Queen Elizabeth’s School’s commitment to teacher training praised as it gains Training School status

Queen Elizabeth’s School has been awarded Training School status by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

According to the DCSF, Training Schools must “demonstrate training experiences that go beyond that expected of a well-managed institution”. QE became eligible to apply for this second specialism – in addition to its first specialism of Music – because it is now recognised as a High Performing Specialist School by the DCSF.

The School had to demonstrate a long-standing commitment to Initial Teacher Training (ITT). A key factor in its success was thus its successful track record of working with PGCE course leaders at the Institute of Education and the universities of Middlesex and Hertfordshire across a number of subject areas.

Headmaster John Marincowitz is delighted to be able to announce the School’s latest accolade. “Training School status will provide a useful income stream and facilitate further valuable initiatives related to the recruitment, training and deployment of staff,” he said.

QE’s Training School activities will complement and extend the outreach work already achieved through QE’s first specialism of Music. In particular, the Borough is keen for the School to share its expertise of providing outstanding teaching to very able students at Key Stage 4 and in the Sixth Form.

In his letter of support for QE’s application to the DCSF for Training School status, Martin Baker, Barnet’s Acting Director of Children’s Service, wrote: “The School’s results in this area are second to none, and allowing other students and teachers to benefit from their expertise, will continue to improve the life chances and access to university for Barnet students. We believe the School is very well placed to develop this specialism because of its outstanding track record of outcomes for pupils and other related activities.”

The School has provisional plans in place to work with the MidWheb Partnership, Middlesex University’s post-graduate professional development programme for teachers. This partnership will offer teachers and support staff at QE and other local Barnet schools the opportunity to study for a school-based MA course. The School and the local authority will, through this work, be well placed for the planned development of a Masters in Teaching and Learning (MTL) for early-career teachers. The School is keen to be at the forefront of this initiative.

QE also intends to extend the scope of its participation in the Graduate Teacher Programme. Approximately six graduate teachers will be recruited each year, with the following departments being a priority: English, Mathematics, Science, History, Economics and PE. The Graduate Teachers (GTs) will be placed in other local schools for their second teaching experience and, in return, QE will accept GTs from local secondary trainees needing a second school experience placement.

An agreement has been established with the local authority that Dr Marincowitz will act as a mentor to new secondary heads in the authority. There will also be an increase in the number of other trained mentors at the School.

Since it is anticipated that as the School will be training more new teachers than it has vacancies to fill, introductions to partner schools will be made. QE will therefore act as a base for recruitment and will host returner / sample courses for prospective teachers in Barnet, thus helping combat the ongoing challenge of teacher recruitment in North London.