Ark Teacher Training retains its Outstanding status and is hailed as ‘a first-class training programme’
Ark Teacher Training was inspected under Ofsted's new inspection framework, which has seen many 'outstanding' providers marked down. To date, there are only three providers in the country who have retained this rating.
Ark Teacher Training has successfully trained nearly 1000 teachers working in partnership with Ark's primary and secondary schools in Birmingham, Hastings, London and Portsmouth, plus several partners schools in London and Southampton, to deliver an outstanding school-based programme.
The report found that "Leaders' skilfull planning and insight has led to the establishment of a first-class training programme. The initial teacher education (ITE) curriculum content and structure is underpinned by up-to-date and credible academic thinking..."
The inspection took place from 28th February and 3rd March and included meetings with Ark Teacher Training leaders, including members of the steering group and primary and secondary curriculum leaders. Inspectors also met with 25 trainees, 14 early career teachers (ECT) and former trainees, 18 mentors and seven partnership school leaders. Inspectors were accompanied on lesson visits by mentors or school leaders.
The report said, "Experienced, dedicated leaders, tutors and mentors work together to ensure trainees receive high levels of support from the moment they start training with the partnership. There are well-considered pathways to support trainees' mental health and wellbeing."
Inspectors found that "Trainees thrive on this exceptionally well-planned and delivered programme. They develop subject knowledge and subject-specific pedagogy that is applicable to a wide range of contrasting settings. Trainees rapidly gain the skills and confidence to create a positive climate for learning in their lessons."
The report noted that: "Trainees are motivated and inspired by the partnership's aim to provide equal access to high-quality education for all pupils. This sense of purpose is integral to the training programme. Trainees understand the principles of adaptive teaching. They acquire a repertoire of strategies for working with pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and with those who speak English as an additional language (EAL)."
Leila MacTavish, Head of Ark Teacher Training, said:
"We are thrilled with today's Ofsted report. The teaching landscape has evolved so much since we launched the programme. The quality of teaching is the biggest factor in determining children's success at school, particularly those facing disadvantages or those with special educational needs and disabilities. It is great that Ofsted recognises how well our programme meets the needs of our teachers and the children they educate.
"I'm pleased that Ofsted recognised all that is unique about our programme, which is the optimal blend of academic study and practice inside and outside the classroom. Our standards are uncompromising, but trainees' level of support, including real-time coaching, team teaching, planning, and wellbeing input, is unparalleled.
"The pandemic has had a significant impact on schools. We've risen to the challenge in many ways, such as enhancing mental health and wellbeing support so trainees can confidently make a real difference where it matters most and help our children.
"A considerable part of our selection process is finding people who believe passionately in education's power to transform lives and offer young people real choices in life. Since we launched, we have trained nearly 1,000 new teachers, and we will celebrate the tenth cohort graduating this summer. Last year, 97% of programme graduates secured a teaching role.
"Today's Ofsted judgement reflects all of the hard work and dedication of our trainees and tutors, mentors and staff in all of our schools who go above and beyond to ensure the very best for our young people."
Lucy Heller, Ark Chief Executive, added:
"We are absolutely delighted with Ark Teacher Training's success. Great teaching is what makes great schools”
Sarah Williams completed her ITT Ark Putney in 2020 and stayed on as an ECT this academic year said:
"What I enjoyed most about the Ark Teacher Training programme was the support given by my mentor, coach and in-school lead. I always felt like there was someone to help, no matter how small the question. I also found that the expectations were high, which was extremely motivating. The reflection process is very valuable and inspires me to continue improving my practice every day."
Applications are still open for 2022. For more information, visit: www.arkteachertraining.org