition to this we will be offering CPD focused on sharing best practice across our teaching school alliance.”

Cambridge provider chosen by national education provider to reduce teacher shortages

The Cambridge Partnership, Huntingdon, has been chosen by one of the UK’s leading online teacher training and development organisations, Hibernia College UK (HCUK), to help address teacher shortages in Cambridgeshire and across the country. The two organisations have joined forces to launch Straight to Teaching, England’s first online and in-school professional development programme aimed at school staff who want to become fully qualified primary or secondary school teachers. With fears that teacher shortfalls will reach many hundreds in Cambridgeshire, and over 15,000 nationally by 2015, the new programme has been designed to utilise the existing school workforce to help address these shortages.

The programme is delivered by HCUK and prepares participants to meet The Teachers’ Standards. As part of the agreement The Cambridge Partnership will independently assess participants against The Teachers’ Standards and award Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to those

who are successful. The Cambridge Partnership was selected to support HCUK with this project because of its strong reputation for innovation within the education market. HCUK estimate over 100 currently unqualified teachers, High Level Teaching Assistants, Teaching Assistants and other school staff will enrol on the new programme each year.

Currently there is no other route that takes less than a year to complete and allows existing school staff to become qualified teachers while remaining in their current school working and earning. Most traditional teacher training programmes require participants to give up employment and assessment-only routes do not offer support, guidance or preparation. Jeremy Coninx, managing director of HCUK, said: “The Cambridge Partnership is ideally placed to support this innovative new programme. They are a renowned assessment centre and their experience will help to safeguard the quality of our programme and the teachers we produce. “By offering schools the opportunity to


grow their own qualified teachers, using people they know and trust, we hope we can start to address the chronic teacher shortages the country is currently experiencing, particularly in specialist subjects such as maths, science, English and foreign languages.”

The new programme is delivered both online and in-school and helps prepare existing school staff to achieve QTS through a range of tools including an online portfolio of evidence, a learning diary, subject knowledge materials, in- school visits and support from a personal pathway tutor and school based mentor. David Maynard, The Cambridge Partnership, said: “With teacher shortages around the country getting more and more severe, tapping into the pool of existing school staff to help raise their qualifications and bring them up to QTS seems like an obvious solution. It’s the first such programme in England to deliver this which is really exciting and is a great example of our innovative approach to teacher training and education.”

May 2014

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