NQT's Require Extended Training After Recruitment

With lead education consultant Dr Adam England

NQT's Require Extended Training After Recruitment

Details

Why do leading schools have to invest in their own teacher academies?

Traditionally, we try to address both aspects of provision in the UK in a very orthodox manner – in other words we put in place a sliding scale of sanctions, various punitive measures and we say, “Look, the worse your behaviour, the more severe the sanction.” It is a way of thinking that is millennia-old and frankly, looking at the behaviour and the well-being in schools right now, is it effective?  You would have to say, probably not.

Then you would have to ask yourself, WHY is it not effective? Why doesn’t it work to threaten learners with sanctions? 

It does not work because people are so fundamentally displaced in their wellbeing that they cannot access that quiet space, that blue, rational area of thinking where they can become calm.  People just cannot do this themselves where there has been too much sociological disturbance. The answer is quite simple: It’s because the content of the PGCE and B.Ed. degrees offered by most institutions in the UK is insufficient for developing the type of mindset, the sort of skills and the depth of knowledge required to be successful in a leading school.

Again, we have to ask ourselves – why are universities not made more accountable for the course content? The course content should be dictated by the schools. Take, for example, the teacher training qualification in most Nordic or Scandinavian countries.  The length of qualification is five years and leads to a Master’s Degree.  There are considerably stringent and robust standards to secure entry to those courses, just as there are to secure graduation from them.  Teachers who emerge into the Nordic teaching systems have a fully adapted skilled mindset to deal with what they are being asked to do, which is essentially delivering a curriculum using both the environment and the teacher as resources. Whereas by contrast, here the universities dictate the content and the skills delivered in PGCEs and B.Ed.s.

Unfortunately we are not in a position to tell universities to change content. But what we can do is this: We can ensure that all schools that want to upskill their teachers have an effective, functional, impactful and progressive teacher training academy. 

THE SOLUTION

What does this look like?

TWell, for a start, you are going to have to create a space that is conducive to learning for university graduates.  In your opinion, this may or may not look similar to spaces you are using for your students but I tell you this – these spaces will have to have the same sort of inclusion, the same sort of diversity, the same sort of clever acoustic management, the same sort of deft optical flow structure to ensure that staff will want to work in them before, during and after their working hours at school.

So that is the first area we can begin helping you with.  If you need a physical space for a teacher training academy we can definitely help you design something that is appealing, conducive, productive, relaxing and indeed generative for staff wellbeing.  People have got to want to be in there to work constantly on their professional development.

The second point we can help you with is the content. Myself and my colleagues have significant extensive experience in terms of CPD for staff at all levels. When it comes to creating content for ongoing CPD – especially with regards to aligning curriculum with learning spaces, skills delivery, mindset and the sort of future-proof skills pupils will require to be successful – we can help build that teacher training academy content such that what it delivers to your staff is germane and relevant for their future CPD which in turn, cascades into delivering a future-proofed curriculum.

An excellent example is a teacher training academy I saw this week. Within that academy, there was some wonderful texts and pieces of research worth looking at; they had Professor Guy Claxton’s ‘The Learning Powered School’ which is one of my favourites, along with lots of other texts helping students and staff to think about the impact of their skills development and especially learning spaces on standards.

In addition, that learning environment was extremely conducive for the ongoing CPD for staff who wanted to be in there.  There were plenty of spaces for neurodiverse and neurotypical – no fluorescent lighting, lots of good colours, comfy seating.  It felt in many ways like your lounge or study at home. 

Once you’ve done a hard day’s work when you’re 7, 8 or 9, it’s the kind of place you would want to go in to further your CPD. 

So to sum up: Staff CPD ongoing teacher development dictated in this case by the school not by the university or teacher training institution.

 
If you need a physical space for a teacher training academy we can definitely help you design something that is appealing, conducive, productive, relaxing and indeed generative for staff wellbeing. People have got to want to be in there to work constantly on their professional development.
Dr Adam England
Consultant Headteacher
ACTION

It’s something we can help you with, we can help you craft that space. Equally, we can help you craft the content that goes in there and we can help you win the hearts and minds of all your staff such that they continue to build their CPD within your teacher training academy. 

I hope this has helped.  We look forward to hearing from you!

If you want to know more, do give us a call at Noble and Eaton. 

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