FAQs – Teaching School Hubs
What are Teaching School Hubs?
Since 2011 outstanding schools across the UK have been recognised for their capacity to support other schools, many of these were designated as ‘Teaching Schools’ and formed a network of 800 Teaching School Alliances. In some areas, with so many Teaching School Alliances, schools seeking support often did not know where to go. The ‘Teaching School’ designation will cease on 31st August 2021.
The DfE has allocated 87 schools as ‘Teaching School Hubs’. The Teaching School Hub programme will create a network of 87 centres of excellence for teacher training and development, focused on some of the best schools and multi-academy trusts in the country. This programme replaces the previous network of around 800 teaching schools, which will end in August 2021.
What will Teaching School Hubs do and when will they begin?
Teaching School Hubs will play a key role in providing high quality professional development to teachers and leaders at all stages of their career, through:
- Delivery of the Early Career Framework (ECF)
- Delivery of National Professional Qualifications (NPQs)
- Delivery of Initial Teacher Training (ITT)
- Providing Appropriate Body (AB) services for Early Career Teachers
- Other Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
The Teaching School Hub programme is part of a comprehensive strategy dedicated to supporting teachers throughout their teaching career. It forms part of the implementation of the recruitment and retention strategy to raise teacher quality and effectiveness.
Teaching School Hubs were piloted in some areas last year and the learning is now being shared within the system. The newly designated Teaching School Hubs are currently in a ‘shadow’ phase and will ‘go live’ from September 2021.
What will happen to the remit of ‘School to School Support’ that is currently fulfilled by Teaching Schools?
This function will not be fulfilled officially by designated DFE Teaching School Hubs however many Teaching School Hubs recognise that there will always be a need for system leadership support and school to school support packages. Our local response at Bright Futures is that we intend to continue to provide access to high quality system leader deployments through our Alliance for Learning, through our team you will be able to access NLEs, LLEs, SLEs, Bespoke packages of support and a variety of whole school and subject reviews. We are currently in the process of creating new websites so for more information please contact email@example.com
Nationally NLEs have undergone a review and reform process and more information can be found here : Review of the National Leaders of Education (NLE) programme – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
How will the DfE support schools in understanding what Teaching School Hubs are and how to work with Teaching School Hubs?
The DfE is very aware of the current pressures on schools relating to the pandemic, as a result the DfE is currently limiting communication to schools. However, the DfE has plans to communicate Professional Development reforms to schools beginning with a message to schools this term. This will include the role of Teaching School Hubs.
How are Teaching School Hub areas organised?
The DfE has organised the country based on Regional School Commissioner areas, this has created a network of 87 Teaching School Hubs, achieving national coverage. This will ensure every school in the country has access to a centre of excellence for teacher professional development. List of Teaching School Hubs by area.
Who was eligible to apply to be a Teaching School Hub?
The DfE wanted the best MATs/ schools in the system to become Teaching School Hubs. There was a robust process to ensure potential applicants had a proven track record in working at scale in all areas related to teacher development. To submit an application, schools had to have been rated good or outstanding in their latest Ofsted inspection and have above average progress in two out of the last three years. This progress looked different for primary schools, secondary schools and colleges. Schools could apply to the region that they were based in or explain why they would be able to work effectively in a different region. Schools were also able to apply for up to three different regions, meaning that one Teaching School Hub may cover two or three regions on the map.
Teaching School Hub Areas have an average of 250 schools in a designated area and some are covering two areas with almost 500 schools, can Teaching School Hubs genuinely work at that scale?
Designated Teaching School Hubs have proven during the application process their impact and experience of delivering at scale. Teaching School Hubs will not be intending to deliver its remit alone, they will work collaboratively with national and local partners to ensure a strong delivery structure, using local knowledge of context and expertise and ensure existing high quality work that has been developed is sustained.
What does this mean for Independent Schools?
Teaching School Hubs are free to work with Independent Schools however, Independent School will not be eligible for funded places on Early Career Framework programmes or on National Professional Qualifications.
The Teaching School programme comes to an end at the end of August 2021, what will happen to them?
All Teaching Schools will lose their Teaching School status on the 31st August 2021. Some may decide to continue with a complementary CPD offer to that of its local Teaching School Hub and are encouraged to support the work of Teaching School Hubs. Some Teaching Schools may decide to stop their outward facing work. All Teaching Schools will have to remove any reference to the ‘Teaching School status’ from their titles and websites etc.
I am currently part of the Alliance for Learning (AfL) Teaching School Alliance, what will happen to Alliance for Learning?
Alliance for Learning Network will continue to provide school improvement support through SLE deployment and a significant CPD offer which will complement the work of the Bright Futures Teaching School Hubs. Alliance for Learning invites its alliance partner to continue working with and making full use of its CPD offer regardless of any geographical boundaries.