Training the next generation of teachers

Partner spotlight | Emma Rodrigues, Batley Girls’ High School


Woman watching two young girls work

Tell us a bit about your organisation and what led you to working with Carnegie School of Education?

Batley Girls’ High School is a consistently high-ranking school and recognised as outstanding by Ofsted because we stimulate students with a personalised education, give them a sense of belonging and support them to focus on what they enjoy.

We have worked with Carnegie School of Education for many years. Together we train teachers through the Provider-led and School Direct routes. The Carnegie School of Education students have a reputation for being well prepared and highly motivated to make a difference in the communities in which they work.

Why were you passionate about this project and why is it important to the work you already do?

Carnegie School of Education is one of the leading teacher training providers in the country and we are proud to have worked with the university for many years. We are committed to building a teaching workforce in West Yorkshire that reflects the community and the values of that community. Carnegie School of Education shares our commitment to widening participation and raising the aspirations of our local children and of the teachers who teach them.

Particularly successful in this respect has been the days where we have brought primary school children from Batley to be taught by the teacher training students at the university. For many of our children this will be the first and only time they have visited a university and the experience has proved transformational for many who would never have considered a professional career path. The secondary school teacher training students we work with from Leeds Beckett as a group have been committed to these same goals and have played a part in making the dreams of our pupils a reality as they have moved to post-16 education and beyond, inspired by teachers as role models of what is possible.

What have you enjoyed most about this collaboration?

As a community of education professionals at Batley Girls’ High School, personal and professional development is central to everything we do. One of the aspects of our work with Carnegie School of Education that is most pleasing is the synergy between the professional development of our teacher training students and our teachers who mentor them. Mentors supervise the development of our students through planning their progressive immersion into the teaching role. In doing so, they provide advice, support, expertise and often literally a shoulder to cry on. The mentor role is highly complex, challenging and requires personal skills of the highest order and we have been particularly well supported by the university which had trained our mentors through their core and advanced mentor training programmes.

What have you learnt through this project and what's next for the partnership?

The nature of education itself is change, and our partnership with Carnegie School of Education has advanced beyond the sphere of Initial Teacher Training. A group of our school mentors have worked with university academics on the advanced mentor training programme, we also take a prominent strategic role on the School of Education Partnership Board and we have also been a partner with the highly successful Carnegie Centre of Excellence in Mental Health.

The challenges and opportunities ahead for schools and for those who teach in them are numerous: responding to the continuing impact of Covid-19 on the educational community, continuing to address the national deficit in teacher recruitment and navigating the new Early Career Framework which is being introduced for new teachers from September. We look forward to continuing to work with Leeds Beckett University in the future.

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