RSA Academies Teaching School Alliance NQT Update

On Saturday 7th March 2020, RSA Academies’ Teaching School Alliance (TSA) held a conference for their cohort of newly qualified teachers (NQT) across the RSA Family and partners schools.

The RSA Academies’ TSA recruits and trains new entrants to the teaching profession every year. This is the second time the cohort have met for a CPD day since completing their initial teacher training with the TSA and starting their NQT year at their respective schools. The cohort previously met in November, so the day provided a valuable opportunity to reflect on their second term of teaching.

Sessions were led by Specialist Leaders in Education (SLE) from across Church Hill Middle School RSA Academy, Abbeywood First School RSA Academy, Arrow Vale RSA Academy, Holyhead School (an RSA Academy) and Higham Lane. Themes were wide-ranging, from student leadership to classroom and behaviours for learning approaches. Now the NQTs are more established in their schools, the day invited them to consider developing and testing new practices in their classrooms, such as using student learning leaders to support peers and encourage pupils to take ownership of their own learning journeys.

As well as practical strategies, the agenda also focused on the RSA’s own research on social justice issues within education including the recent Pinball Kids report looking at how a school can support pupils at risk of being excluded to stay and thrive in schools.

Overall RSA Academies’ TSA plays a vital role in attracting and also retaining passionate teachers. Currently, one in seven NQTs leave the profession during or at the end of their first year of teaching. One of the most common reasons for choosing to leave teaching after this all-important year is often due to a lack of support when managing the realities of day-to-day teaching. However, despite that national trend RSA Academies’ TSA continues to have above-average completion rates for both their Initial Teacher Training programmes and NQT year.

The support that the TSA offers through these CPD days is key to ensuring that NQTs connect with a network of peers, have time and space to reflect on best practice across different schools and can learn from experienced educators that can help reinvigorate and support them. Trainees, and those within their first few years of teaching in the RSA Academies Family or partner schools, consistently praise the support, quality of the training and CPD provided by RSA Academies TSA.

The NQT cohort will continue to meet regularly throughout this academic year in order to develop professionally and strengthen this important peer network.

Related project: RSA Academies’ Teaching School Alliance