Ridgewood to offer new training initiative

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Ten very different schools - including Ridgewood in Doncaster - have been brought together by Assistant Principal Chrissie Yates of Minsthorpe Community College to offer School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) from September 2014.

The newly formed Yorkshire Three Counties Alliance (YTCA) will offer graduates the opportunity to undergo their initial teacher training exclusively in a school environment. Furthermore, the host school in which they will be trained could be in a position to offer them a teaching post at the end of the course.

“One of the most exciting things about running a SCITT is the fact that we can ensure that our students are of the highest quality, train them to be teachers of distinction, award them a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and offer them up to 120 credits towards a Masters qualification,” said Chrissie.

“Furthermore, we will be able to ensure that our highly qualified teachers support our trainees on a daily basis as they develop the skills and knowledge to become teachers of excellence,” added Riona Redfearn of the Senior Leadership Team at Thornhill Community Academy, one of the schools taking part.

The ten very different schools in the YCTA are Minsthorpe Community College in Wakefield, as designated lead; Thornhill Community Academy in Kirklees; the independent Silcoates School in Wakefield; Greenacre School, for children and young people with severe and complex learning disabilities, Horizon Community College and Darton College, all located in Barnsley; Ridgewood School in Doncaster; Aston Academy in Rotherham and The Snaith School in the East Riding.

Successful applicants will benefit from bespoke training in their host school, alongside enhanced placements in a variety of settings, including post-16, SEN and independent, in response to their personalised needs, identified areas of expertise and future career aspirations.

“In short, the outstanding feature of the YTCA is its unique blend of different settings,” commented Jonny Mitchell of Thornhill Academy.

Minsthorpe Community College is an established provider of educational training and already offers a comprehensive programme for Leadership Development at all levels. The college boasts a bespoke training facility that will be the hub for our trainees. The programme will also benefit from the invaluable endorsement and support of Edge Hill University, one of the country’s leading universities for teacher training and identified by Ofsted in 2010 as outstanding in all areas.

Chrissie continued: “What is so heart-warming is that, in a time of increasing competition between schools, league tables, large academy chains and an ever changing Ofsted Framework, these partners have come together to support each other and welcome colleagues into each other’s schools. Together we feel we are stronger to train outstanding future teachers. When I look around the table at a Strategic Partners meeting and feel the camaraderie, witness the creative thinking, the excellence and expertise, I know that what we are offering is something very special.”

Applications to the Yorkshire Three Counties Alliance SCITT open today, November 21, via the NCTL/ UCAS website. Alternatively contact enquiries@minsthorpe.wakefield.sch.uk or telephone 01977 657600.