Wandsworth’s teacher training scheme rated ‘outstanding’ 

Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2023

A Wandsworth schools-based teacher training consortium which attracts and supports some of the brightest young classroom talents to teach in the borough’s primaries has been officially rated as outstanding by national education inspectors.

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The Wandsworth Primary Schools’ Consortium, which is a school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) scheme, has been awarded an “Outstanding” rating by Ofsted inspectors following a detailed assessment of its teacher training standards.

The inspectors based their conclusions on assessments at 11 local primary schools where they were able to gauge how well the young teachers were doing and the support they were receiving as they begin their careers in the classroom.

They concluded that the quality of education and training and the consortium’s leadership and management were both ‘outstanding’.

They noted: “Trainees are extremely proud to be part of this high-quality programme. They are dedicated to their placement schools and have exceptionally strong relationships with both the course director and consortium staff. The close-knit nature of the partnership means that all those involved are committed to its continual development and success.

“Trainees receive exceptionally high levels of support. Regardless of where placements are completed, all trainees experience the same rich curriculum and support for their professional development. This contributes to their success. Many secure jobs across the consortium.

“Trainees are very well prepared for the realities of a career in teaching. The curriculum has been thoroughly designed to equip them to become highly knowledgeable in different areas, including safeguarding and managing pupils’ behaviour.” 

In their written assessment, the inspectors highlighted the consortium’s “very high aspirations for all trainees” adding: “Leaders make sure that all trainees benefit from high-quality mentoring,” adding: “Leaders work closely with a range of stakeholders, including headteachers and a local university, to support their work to secure continuous improvement. This work is done with rigour. It is highly effective in maintaining a first-rate experience for trainees.”

Amanda Robertson, headteacher at Beatrix Potter primary school in Earlsfield said: “At Beatrix Potter we have greatly enjoyed supporting the SCITT trainees. There are several benefits, including valuable opportunities for our classroom teachers who act as mentors to grow professionally as they support trainees to become excellent teachers. 

“New talent in the school always brings fresh ideas and has a positive impact on the staff and their practice as a whole. We have also been lucky to recruit great teachers through SCITT placements at the school. The children benefit hugely of course too: additional adults in the classroom who are keen, reflective and willing can only be a good thing. The support team for the students has been outstanding, able to help with any query or challenge that may come along.”

Kate Stock, Wandsworth’s Cabinet Member for Schools, said: “This is a great achievement by our teacher training consortium which is helping to attract, support and then retain some of the country’s best young teachers in our local primary schools.

“The quality of the training and mentoring these young teachers receive has been rightly judged as outstanding and not only is this helping their career development it’s also helping to raise standards in our primary schools.

“Congratulations are due to all those involved in this excellent and high achieving training scheme.”

The Wandsworth Primary Schools’ Consortium (WPSC) is accredited by the Department for Education to train highly motivated graduates to teach 3-11 year olds in primary schools. 

For 2023/24 it is offering places for 28 trainee teachers. The course provides trainees with the theoretical and practical experience needed to meet the standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and the award of a PGCE with credits towards one third of a Master’s. 

For more information about the consortium and to apply for a place, young graduates/newly qualified teachers should visit https://scitt.co.uk/home/

To read the Ofsted report, please visit the watchdog’s website.