By Nick Speight, Chair of Co-op Academies Failsworth
In my Co-op role, I am responsible for Learning & Development. Training is extremely important to me. Through my role as Chair at Failsworth, it’s always been wonderful to observe Early Careers Teachers in training and in the classroom. I see their potential and watch them grow in confidence. I’m hopeful that Co-op Academies Trust’s new partnership with Bright Futures will allow more trainees to find employment as highly skilled Early Career Teachers within our region.
We announced the partnership in January of this year with the aim of adding value to the Initial Teacher Training across Primary and Secondary School levels offered by the Trust.
The Trust saw a need to recruit and retain great teachers across the three hub areas of Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, Merseyside, and West Yorkshire.
Co-op Academies Trust is approaching 30 academies, with an aim of expanding to 40. Teacher recruitment has been a nationwide problem for the past 10 years, and we’re recruiting more teachers than ever before. Last year saw a 65% increase in Teacher training applications. There’s never been a better time for us to develop our own teacher training programme.
It allows us to train new teachers who can understand, appreciate, and learn about the Co-op difference from day one. Throughout their training they will get a unique opportunity to become teachers who live the Co-op values. The brand-new teacher training scheme offers a hands-on approach to its trainees, where they become an Associate Teacher in a placement school from their very first day of training.
Trainees follow a progressive year-long programme, supported by a subject or classroom mentor and expert colleagues. At the start of the year, their day may include observing lessons and expert teaching, building relationships with the students, reflecting on the curriculum, and being guided through planning their first lessons.
As the weeks progress, Associate Teachers will plan and deliver lessons, mark work, and produce feedback for students. They’ll secure those student relationships and work together as a cohort in a supportive school environment. They’ll reflect on feedback and attend high quality, evidence-informed professional development sessions to allow them to hone their craft.
We encourage people from all backgrounds to apply. We receive applications from graduates and career changers alike. We’d recommend that you gain some school experience before applying to see if teaching is right for you, but this isn’t a requirement, and we’ll consider absolutely anybody who applies. Applicants will also be able to choose the academy they wish to train in.
Successful applicants will be invited to an interview arranged by the Trust. The interview has a few stages:
- a short pupil-based activity where you’d prepare a lesson walk through
- a hidden task revealed at the time
- a formal interview with Trust staff
- a task to assess your written communication skills