'Graduate school for teachers' launches in bid to spread expertise

Institute for Teaching says most existing training and development 'isn’t helping teachers to get better'

Will Hazell

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A new Institute for Teaching will be officially launched today at an event in Manchester due to be attended by the education secretary, Justine Greening.

Billing itself as a “specialist graduate school for teachers”, the organisation has been founded by a group of school alliances to address what they say is a growing need to improve the training and development of qualified teachers.

The institute says that its research shows schools spend over £1 billion each year on teacher training and development “but most of it isn’t helping teachers to get better”.

Matt Hood, a Teach First alumnus who founded the Institute for Teaching and now works as its director, said: “Having an expert teacher in every classroom is the best way to make sure that every pupil, regardless of their background, gets a great education.

“But teaching is complex – becoming an expert isn’t easy. To improve teaching, we have to improve the training teachers get because most of what’s out there isn’t helping them to get better. Working with our partners, we’re trying to change that.”

The Institute for Teaching was founded by a number of school alliances serving low-income communities including Reach Academy Feltham, Oasis Community Learning and Dixons Academies.

It is being hosted by Ark Ventures. Ark chief executive Lucy Heller said: “Improving teacher education remains the most promising driver for improving our schools and we are delighted to support an organisation that is dedicated to helping teachers to get better at what they do.”

The institute will offer a number of courses including:

  • A master's in expert teaching – “a practice-based programme aimed at teachers who are keen to develop advanced teaching techniques”
  • Fellows – “a course designed to enable experienced teachers to become teacher educators who are able to help other teachers to keep getting better”
  • Transforming teaching – a programme funded by the Department for Education’s teaching and learning innovation fund focused on “supporting school leaders to improve their expertise in developing the teachers in their schools”

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