New hubs aim to raise retention rates for new teachers in region

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A development programme aimed at raising attainment and keeping talented teachers within the profession is to be centred at schools in the region.

The Accelerate programme, run by the Education Development Trust alongside the Chartered College of Teaching, aims to provide training and support for teachers in Yorkshire in their first five years.

Retention is a key focus within the industry, organisers say, highlighted by announcements over recent days of the first Government strategy of its kind to tackle a shortage of teachers.

Now, two new hubs are to be created in Leeds and Scarborough to offer training and development in districts earmarked as priority areas.

“Informed by our extensive programme of educational research, the scheme will help support and motivate teachers at the start of their careers, helping to deliver improvements for schools, and most importantly, children across the country,” said Matt Davis, regional director of the Education Development Trust.

The latest league tables statistics, released a fortnight ago, show that 12 per cent of mainstream secondary schools in England fell below expected standards in 2018, while for Yorkshire that figure was considerably smaller.

The new hubs are to be created within The Scarborough Teaching Alliance, and at The John Jamieson School in Leeds.

A number of districts in Yorkshire having been designated as priority areas by Government, with coastal communities among those linked under the Social Mobility Index.

Called the North Yorkshire Coast priority area, it ranked 312 out of 324 districts in the index, with its inclusion in the list meaning it is allocated additional funding aimed at boosting pupil attainment.

The development programme announcement comes days after Education Secretary Damian Hinds set out plans to attract and retain more teachers in schools, including more early career support, opportunities for flexible and part-time working and a reduction in workload.

The early years package, with a pledge of backing of over £130m a year, would see new teachers receive a two-year package of training and support including a reduced timetable and has been hailed as having the potential to be a “game-changer” in tackling low retention rates.

The hubs programme for Yorkshire aims to tackle existing problems in schools by helping teachers face challenges over workload, poor behaviour, and provide information and guidance on support for children with special educational needs and disabilities. It will also set out a network of peers across the region, with induction events this month.

Emma-Jane Birley, manager of the Scarborough Teaching Alliance and Sarah Kirkham, lead for continuing professional development, said: “We are delighted to be the North Yorkshire Hub for the Accelerate programme.

“We look forward to supporting Early Career Teachers on the Yorkshire Coast, East Riding & Hull and the surrounding areas. Ensuring practitioners are supported and nurtured in the early stages of their career is key to retaining the highest quality teachers delivering outstanding education for our children.”