Doncaster ITT Partnership
The Doncaster ITT Partnership was formed in 2002 to help Doncaster schools recruit, train and retain qualified teachers through ‘home-grown’ schools-based training. Since then the Partnership has trained hundreds of Primary and Secondary teachers. Most chose to stay and teach in Doncaster as Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs), often in one of their training schools. Many have secured senior management positions and some are now responsible for coordinating and delivering teacher training in their own schools.
The Doncaster ITT Partnership is the only Accredited SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) Provider in Doncaster and supports schools-based trainees in Primary, Secondary & Special Schools and Pupil Referral Units. It is comprised of two Alliances - Partners in Learning - Primary schools & academies and an Alliance of the majority of larger Secondary academies – DRAFTTs (Doncaster Regional Alliance For Teacher Training Secondary).
We believe that our ‘model’ of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) works because it is a genuine Partnership of people who passionately believe that teacher training can and should be delivered with the trainee at the very heart of why and how we deliver training.
Headteachers, Training Coordinators, Mentors, Tutors and former Trainees from Partner schools and academies (Secondary, Primary & Special Schools) all know what makes a difference to student teachers’ learning. Because of this they are best placed to steer the Partnership’s Strategic Management Board (Chaired by Primary & Secondary School Direct Lead Schools) enabling the Partnership to consistently deliver ‘Outstanding’ trainee attainment (Ofsted ‘Good’ 2018).
Our trainees are recruited through a rigorous selection process agreed by all the schools involved and there is a strong collaborative agreement that our commitment is to provide outstanding training to support outstanding trainees.
Most of our trainees are ‘students’ who apply for tuition-fees1* and from that funding the schools receive up £1,800 to support their schools-based training. However, we also have a small number of ‘salaried’ trainees who are employed as unqualified teachers for the duration of their training. This is an option for schools to consider if they are in a position to support a more experienced Trainee. The school receives a grant to help support the training and salary costs, but has to meet any additional employment costs.
PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education):
All of our training is delivered in Doncaster at central training venues or in Alliance schools and academies. This includes the PGCE which is delivered by colleagues from our University partner, at both face-to-face workshops and via on-line support.
Trainee teachers have the option to progress through a programme of part-time study to the award of a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) with 60 Masters Credits all at Level 7, in addition to achieving Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)2*.
This flexible PGCE is an internationally recognised teaching qualification and the programme is fully integrated into the main QTS course and enhances the in-school and central training by adding additional academic studies. The majority of our trainees choose to complete the PGCE in addition to their QTS, some as a good first step towards completing their Masters.
However, unlike most providers we do not insist that our trainees complete a PGCE, so this means that they don’t have to pay for the additional qualification if they don’t want to.
The Partnership doesn’t differentiate between SCITT & School Direct trainee teachers, as our Alliance schools all share the same passion and vision when selecting and training future teachers for Doncaster. Trainees learn alongside each other regardless of which programme they are on, receiving the same levels of support and training, delivered for and by schools working collaboratively. We are therefore able to involve a wide range of different context Partnership schools in both providing trainee placements and in the delivery of central training.
We hold a number of ‘pre-start’ training workshops in the summer for both trainees and their mentors before their training begins in September.
Trainees all have personalised training plans and different learning experiences with a dedicated school-based Mentor and a Training Coordinator to quickly establish themselves as a committed professional group. Each week they also have the opportunity to access training designed by outstanding practitioners (inc. Headteachers and SLEs etc.) and delivered by them in Partnership schools and at other central training venues. These sessions allow trainees the opportunity to network with colleagues and appreciate the best aspects of each other’s schools. Trainees also experience a block teaching placement in a different context ‘second’ Partnership school, normally in the Spring term and usually for a full term.
We have rigorous self-evaluation and quality assurance processes in place, as part of our commitment to continue improving and developing the programme. All training is evaluated by the Partnership and trainees also have a dedicated and experienced ‘ITT Tutor’ who have a key role in the quality assurance process and in reviewing the trainee’s progress in-school each half-term.
All Partner schools are requested to ensure that they have a link on their websites to the Doncaster ITT Partnership’s website: www.doncasteritt.co.uk where further information about schools-based ITT can also be found.
If you would like any further information about schools-based ITT and are interested in getting involved as a Partner school please contact the Doncaster ITT Partnership Team on: ITTpartnership@doncaster.gov.uk
As a genuinely schools-based provider, schools are not just notionally ‘in partnership’ with a distant ITT provider they ARE the Partnership.
NB - Tuition-fees are currently £7,950 for QTS only 1* & £9,150 for QTS plus a PGCE 2*.