Ark Teacher Training: Securing a pipeline of teaching talent

This article is from 2013. For up to date information and news from Ark Teacher Training, visit the Ark Teacher Training website.

Visit the Ark Teacher Training website

Our schools are only as good as our teachers but finding exceptional talent isn’t always easy. That’s why we’ve launched Ark Teacher Training; designed for graduates and career switchers, it’s a year-long course that gives a hands-on, practical introduction to teaching, culminating in a PGCE and qualified teacher status. Trainees learn their craft by spending 12 months working in one of our schools, supported every step of the way by a school-wide mentor as well as a subject or classroom mentor.

Once qualified, graduates have the opportunity to work in any one of our 18 schools. Having already been inducted into the Ark’s way, our trainee teachers will be ready to hit the ground running.

“If we get this right, we’ll create a programme that will bring skilled professionals and graduates into teaching and then train them to be the most effective teachers possible for our schools.” Damian McBeath, Head teacher, Ark Bentworth Primary, London

This September, 54 trainees started work in 18 of our schools.

From a former army officer to a paediatric nurse, our trainees have come from all sectors, facing a competition worthy of the X-factor to get here. We had over 1000 applications when we launched the course back in November 2012. Whittling those down to around 200, we ran intensive assessment days, both off site and in our schools, where candidates were asked, amongst other things, to present for five minutes on a subject of their choice and were observed ‘teaching’ a class. Almost 20 of the final 54 have worked in one of our schools.

All are now on the frontline of teaching and just four weeks into the school year have had four afternoons on network training, curriculum studies training from Canterbury Christchurch University and four rounds of observation and feedback from their mentors.

Natasha Smith, a trainee at Ark Academy, captures the mood of the group: “I knew being a teacher was going to be really hard and I wanted to be around people who took training really seriously and have access to great teachers - there are lots of those here.”

Find out more about Ark Teacher training here.

This article is from 2013. For up to date information and news from Ark Teacher Training, visit the Ark Teacher Training website.

Visit the Ark Teacher Training website