The Barnton Challenge
Barnton first trialled the Straight to Teaching programme, as they felt there were fewer candidates available in their community year on year. They wanted a secure, stable and reliable team, with all staff members and new teaching staff understanding the role they played within the MAT and supporting the school's mission, vision and values.
Finding candidates with this knowledge and experience was challenging, especially with the current teacher recruitment crisis. However, Barnton already had outstanding graduates and teaching assistants working within the school, who already knew and supported the Barnton vision. After talking to Tes Institute, Barnton realised they could develop those talented individuals, help them gain QTS, and retain them as staff members, who could continue to work at the school during the programme.
A “one of a kind” programme that's aligned to Barnton
Barnton’s first Straight to Teaching partnership included five learners, all with a variety of knowledge, skill sets and experience. Straight to Teaching is a personalised learning plan therefore all learners were given a bespoke learning journey mapped out using a pre-induction phase led by their Pathway Tutors. This initial knowledge mapping helps tutors and schools identify where learners sit regarding the teaching standards and from that a personalised learning journey is created. As learners develop confidence and teaching knowledge, their learning journey can be further amended. This ensures learners are spending more time on teaching standards they find most challenging and progressing quickly through others which they are comfortable with.
For Barnton this was a real benefit, as the flexibility of the programme allowed them to focus attention on elements of their school development plan e.g. SEND, Pupil Premium, writing and reading. This offered trainees an area of excellence and had a direct impact on the school's priorities and outcomes.
Straight to Teaching results
Barnton's Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) have given the school capacity to release more experienced staff, so that they can become SLEs for maths and English, English consultants and even a Tes Institute consultant. The NQTs themselves are now so experienced and comfortable with school policies, procedures and teaching practices that they are able and very willing to take on additional roles and responsibilities, such as subject leadership. Having already understood the vision, practices and policies at Barnton, the NQTs are able to fast track through the initial ‘early stages’ of their career, quickly becoming competent and confident in areas of leadership and specialism.
Tes Institute spoke to Alison Lawson, headteacher at Barnton:
"Straight to Teaching has allowed us to strategically plan for growth across Barnton and Weaver Trust. Growing our own teachers ensures quality practitioners are ready to step in, giving us the capacity to use our talented and experienced staff to drive school improvement."
After such a successful first partnership, Barnton Community Nursery and Primary School plan to enrol another two trainees in 2019. Barnton are now a Straight to Teaching Hub for Tes Institute and help to promote and enrol potential teachers within their local community. The Straight to Teaching programme has become a fundamental part of their succession planning for now and in the future.
The full case study for Barnton can be found here.