Focus on ... The Teaching Schools Council
With its network of over 600 teaching schools across nine English regional networks, the Teaching Schools Council (TSC) has a regional and national-facing school improvement role. Its belief that great teaching is at the heart of a self-improving school-led system underpins its ambassadorial role in 'developing, improving and changing education' so all children can have the opportunity to attend a good school.
TSC is focused on ensuring teaching schools play a full role in initial teacher training (ITT); leadership development; and school to school support – particularly in areas of highest disadvantage. It also commissions research that could be used to improve teaching practice throughout the schools' system.
The Effective Primary Teaching Practice Report, published on 2 November 2016 was informed by the views of a group of education experts – both practitioners and researchers. The report offers practical advice to help primary teachers and schools improve their teaching and makes some recommendations.
According to the expert group, effective schools should:
Demonstrate strong leadership.
Prioritise the on-going development of teachers and teaching.
Make use of all their resources.
Make clear choices about how they organise structure and prioritise, based on evidence.
Another report published in November 2016, The Modern Foreign Languages Report, gives advice on improving modern foreign languages pedagogy.
It suggests that:
'Pupils need to gain early knowledge of the vocabulary, grammar, sound and spelling systems (phonics) of their new language, and how these are used by speakers of the language.
And they need to reinforce this knowledge with extensive planned practice and use in order to build the skills needed for communication.'
The report also puts special emphasis on high quality subject-specific teacher training and development, adding its voice to a number of other reports which emphasise the importance of high quality continuous professional development (CPD).
Modern Foreign Languages Report
Ian Bauckham, the Review chair (left):
"There are powerful educational benefits and career advantages to be gained from studying a modern foreign language. Language teachers are highly committed and hard-working. Nevertheless, outcomes in languages present us with some significant challenges. Good teachers continually review their pedagogy and this report offers recommendations which they can use for this purpose. This report recommends direct, sequenced teaching of vocabulary, grammar and phonics, planned practice leading to fluency and accuracy in use, and horizon-widening subject matter. It also lays special emphasis on high quality subject-specific teacher training and development."
Also worth reading ...
Blog by the National College for teaching and Leadership (NCTL)
What is the role of the Teaching Schools Council?