Top of the class: Man Uni’s ‘outstanding and innovative’ Teach First programme gets glowing Ofsted report

Ofsted’s recognition of the University of Manchester’s (UoM) Teach First programme as ‘outstanding’ has been described as ‘extremely pleasing’ by the director of the scheme.

Teach First, a registered charity, is a national scheme which trains teachers to work in disadvantaged schools, to improve the life chances and raise aspirations of deprived children.

UoM are the North West lead for the programme, and Ofsted rated their work in the highest brackets of assessment, paying homage to the ‘outstanding effectiveness’ of leadership and the ‘infectious enthusiasm’ of participants.

Dr David Spendlove, Head of Initial Teacher Education at UoM and Executive Director of Teach First North West, described Ofsted’s feedback as amongst the best he has seen, he insisted that they will continue to seek ways to improve the service.

“The report confirms the hard work and diligence of tutors, schools, Teach First and the entire partnership in working towards a common goal of tackling disadvantage in education,” he told MM.

“It is extremely pleasing to have such hard work and endeavour recognised by Ofsted.

“Whilst the report was outstanding and was one of the best reports I have read we are not complacent in any of our teacher training programmes as we are constantly adapting to new challenges.

“As such as the teaching profession moves to an increasingly research informed sector we are continually looking as to how we can increase the presence of research in all aspects of our work.

“Ultimately the University of Manchester is a research university and as such we see this as a natural next step which further draws upon our expertise.”

Ofsted assesses such practices in four areas – overall effectiveness, outcome for participants, quality of training and quality of leadership – with Teach First North West rated as ‘outstanding’ in each.

The report praised multiple facets of the scheme, with the participants ‘excellent personal and professional attributes’ lauded, as well as the ‘outstanding’, ‘innovative’ leadership.

Fourteen schools in Manchester, Salford and Bolton were visited during the inspection, with the report highlighting the value of the scheme to underprivileged children.

“Leaders and managers are relentless in their drive to achieve their ambition of high-quality education for disadvantaged children and young people in the local and regional community,” the report read.

“The strong moral ethos of the partnership in relation to disadvantaged pupils is, in particular, quickly embraced by participants and permeates everything that they do for their pupils.

“Participants’ strong moral purpose and determination, instilled by the whole partnership, [leads them] to teach exceptionally well, so that disadvantaged pupils in particular make at least good and frequently outstanding progress.”

Image courtesy of Marie, via Flickr, with thanks

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