St Thomas More Upper School has become one of the first in the country to be selected for an important new role aimed at further raising standards. The Catholic School is one of only 100 schools in England to be granted teaching school status – a new designation entitling it to lead the training and professional development of staff.
St Thomas More School was selected by the National College for School Leadership which had about 1,200 expressions of interest in the first recruitment round. Staff from the school will now be invited to the National College’s Learning and Conference Centre in Nottingham in September for a formal induction.
The milestone marks a shift towards school-centred training and development. Teaching schools will be responsible for leading a group of schools, working with other partners including at least one university, to deliver high quality support for teachers and leaders at all stages in their career.
National Leader of Education and Executive Principal of the school, Dr Alan Lee expressed his delight, stating that: “This is a marvellous opportunity, along with our partners, to support school improvement and serve young people throughout Bedford Borough.
"St Thomas More thoroughly deserves the numerous accolades the school is currently receiving - Ofsted ‘outstanding’, National Support School, Teaching School – to name but a few. These successes are the result of much hard work, by many, over a number of years. I am humbled and extremely grateful."
Steve Munby, Chief Executive of the National College, said: “To take on this role, teaching schools like St Thomas More need to be among the best in the country - outstanding in their own performance and have a track record of raising standards through school-to-school support.
“Over time teaching schools will harness the finest teaching talent in the profession to drive school improvement, and bring real benefits to pupils. Trainees will learn from the best teachers in action and those who want to step up to more senior leadership positions will be exposed to excellent practice within and beyond their immediate school.”
Councillor David Sawyer Portfolio holder for Education, Bedford Borough Council commented: This is a real accolade for the school. St Thomas More Catholic School has a deserved reputation as an outstanding school.”