Ark Teacher Training rated as 'Outstanding' by Ofsted

“Ark Teacher Training has made a strong contribution to the supply of outstanding teachers.”

Ofsted, January 2017

Ark Teacher Training, a programme established by education charity, Ark, to bring the brightest recent graduates and career switchers into the profession, has today been declared ‘Outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted within just two and a half years.

At the heart of the programme is a commitment to personalised training and development through coaching. Ofsted observed “exceptionally tailored coaching and training… of the very highest standard”.

The Ark Teacher Training team have spent years finding what works in classrooms across the globe – including utilising Ark’s ten years of experience running some of the best schools in the country. They even turned to the worlds of sport, dance and medicine to find out how the best go from good to great and have taken this into the classroom. 

Features of Ark Teacher Training coaching include:

  • Rehearsing lessons and parts of lessons – where the trainee and coach work together to practice delivery, anticipate potential misconceptions and difficulties, and plan to overcome them
  • Real-time coaching – with a coach observing a lesson and providing feedback on a small part of the practice – allowing trainees to then make instant changes and evaluate its success

Marie Hamer, Head of Ark Teacher Training says "Teaching is a science and an art and a sport and a dance...We spend time studying what helps an athlete achieve gold and how football managers can take a team from good to great. What they all have in common is their focus on practice and precision. At Ark Teacher Training we look at the big picture but know that every painting is only as good as the individual brush strokes that make it. We ask our students to have the highest standards and expectations. And we hold ourselves in the same regard. Today’s Ofsted judgement is a reflection of that and is testament to all of the hard work and dedication of our tutors and our trainees, coaches and all of the staff in all of our schools who, on a daily basis, go above and beyond to ensure the very best for our young people.”

A big part of the recruitment and selection process is finding those that believe passionately in the power of education to transform lives. Less than 1 in 19 of those who applied for the programme were offered a place – helping to ensure a high retention rate during the training year and subsequently. Since launching, Ark Teacher Training has trained 120 new teachers and last year, 100 per cent of programme graduates succeeded in securing a teaching role.

Ark trainees work predominantly in areas of economic disadvantage and historic educational underachievement and Ofsted praised them for being “expert at reducing differences in learning and progress between groups of pupils.” They also recognised the quality of teaching of the trainees saying “[their] steely determination helps to ensure their pupils make the same or better progress as pupils being taught by experienced teachers in the same school.”

Ark Teacher Training is currently in Birmingham, Hastings, London and Portsmouth. Ofsted’s primary recommendation is that Ark “more widely share their exemplary teacher training”. Plans are currently underway to extend the programme to other areas of high need such as Bradford and Oldham. Now Teach, an initiative led by FT Journalist, Lucy Kellaway to encourage more career switchers into the profession will be part of this, with their cohort receiving training and support from the Ark Teacher Training team.

Read the full report here - PDF iconArk Teacher Training Ofsted Report January 2017

Applications are still open for 2017. For more information and to apply, visit www.arkteachertraining.org