When the Cabot Learning Federation became a national teaching school in September 2011 we did so with the express intention of creating a new model of initial teacher training that would benefit not only our own schools but also those across Bristol and the South West. We embraced the School Direct training model in particular as we believed it could be implemented across our teaching school alliance and would build upon our existing partnership with the University of the West of England, an "outstanding" provider of teacher education. We began recruitment for our programme in April 2012 and were not disappointed with the calibre and range of experience that our first cohort brought with them. This experience stretched from previous jobs in the NHS and retail sector management, to employment as a teaching assistant and an international reputation within the world of film-making. This is helpful but not as important as how good the trainees are in the classroom. Our experience is that our first School Direct cohort is as talented as any we have worked with in the past, and when we honour the commitment to offer them their first teaching post in the Cabot Learning Federation from September 2013 we are confident that our teaching capacity will be even stronger as a result.
David Carter, Executive principal, Cabot Learning Federation.