A SCHOOL has been chosen to help raise the standards of teaching in classrooms across the country.
The Academy at Shotton Hall, in Peterlee, is the first in County Durham and one of 100 across England to be granted teaching school status.
Led by the National College for School Leadership, it will mean the school will spearhead training and professional development sessions.
It comes after the school was hailed as “outstanding” in its Ofsted inspection, with 98 per cent of its students gaining five or more A* to C grades in last summer’s GCSE results and 39 per cent of them achieving three or more A* to As.
The teaching programme was launched last autumn and marks a change towards school-centred training and development.
It gives outstanding schools the freedom and autonomy to lead a group of others, working with partners, including at least one university, to deliver high-quality support for teachers and leaders at all stages in their career.
The school’s teachers are to visit the National College’s Learning and Conference Centre in Nottingham for a formal induction.
Shotton Hall’s principal Lesley Powell said: “This is fantastic news.
“We are delighted that our academy has been selected to join the Teaching Schools Initiative.”
As part of its role of overseeing the scheme, the National College works closely with the Department for Education.
It aims to have 500 schools as members by 2014.
Steve Munby, chief executive of the National College, said: “Teaching schools like The Academy at Shotton Hall need to be at the top of their game to take on this role, outstanding in their own performance and have a track record of raising standards through school-to-school support.”
He believes the project will allow the country’s finest teaching talent to drive school improvement in innovative ways and bring benefits to pupils and staff.
Mr Munby added: “Trainees can learn from the best teachers in action and those who want to move up the career ladder are exposed to excellent practice within and beyond their immediate school.”
As part of their work, the teaching schools will work with others and universities to produce a strong supply of new teachers, develop their leaders and the next generation of headteachers, as well as support those schools facing challenging circumstances.