Ark St Alban's to lead teacher development in South Birmingham

Ark St Alban's Academy has been appointed one of just 87 schools in England to provide high-quality professional development to teachers and leaders.

The school, based on Conybere Street in the Highgate area of Birmingham, will work with more than 200 schools in South Birmingham to deliver a new, coherent approach to teacher professional development as a Teaching School Hub.

The hub will draw on the combined strengths and expertise of the Ark network and Ark St Alban’s.

Teaching School Hubs are being introduced by the government to “simplify and strengthen” the way schools support each other to improve.

The Government is appointing high performing schools to run the hubs.

Mark Gregory, Regional Director for Ark’s secondary schools in Birmingham, said, “All of us at Ark are looking forward to building on the work of Ark St Albans, our current Teaching School in Birmingham, and strengthening our relationships with our neighbouring schools.

“We’re in a great position to help with teacher and school leader development because of the experience gained from across our network of schools and the expertise available in our central programmes, such as Ark Teacher Training.

Ark St Albans’ application to become a hub was underpinned by the school’s strong academic record, including the excellent results its students receive, despite a higher-than-average proportion of its students coming from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Its application was strengthened by its close association with Ark Teacher Training, an Ofsted Outstanding schools-based teacher training provider, that helps teachers prepare for teaching in schools around the country.

Leila Mactavish, Head of Ark Teacher Training (ATT), said, “Ark St Albans is an excellent school and it’s exciting that it is being given an opportunity to drive improvement across the region.

“Here at ATT, we know that great teaching transforms lives but teachers are made, not born, and the first two years of training are critical in developing both the capability and the passion for a long, successful career in the profession.

“We’re so pleased to be able to support Ark St Albans in developing a really strong launch pad for so many successful careers.”

The new approach to teacher professional development is designed to improve teacher retention.

Last year’s School Workforce Census revealed that more than 30% of all teachers leave the profession within five years of starting as a teacher, exacerbating the shortage of teachers in key subjects nationally.   

Rebecca Boomer-Clark, Director of Secondary at Ark, said, “We strive to help our teachers and leaders build meaningful and fulfilling careers and the training that we offer, during teacher training and then throughout their careers, helps us to build that job satisfaction. We’re looking forward to supporting other schools deliver the same for teachers working outside of Ark.”