Shirebrook Academy joins forces with Chesterfield school to form teaching alliance

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Hundreds of teachers will soon be flocking to North-East Derbyshire to undertake new courses and share ideas after two of the region’s top-performing schools were given the go-ahead to form the county’s first teaching alliance.

Shirebrook Academy and St Mary’s Catholic High School, in Chesterfield, will now prepare to launch the North East Derbyshire Teaching Schools Alliance (NEDTSA), which will see them working together to help train teachers at all stages in their careers.

The alliance is the first of its kind in the whole of Derbyshire and will enable the schools to offer a series of courses and activities, including developing teacher training, school-to-school support, continuing personal development for established teachers and leadership training.

NEDSTA was given the go-ahead by the National College for Teaching and Leadership, which oversees around 500 teaching schools across the country, last month. Only schools that have been judged to be outstanding by Ofsted and have a strong track record of collaborative working are considered worthy candidates.

Julie Bloor, principal of Shirebrook Academy, in Common Lane, said: “We are extremely pleased to have been given the necessary accreditation to set up what will be the only teaching alliance in Derbyshire.

“Teaching alliances rely on collaborative working, which is something we believe in strongly and are already heavily involved in. It means that hundreds of teachers will visit this area each year to share best practice and work alongside staff at both schools.

“It is great news for us, the county and also our pupils, who will benefit from our staff being exposed to the latest high quality teaching methods and research.”

Sean McClafferty, head teacher at St Mary’s, in Newbold Road, Chesterfield, said: “‘I am hugely proud of the fact that we are the first secondary teaching schools to be designated in Derbyshire. We shall play a leading role in helping to transform the educational outcomes of young people in our county.

“This recognition is testament to the hard work of our pupils, teachers and governors. I am so proud of all of them.

“As a teaching school I believe we shall attract a higher calibre of candidate for teaching posts and also we shall be able to provide all our teaching staff with a broader range of training and development opportunities, both of which will impact positively on our pupils’ experiences.”