Local school declared teaching hub for struggling schools

PUBLISHED: 08:26 15 January 2020

Photo: CONTRIBUTED.

Photo: CONTRIBUTED.

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A school in Saffron Walden is among six schools across the country which have been announced as ‘teaching school hubs’.

Saffron Walden County High School will act as a regional hub, supporting over 200 schools in the region. The announcement was made by the Department for Education, the government institution responsible for children services and education in England.

Lord Agnew, schools minister, said: "It is vital that we back our best school leaders. These new teaching school hubs will make it easier for the best school leaders to share expert advice and help schools in their local communities, ensuring that those schools facing the greatest challenges are supported as simply and efficiently as possible."

The Saffron Teaching School Hub, which will be based at Saffron Walden County High School, will co-ordinate the work of a range of local partners. The initiative aims to boost professional development opportunities for teachers, improve school-to-school support, and strengthen staff recruitment and retention.

Support will include delivering tailored professional development for teachers, hosting observations and visits, and deploying specialist teachers and leaders to offer advice and guidance to local schools.

Caroline Derbyshire, executive headteacher at the high school, is also a national leader of education (NLE). NLEs are described by the government as "strong school leaders, who have experience of effectively supporting schools in challenging circumstances" and "provide high quality support to those who need it most".

Ms Derbyshire said: "We are delighted with this new designation. It recognises that Saffron Walden County High School is a leader of education at a local, regional and national level. As well as enabling us to co-ordinate support for other schools, being a Teaching School Hub will also provide exciting professional development opportunities for our own staff and help us as a school to continue to recruit the best teachers."

According to a high school spokesperson, Saffron Walden County High School is "one of the country's highest performing schools". The latest Ofsted full inspection of the institution, carried out in 2012, concluded the high school enjoys 'outstanding' overall effectiveness, as well as 'outstanding' quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, and leadership and management.


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