Updated: Sunday, 12th July 2020 @ 9:02am

Ofsted recognises Manchester Uni's teacher training as one of country's best

Ofsted recognises Manchester Uni's teacher training as one of country's best

By Phil Sim

An outstanding Ofsted report has recognised The University of Manchester as one of the country’s best teacher training institutions. 

The report, which is designed to distinguish between good and outstanding providers of post graduate teacher training, was carried out in early 2011 at the university’s school of education which holds around 400 trainees, each trying to achieve the Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE).

The overall quality of training was acknowledged as “outstanding,” and from the 22 areas examined in the inspection, 21 were deemed to merit the top grade, including the primary and secondary PGCE courses, a rare feat in higher education.

The university received similar credit from Ofsted in both 2005 and 2008, when their management and quality assurances were described as outstanding, and their Director for Secondary PGCE Dr David Spendlove is delighted at the recognition they are receiving.

Dr Spendlove said: “This is recognition of the hard work of trainees, staff and our partnership schools in the North West.”

The university’s training program is designed to both ensure that trainees complete their course and then go onto gain employment and stay in teaching, and the effectiveness in these departments has been recognised in the report.

The newly qualified teachers in 2010 expressed a 100% satisfaction with their training at the university, and it was commented that former trainees taking up roles in teaching felt “ahead of the rest.”  

The local job prospects was recognised as playing a major role in their successes and Dr Spendlove also expressed his pleasure at their training being distinguished as personalised to meet the trainee’s needs, as the secondary program prepares them for teaching in a range of subjects.

He added: “It’s a fantastic achievement for all involved.”

The feelings of Dr Spendlove were mirrored by those of his primary compatriot Laurence Hicks.

Mr Hicks said: “We are proud of our collegiate approach between university and school-based contributors: leaders and trainers at the centre and in the partnership schools work together very well.”

With the growing quality and reputation of the universities training institution there’s a continual growth in interest from wannabe teachers, putting the efficiency of the selection process to the test, and leaving many disappointed.

But Ofsted were clearly impressed by the three stage selection period highlighting it as a key strength of what the university offered. The report praises it as “recruiting trainees with the qualities required to complete the course successfully.”

But in such a competitive industry there are inevitably many aspiring teachers who are left disappointed.

Ciaran McLaughlin is a post graduate with experience in 40 schools. He was left frustrated when applying to STORM, who work in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, and offer employment based initial teacher training in the greater Manchester area.

It’s a popular route in gaining qualified teacher status, recently receiving over 300 applicants to just a 34 place intake, so competition is tough.

But despite his wealth of experience, Ciaran didn’t make it to the third interview stage of their selection process, failing at the second hurdle when you’re judged at an assessment centre, and he was left agitated.

“To be honest the day was a mess, you didn’t get the chance to show what you have to offer as a potential trainee,” he said.

“You must approach your own school, and frankly, they don’t want to know, the system is crazy,” he added.

But STORM were keen to defend their selection system, stating that due to the number of applicants it is inevitable that the majority of hopefuls will be left disappointed.

A STORM spokesman said: “Unfortunately not everyone can be successful, and we believe fully in our current selection process in picking the most suitable candidates for what we offer.”