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“Made for Mentors”: NASBTT Curriculum Designer champions new professional development programmes

A former School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) tutor and Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning is making her mark as the newly-appointed Curriculum Designer at the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT).

Clare Haly, who previously spent three-and-a-half years at The Buckinghamshire Partnership SCITT, joined NASBTT in the summer to lead on curriculum design, ensuring that NASBTT’s resources and practices are evidence-informed and fully up-to-date for members and mentors.

With the 2024-25 mentoring requirements signalling a clear need for greater flexibility in the design and delivery of mentor development programmes, Clare is leading the creation of NASBTT’s new Mentor Development Modules. This will give all mentors in schools access to 60 modules to support their “ongoing development, refinement and expansion” – and help them to manage the number of hours of development required.

The first five modules are set to be available in January. A small-scale pilot of both taught and self-study materials, which will be hosted on NASBTT Learn, will then be undertaken in spring and summer 2023 building up to a wider pilot of 20-30 modules during the 2023-24 academic year. The final rubber-stamped Mentor Development Modules will then be made available to NASBTT members ahead of September 2024, and for licensing to other institutions including MATs, Teaching School Hubs and universities.

As part of her remit, Clare is also teaching on a new National Professional Qualification in Leading Teacher Development (NPQLTD), delivered in partnership with the Teacher Development Trust, which started in September.

The NPQLTD is a recommended qualification for lead mentors working within ITT partnerships, as set out in the Department for Education’s quality requirements for 2024. Over 70 individuals are undertaking this qualification through NASBTT which allows them to work alongside a cohort of ITT professionals, contextualise the learning to the ITT sector, and share and build upon the extensive ITT expertise that exists within NASBTT membership. Applications are now open for the programme beginning next autumn.

“Throughout my career I have always been passionate about teacher development and CPD,” Clare said. “My view is children are front and centre of education – they need good teachers, and good mentors. I love challenge, I love research, and I have always listened out for valuable insight to feed into my trainees as a SCITT tutor, and colleagues as Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning. In my later years working in a SCITT it became clear that there was not a lot around in terms of personal development for mentors. When I heard about the opportunity to join NASBTT in this capacity I knew this was a great opportunity to make a difference to teacher development and training that has real impact.”

Clare, who formerly taught English, RE and Philosophy in both primary and secondary settings, said that NASBTT’s overarching ethos and commitment to investing in the sector also attracted her to the role. “With the Mentor Development Modules, the NPQLTD and other CPD provision, NASBTT has shown that it is at the forefront of teacher development. Its main advantage is its reputation – it is trusted – and proven to be invaluable to school-led ITT providers for knowledge and insight. My own love of ITT, and desire to instil good practice in the teachers of tomorrow so they go into their classes and bring about change for the benefit of children, means this is the perfect match. I have learned a lot about mentor support and engagement and am bringing that into the role.”

Additionally, Clare is a qualified mental health first aider, with related knowledge of the importance of coaching and mentoring in schools. Always keen to learn and continue her own professional development, she has sat on working parties for curriculum development and whole school improvement planning. Clare is also completing research on inclusion and how children learn, particularly during mixed-ability teaching. 

NASBTT Executive Director Emma Hollis said: “We are delighted to welcome Clare to the team. Her sector knowledge, passion for teacher development, and strong work ethic are already making a significant difference to our work. Both the Mentor Development Modules and NPQLTD are key strategic developments for our sector, and we look forward to working with Clare on other new training innovations over time.”

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