From education to employment

Partnership celebrating ten years offers routes into teaching careers

classroom, with pupils with their hands up, picture taken from the back of the room

@uochester – An education partnership enjoying its tenth-year anniversary is holding an open evening offering the chance to find out more about how to train to be a teacher in Shropshire. 

The evening is being organised by the University of Chester and STEP (Shropshire & Telford Education Partnership), a teaching school hub that works in partnership with local schools to support Initial Teacher Training (ITT) to become an early-years, primary or secondary teacher. 

The event will offer prospective teachers the chance to meet others who have successfully followed the programme and embarked on teaching careers as well as being able to meet the partners involved. 

STEP is an inclusive partnership comprising Salop Teaching Partnership (STP), The Alliance of Leading Learning (ALL), Shropshire Primary Partnership (SPP) and Severn Training and Schools Alliance (STSA), representing all phases and contexts, including special and alternative provision across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. Each of the partners works with the University of Chester offering the PGCE lead school partner PGCE. This programme enables participants to work within a school and train in the classroom supported by qualified teachers and mentors. On successful completion of the lead partner route, participants are awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and qualified teacher status (QTS). 

For Early Years Teacher Louise Cooper, learning through STEP gave her all the skills she needed for her career. She said: “Stepping into your own classroom for the first time can be overwhelming but having trained with Severn Teaching and Schools Alliance I felt empowered, confident and ready to make a difference. The robust academic programme enabled me to broaden my knowledge with the latest approaches and gave me a thorough understanding of the current issues facing schools. 

“As a mother of children with special needs, I particularly appreciated that mental health and wellbeing was at the forefront of the training programme. I felt supported and encouraged at every stage and I made friends and memories that will last a lifetime!” 

Primary School teacher and fellow Severn Training and Schools Alliance graduate, Kath Stott, added: “The expert subject specific training for core and foundation primary subjects on the course really helped me when planning and delivering lessons.” 

The open evening takes place at University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) from 5pm to 7.30pm on Thursday, May 9. It offers the opportunity to find out more about the Lead School Partnership PGCE which enables those wishing to teach to gain high quality academic support and training through PGCE with QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) qualification with the University of Chester whilst also receiving training and school placements locally with one of STEP’s Lead Partners. 

The open evening will feature a welcome talk by Programmes Director Anna Foster providing an overview of the Lead School Partner PGCE programme and guest speakers, including alumni and a headteacher, will discuss the benefits of the course. Stands will be available in the reception area for attendees to find out more about the provision available with specific partners. 

The PGCE programme offered through STEP offers a dynamic and hands-on way for trainee teachers to learn their craft. Earlier this month Associate Teachers (AT) from the Shropshire Primary Partnership took part first of two primary art days at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, an annual event which provides an immersive experience to develop ATs’ knowledge and skills on the curriculum and pedagogy associated with art across the Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. ATs engaged in practical experiences including clay modelling, creating sketchbooks, drawing, and printing.  The second day focused upon how teachers can use the museum and art gallery itself, to support them in offering similar opportunities to children and schools once qualified. 

Anna Foster said: “This partnership has developed high quality teachers for more than 10 years and we’re really looking forward to meeting the next generation of teachers at our open evening.”  

Related Articles