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Our best schools to teach the teachers
THREE of Oxfordshire’s best performing schools are to lead the way in raising standards in classrooms across the county.
Oxford’s Cherwell School, King Alfred’s Academy in Wantage and Banbury’s Frank Wise School have been granted teaching school status.
It puts them among an elite group of schools in England given the key role of raising standards.
The trio are named in the third wave of 150 new national teaching schools. It will bring the total to 363, with Education Secretary Michael Gove yesterday announcing an extra £10m to drive up the number of teaching schools further.
The scheme – based on the idea of “the best helping the rest” – will see the three establishments overseeing the training and professional development of staff at other schools. The details of how and when this will happen have yet to be confirmed. Until now, Oxfordshire had been one of the few areas of the country without any teaching schools.
Simon Spiers, head of King Alfred’s Academy, said: “Working together, our aim is to raise standards in Oxfordshire schools by building a culture of aspiration, challenge and excellence.”
To qualify, Cherwell, King Alfred’s and Frank Wise, a special school in Banbury, joined forces to form a teaching alliance, called Education Excellence in Oxfordshire.
The alliance also includes 22 good or outstanding local schools along with Oxford’s two universities, who will all work together to support other schools.
Cherwell headteacher Paul James, said: “This alliance aims to support all schools across all phases and we hope that colleagues, children and young people right across the country will see the benefits of being involved.”
The Oxfordshire teaching alliance will receive a grant of £60,000, along with a one-off payment of £33,000 in its first year, followed by £50,000 in the second year and £40,000 in subsequent years.
Sean O’Sullivan, head of Frank Wise Special School, said: “We want to make sure that education in Oxfordshire is world class and has the greatest positive impact on all of our children and young people.”
The teaching schools are selected by the National College for School Leadership, which works closely with the Department of Education.
Maggie Farrar, National College executive director, said teaching schools would help provide “the next generation of teachers and headteachers”
She said: “Teaching schools should be proud of their achievement.”