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St Mary’s Catholic High School has been selected by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) to become a national teaching school – an important role in raising standards.

Teaching Schools take a leading role in recruiting and training new entrants to the profession, identifying leadership potential and providing support for other schools.  St Mary’s was one of only 200 schools in England to be granted teaching school status in the latest designation round.

Introduced in 2011, teaching schools are all rated as “outstanding” and mark a shift towards school-centred training.  They work with partner schools in an alliance, including at least one university, to ensure high quality school-led initial teacher training and professional development opportunities for teachers at all stages of their career.

They raise standards through school-to-school support, engage in research and development, and ensure that the most talented school leaders are spotted and supported to become successful headteachers.

Sean McClafferty, Headteacher said, “I am hugely proud of the fact that we are the first Secondary Teaching School to be designated in Derbyshire.  We are the coordinating school for the North East Derbyshire Teaching School Alliance and will play a leading role in helping to transform the educational outcomes of young people in Derbyshire.  This recognition is testament to the hard work of our pupils, teachers and governors.  I am so proud of all of them.”

St Mary School Council 2013 s

The National College for Teaching and Leadership has responsibility, in partnership with headteachers from the Teaching Schools Council, for the designation and quality of the teaching schools programme.  Charlie Taylor, the Chief Executive of NCTL, said, “St Mary’s should be very proud of their teaching school status.  It recognises the school’s outstanding performance and its track record of raising standards through supporting other schools.

“There are now more than 500 designated teaching schools around the country with more to follow.  In an increasingly school-led system, they are leading the way in training new teachers and helping existing teachers develop their skills – ensuring we’ll have the best people teaching our children for generations to come.”

Staff from the successful schools will attend a formal induction led by the Teaching Schools Council this month.

Jim Conway, Director of Schools (Secondary) for the Diocese offered congratulations to Sean McClafferty, staff, governors and pupils of St Mary’s from all members of the Schools’ Department for this ‘fantastic’ achievement.  Jim added, “St Mary’s is the third Diocesan school to achieve Teaching School status, following Notre Dame and St Bernard’s.  We are indeed very fortunate to have a number of outstanding schools and outstanding school leaders within the Diocese.  We need to give thanks for the great benefits they bring to our Diocesan family of schools.

Diocesan Leaders Forum

“Teaching Schools are increasingly important as the public education system, including our schools, is re-engineered to enable the most successful schools and the most successful school leaders to lead the school system for the benefit of all.  In Hallam, we are well placed in this respect as our schools are working increasingly collaboratively, in local families of schools, and as our most successful school leaders work closely with Diocesan officers within the Diocesan Leaders Forum to coordinate advice and support for schools which are not yet as successful as they would like to be.  In addition, the Diocese has established a ‘safe haven trust’ where any school in the most serious difficulties with regard to standards of learning and teaching can receive more intensive support.

“Overall, with our Teaching Schools, including the newly designated St Mary’s, and members of the Diocesan Leaders Forum, we are in a strong position to try to ensure every child attending a Diocesan school receives an education which is at least ’Good’.  It is what our children deserve.”