School earns top role

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AN OUTSTANDING school in Rotherham has become one of the few sites in the country to be designated as a teaching school.

The status given to St Bernard’s Catholic High School in Herringthorpe means it will help train new teachers, continue the development of existing staff and support other schools in ‘challenging circumstances’.

It was one of 150 schools in England granted teaching school status in the third national wave.

Headteacher David Butler said: “This is both an important recognition of the standards of teaching and learning at St Bernard’s and an opportunity to enhance our practice and the practice of other schools.”

Teaching schools give outstanding schools a leading role in the training and professional development of teachers and school staff, as well as raising standards through school-to-school support.

Schools and headteachers must meet stringent criteria to become a training school.

Once allocated they work together with other schools in an alliance.

Other partners include at least one university.

It is expected that by 2015 there will be 500 teaching schools across the UK.

Maggie Farrar, executive director at the National College, which has responsibility for the teaching school programme, said: “Teaching schools like St Bernard’s Catholic High School should be proud of their achievement as they need to be at the top of their game to take on this role.

“They need to be outstanding in their own performance and have a track record of raising standards through school-to-school support.”

Other teaching schools in the area include Notre Dame High School in Ranmoor, Sheffield, which leads the Hallam Teaching School Alliance.