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Frequently Asked Questions

There are two parts to the FAQs in this section. Part 1 is taken from the DfE website and answers questions relating to the National Teaching School Programme.  Part 2 answers questions directly relating to the Leading Learning Forward TSA.

  1. National Teaching School Programme FAQs (from the DfE website)

http://www.education.gov.uk/nationalcollege/index/support-for-schools/teachingschools/teachingschools-frequently-asked-questions.htm

Questions

1. What are teaching schools and what do they do? 

A teaching school is an outstanding school that has a strong track record of collaborative working, and has been designated by us to play a key role in the leadership of a teaching school alliance. This new designation gives outstanding schools the role of leading the training and professional development of teachers, support staff and headteachers as well as contributing to the raising of standards through school-to-school support. Teaching schools will bring together provision for training and development from initial teacher training (ITT) through to headship under a single school designation.
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2. Where has the idea come from? 

In 2009, following consultation with schools, we drew up proposals for a new single designation for schools with the Teaching Agency for Schools. Subsequently, the Schools White Paper (December 2010) outlined the government’s plans to raise standards and improve the quality of teachers and school leadership through school-to-school support, and peer-to-peer learning. As part of these plans we have been asked to develop and quality assure the designation of teaching schools. The first year of the programme (until September 2012) will be considered a design and development year. More information on the background and vision for teaching schools can be found on the vision and background page.
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3. Who can become a teaching school? 

We believe it is important that schools of all types have the opportunity to share their skills, expertise and knowledge to support the wider school system, provided they meet the criteria. We are looking for outstanding schools, with a strong track record of collaborative working. Please see the eligibility criteria for full details.
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4. Does my school need to be a national support school in order to become a teaching school? 

No. You do not need to be a national leader of education (NLE)/national support school (NSS) in order to become a teaching school. However, national support schools may find that the school-to-school support experience they gain will help them with a future teaching school application. This year we are offering schools the option to apply for both the NLE/NSS programme and teaching schools designation using a single application form. If you apply through this route we will assess your eligibility for both programmes.
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5. How can my school become a teaching school? 

Applications are made online via our website. We have published some application guidance which provides information on the application process and also explains how applications will be assessed, including gathering anonymous feedback on applicants’ suitability to become teaching schools. Any school that applies may also be subject to a visit to explore and verify information provided in the application form. Please see the apply page for more information.
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6. When is the next opportunity to apply? 

The apply page has information about the next application round.
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7. Can we make a joint application with another school? 

In the first application round, we gave schools the option of making a job-share application together with one other school. However, in response to feedback from schools, we have decided to remove the cap on the number of teaching schools that can be designated in any one alliance. Rather than offer the job-share option where only two schools could be designated, we will now allow any number of teaching schools to be designated within one alliance. Each teaching school designated in this way will still need to demonstrate that it meets all of the eligibility criteria. We hope this change will make the model even more flexible, without lowering the quality of the teaching schools we designate.

In submitting an application where more than one school is applying to become designated as a teaching school, the alliance will need to decide which school makes the application on its behalf. This school will also be the school that is held accountable, in the first instance, for any funding that is granted to the alliance. In the event that one of the teaching school applicants is not designated, the unsuccessful school will still be able to work as a strategic partner within the alliance.
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8. Can there be more than one teaching school in an area? 

Yes. However it is worth bearing in mind that if, in any application round, the number of applications that meet the eligibility criteria exceeds the number of places available, a prioritisation process will be used. This fair and transparent process will take into consideration geographic coverage and representation of rural and urban contexts, as well as the representation of different types and phases of school, and the need to reflect the broad socio-economic mix of schools nationally.
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9. What if my school doesn’t quite meet the criteria? 

The criteria have been agreed by the Secretary of State and although at some point in the future we may be able to recommend that ministers review the criteria again, for the time being they are fixed. If you do not meet the criteria you may wish to consider becoming a strategic partner for another teaching school, which means you will still be able to take a lead role as part of a teaching school alliance. There are some other options for schools that do not meet the criteria, including requesting an additional Ofsted inspection or applying for funding to help you build your capacity. Above all, it is important to remember that the model is not about one school doing it all. We very much see the model being about the establishment of strong teaching school alliances, with schools working together to deliver high quality training and development.
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10. How long does teaching school designation last? 

Designation will usually be for four years, subject to teaching schools continuing to meet the criteria and carrying out the role effectively. The term is also dependent upon continuation of government funding. In order to ensure momentum in a teaching school’s work (for example initial teacher training), the timing of re-assessment and re-designation, where appropriate, will be carefully managed.

If the headteacher of a teaching school leaves, the teaching school will not automatically lose its designation, however we will undertake an assessment to evaluate the capacity of the school to continue to support the work of the alliance.
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11. What is the process for review and de-designation? 

Further information about the review of designation process, including the policy and teaching schools de-designation criteria can be found on our review of designation page.
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12. Is there an appeals process for designation or de-designation decisions? 

Yes. A process is already in place for making an appeal against judgements made by the teaching schools designation panel. There is also a process in place for making an appeal against judgements made by the teaching schools de-designation panel Details on both these processes can be found in the teaching schools designation appeals procedure.
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13. What is a teaching school alliance? 

An alliance is a group of schools and other partners that commit to working collaboratively, supported by one or more teaching schools. It includes all those schools that benefit from the alliance by receiving support, as well as teaching schools and strategic partners that offer support. Alliances may be cross phase and cross sector, work across local authorities and may include different types of organisations. As specialist leaders of education (SLEs)can come from any school, we anticipate that over time most schools will be receiving and offering support to an alliance in one form or another.
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14. Can a school be involved in more than one alliance? 

Yes. There are no rules around this and it is for schools themselves to agree. A school can belong to more than one teaching school alliance. A school could even be a strategic partner for more than one teaching school. If they wish, a school could decide at any point to leave one alliance and join another. Finally, a school that is part of an alliance could apply to become a teaching school themselves at a later date.
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15. What is a strategic partner and who can become one? 

Strategic partners are schools, universities and others (that could include the academy chains, private sector, diocese or local authorities) that deliver particular aspects of the alliance’s activity such as ITT, continuing professional development (CPD), leadership development or school-to-school support. The school making the teaching school application will be asked to name any strategic partners working with them to deliver aspects of their proposed teaching schools provision.

It is therefore important that they make you aware of what is involved before you agree to join their alliance on this basis. We will not play a role in this part of the process. The onus is on the teaching school applicant to organise their proposed alliance, including details of their proposed strategic partners, prior to submitting their application.

Teaching schools may have any number of strategic partners – there are no upper or lower limits - this is down to the individual teaching school applicant to decide, depending on their capacity to deliver.
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16. What does this new approach mean for schools that do not plan to become teaching schools themselves? 

Overall, the teaching schools vision is about working collaboratively to ensure improvement across the system. We think that potentially every school can benefit from this new approach. If this approach is a success, teaching school alliances will help to:

  • provide a strong supply of high quality new teachers
  • significantly improve the quality of serving teachers
  • develop great leaders and the next generation of headteachers
  • support schools in need of support, and particularly have reduced the number of schools in special measures, notice to improve or below floor standard

This will lead to:

  • better results for pupils
  • fewer poorly performing schools
  • more good and outstanding schools
  • a self-improving and sustainable system that is recognised as world class
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Leading Learning Forward Teaching School Alliance: FAQs

1. What is Leading Learning Forward Teaching School Alliance? 

Leading Learning Forward TSA is a partnership of organisations approved and funded by the Department for Education (DFE) / National College for Teaching & Leadership (NCTL) for a period of at least three years. The Alliance was established in July 2013 and representatives of each partner organisation sign an annual statement of commitment within a detailed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Leading Learning Forward TSA consists currently of 25 partner organisations of which 19 are schools, from across North Lincolnshire and beyond as well as 30 associate schools and educational providers.

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2. Where is Leading Learning Forward TSA based? 

Leading Learning Forward TSA covers the geographical area of North Lincolnshire and beyond. It consists currently of 25 partner organisations of which 19 are schools and 3 are  Higher Education Institutions (HEI) as well as 30 associate schools and educational providers.

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3. What do the letters TSA stand for? 

The letters TSA stand for Teaching School Alliance.
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4. Which is the lead teaching school? 

St Hugh’s School in Scunthorpe is the lead National Teaching School. The headteacher is Tracy Millard, who chairs the TSA’s Strategic Board, Alliance Partnership Group and Action Groups.
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5. Who are the strategic partners? 

The strategic partners of the Leading Learning Forward Teaching School Alliance are St Hugh’s Communication & Interaction Specialist College as the lead Teaching School, North Lincolnshire Council as the lead strategic partner. The full list of  partner organisations and members of the Strategic Board for 2015-16 reads as follows:

  1. Lead Teaching School: St Hugh’s National Teaching School
  2. Teaching School Strategic Partner: Healing School with Humber TSA
  3. Lead Strategic Partner: North Lincolnshire Council
  4. Strategic Partner: Bishop Grosseteste University (Higher Education Institution)
  5. Strategic Partner: Hull University (Higher Education Institution)
  6. Strategic Partner: York St John University (Higher Education Institution)
  7. Alliance Partner: The Axholme Academy (Secondary School)
  8. Alliance Partner: The St Lawrence Academy (Secondary School)
  9. Alliance Partner: Lincoln Gardens Primary School
  10. Alliance Partner: Westcliffe Primary School
  11. TSA Governor: St Hugh’s National Teaching School
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6. How many partner organisations are there in the TSA? 

Leading Learning Forward TSA consists currently of 25 partner organisations of which 19 are schools and three are Higher Education Institutions (HEI) as well as 30 associate organisations, schools and educational providers.
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7. When was the Leading Learning Forward Teaching School Alliance established? 

The Teaching School Alliance was established in July 2013.
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8. Who are the alliance partners? 

The current list of alliance partners is as follows:

  1. Alkborough Primary School
  2. The Axholme Academy
  3. Bishop Grosseteste University - HEI Partner
  4. Brumby Junior School
  5. Bushfield Road Infant School
  6. Castledyke Primary School
  7. Coritani Academy (formerly YPEC)
  8. Crosby Primary School
  9. Frodingham Infant School
  10. Goxhill Primary School
  11. Healing School - National Teaching School Strategic Partner
  12. Hull University - HEI Partner
  13. Huntcliff School
  14. Lincoln Gardens Primary School
  15. North Lincolnshire Council - Lead Strategic Partner
  16. North Lincolnshire Museum Service & Normanby Hall 
  17. North Lincolnshire Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)
  18. North Lincolnshire Children’s Therapy Service (NHS)
  19. St Barnabas Primary School
  20. St Hugh’s School - National Teaching School
  21. St Luke’s Primary School
  22. The St Lawrence Academy
  23. Westcliffe Primary School
  24. York St John University - HEI University
  25. Young People's Education Centre (YPEC)
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9. What does the TSA do? 

 The current vision statement of the TSA reads as follows:

"Leading Learning Forward Teaching School Alliance, under the leadership of St Hugh’s National Teaching School and North Lincolnshire Council, supported by key strategic partners, will drive forward and achieve significant progress in teaching, learning, leadership and governance with every partner and associate partner school, college and academy by:

  • ·         Leading the professional learning and development of teachers, support staff and leaders from initial teacher training (ITT) to newly qualified teachers (NQTs), subject-specific, middle and senior leadership across the alliance and beyond;

    ·         Educating and engaging teachers, support staff and leaders, by providing access to excellent school-based and classroom focussed practice, across the alliance and beyond, which impact positively upon the specific and holistic needs of every learner;

    ·         Achieving excellent levels of progress, attainment, professional learning and talent development within classrooms, schools and partnerships across the alliance and beyond;

    ·         Delivering inspirational and sustainable training and support, underpinned by innovative research and development projects, in schools across the alliance and beyond."

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10. Where can I find information about the TSA? 

For information about Leading Learning Forward TSA, please contact the Teaching School by phone on 01724 842960 or e-mail LLF.TSA@northlincs.gov.uk or look through the pages on this website.

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11. What is the ITT programme of the TSA? 

Please visit the ITT pages in the Learn with Us and Work with Us sections of this website.

12. What do the letters ITT stand for? 

The letters ITT stand for Initial Teacher Training.
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13. How do I apply for Initial Teacher Training and School Direct with this TSA? 

Leading Learning Forward TSA provides a comprehensive Initial Teacher Training programme (ITT) within and across the alliance partner schools. For more information about applying for  initial teacher training within this TSA, please contact the LLF Events Office by phone 01724 842960 or e-mail LLFevents@northlincs.gov.uk or visit the Initial Teacher Training section of this website.

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14. What is the CPD programme of the TSA? 

 Leading Learning Forward TSA provides a comprehensive CPD  programme within and across the alliance partner schools. The programme consists of a variety of events, courses, workshops, conferences and in-school support.  For more information about the programme, please contact the LLF Events Office by phone 01724 842960 or e-mail LLFevents@northlincs.gov.uk or visit the Continuing Professional Development  section of this  website.

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15. What do the letters CPD stand for? 

The letters CPD stand for Continuing Professional Development.

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16. What School-to-School Support is available? 

Leading Learning Forward TSA provides a comprehensive programme of bespoke school-to-school support within and beyond alliance partner schools. For more information about the programme and to request an initial visit to discuss your requirements, please contact the LLF Events Office by phone 01724 842960 or e-mail LLFevents@northlincs.gov.uk or visit the School-to-School Support section of this website.

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17. How do I apply to become a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE)? 

Leading Learning Forward TSA runs an application, assessment and training process for potential SLEs with the approval of DfE/NCTL.  For more information about the application process, please contact the LLF Events Office by phone 01724 842960  or e-mail LLFevents@northlincs.gov.uk or visit the School-to-School Support section of this website.

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18. What do the letters SLE stand for? 

The letters SLE stand for Specialist Leader of Education.
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19. What is the TSA’s Leadership Development Programme? 

Leading Learning Forward TSA provides a comprehensive  Leadership Development programme within and across the alliance partner schools. The programme consists of a variety of events, courses, workshops, conferences and in-school support.  For more information about the programme, please contact LLF Events Office by phone on 01724 842960 or e-mail LLFevents@northlincs.gov.uk or visit the Leadership Development section of this website.

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20. How does my organisation become a partner of the Leading Learning Forward Teaching School Alliance? 

Leading Learning Forward Teaching School Alliance (TSA) welcomes applications, requests for information and support from organisations outside the current list of alliance partners.  For more information about the applying to become an alliance partner or to request an initial visit to discuss your application, please contact the Teaching School by phone on 01724 842960 or e-mail LLF.TSA@northlincs.gov.uk or visit the Join Us section of this website.

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21. Who should I contact for information about the TSA? 

For further information about  Leading Learning Forward TSA, please refer to the Contact Us page on this website . Alternatively, you can contact the Teaching School by phone on 01724 842960 or e-mail LLF.TSA@northlincs.gov.uk

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 January 2016 (updated August 2017)