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What is a teaching school?

Teaching schools are outstanding schools that work with others to provide high-quality training and development to new and experienced school staff. They are part of the Government’s plan to give schools a central role in raising standards by developing a self-improving and sustainable school-led system.


Who can apply for teaching school status?

To be eligible schools will need to:

  • have an outstanding rating from Ofsted
  • provide evidence of successful partnerships
  • show excellent leadership with a proven track record of school improvement
  • have an outstanding headteacher with at least 3 years’ experience
  • have a leadership team with the capacity to lead the 6 core areas of the teaching school role


What is a teaching school alliance?

Teaching school alliances are led by a teaching school and include schools that are benefiting from support, as well as strategic partners who lead some aspects of training and development. Strategic partners may include:


  • other schools from any phase or sector
  • universities
  • academy chains
  • local authorities
  • dioceses
  • private sector organisations

A teaching school alliance may decide to work with other alliances to share knowledge and resources as a teaching school network.


What are the 6 core areas of a teaching school’s role?


  • School-led initial teacher training - developing opportunities to provide school-led initial teacher training.
  • Continuing professional development - offering a range of professional development opportunities for teachers and school support staff, extending strong learning culture to schools they work with. These must build on initial teacher training and induction.
  • Supporting other schools - lead co-ordination of school-to-school support. This usually involves working with a school or academy in challenging circumstances to bring about improvement.
  • Delivering leadership potential - developing successful succession planning strategies to identify and develop people to fill leadership positions in the future.
  • Specialist leaders of education - to recruit and manage the placements of specialist leaders of education. Specialist leaders of education are outstanding middle and senior leaders. They have at least 2 years leadership experience in a particular specialism.
  • Research and development – build on existing research and contribute to alliances and other networks. Use evidence to initiate new projects  and allow staff the time and support they need take part in research and development activities.