Nearly 800 Early Career Teachers (ECTs), mentors and school leaders have already been supported by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub, one of 87 Hubs designated by the Department for Education (DfE), in its first three months of operation.
The Hub officially opened on 1st September to provide high-quality training and professional development to support teachers and leaders at every stage of their career, with the objective of raising teaching standards and contributing significantly to school improvement.
It supports schools in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – primary, secondary and alternative provision – with the Early Career Framework (ECF), National Professional Qualifications (NPQ), Initial Teacher Training (ITT) and Continuous Professional Development (CPD).
360 ECTs and 341 mentors (school teachers overseeing the ECTs) have attended local group sessions on the ECF, which gives all new teachers a funded entitlement to a structured two-year package of high-quality professional development at the start of their careers, and feedback from delegates has been hugely positive.
93% of ECTs and 89% of mentors rated the quality of their training as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ and 92% and 89% (respectively) ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that they would be able to apply their learning to their practice. These sessions have been undertaken by ECT lead provider partner, Education Development Trust (EDT), and now plans for ECT and mentor regional conferences in January 2022 are being finalised.
The Hub is also offering all six NPQs for teachers and leaders via its lead provider partners Teach First and the Church of England, and 43 school professionals having signed up to programmes beginning in November. And with the DfE’s confirmation on 1st December of reforms to ITT courses, including the role of Teaching School Hubs “to support training providers, especially locally and in disadvantaged communities”, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub will step up its work with the three School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) providers in the area.
Meanwhile, a range of wider DfE and Hub approved CPD opportunities, including those with specialist Curriculum Hubs around subject-specific knowledge, have been accessed by around 40 primary and secondary school teachers.
“Our first quarter supporting teacher development from EYFS to Key Stage 5 has brought a strong start for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub,” said Hub Lead Lynne Birch (pictured). “We have had a high level of engagement with schools in the area and actually exceeded the number of ECTs and mentors we were anticipating to support by around 160. Initial Teacher Training has been provided by our partners: CTSN SCITT, The Cambridge Partnership SCITT and Teach East SCITT, which is a wonderful example of expertise being drawn together through the Hub model. Recruitment to NPQs has also been very pleasing indeed and we are moving forward with all other areas. Our children deserve high-quality education and by being a centre of excellence, working collaboratively through strong, supportive partnerships which promote and value fairness, equality, inclusion and diversity, we can achieve our stated objectives.”
The Cam Academy Trust has engaged with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub on several levels. “We hope and expect that both the support for ECTs and the access to NPQs will be important and significant professional development for many of our staff,” explained Chief Executive Stephen Munday CBE. “All our ECTs are registered with the EDT, the named provider for ECF support for ECTs, which has been sorted out through Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub and is a crucial area of teacher support for us. Many of our staff will be registering for NPQs through Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub, as well as other Teaching School Hub providers. These are an important source of leadership development.”
Mr Munday added that he was looking forward to exploring other opportunities with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub. “We hope that we will be able to engage with further and wider areas of staff professional development, including contributing to the delivery and even design of these,” he said. “These would go beyond NPQs and ECT support. We will also continue to play a central role in overseeing a major SCITT that will provide much ITT in the area. Positive working relationships with key people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub mean that we can work well and appropriately with seeking to move forward with the Hub.”
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub, which was awarded to Histon and Impington Junior School (now Histon and Impington Brook Primary School) in January, is part of a strategic partnership called Iceni Teaching School Hubs alongside Saffron Teaching School Hub (Braintree, Chelmsford, Epping Forest, Harlow, Uttlesford) and Unity Teaching School (Forest Heath, Mid Suffolk, St Edmundsbury, Suffolk Coastal). It also works with Alpha Teaching School Hub, Chafford Hundred Teaching School Hub, Inspiration Teaching School Hub and Julian Teaching School Hub, as well as local authority partners Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council.