Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I join the Durham Teaching Schools Alliance?

There are many reasons to join the Durham Teaching Schools Alliance:

  • The teaching alliance is comprised of nursery, infant, junior, primary, secondary and special schools and, therefore, has practitioners with a wide range of skills and expertise.
  • Everyone is welcome- the Durham Teaching School Alliance is an inclusive learning community.
  • The teaching school alliance has many strategic partners including Durham County Council.
  • The teaching school alliance identifies and delivers local solutions to local issues.
  • The teaching school alliance has a strong moral purpose and a desire to help all Durham schools to improve and develop.
  • Ofsted acknowledges the the importance and value of working collaboratively.

Can I join more than one alliance?

Yes you can be a member of more than one Teaching School Alliance.

Can I join the alliance anytime?

Yes you can join the Durham Teaching School Alliance at any time and be involved as much or as little as you like.

Is there a (financial) cost to joining the Durham Teaching Schools Alliance?

There are no membership fees or hidden costs. Some of the events organised by the Durham Teaching School Alliance will be funded and delivered to schools free or charge. The teaching school alliance may be able to broker school 2 school support without cost. Where NLEs, LLEs or SLEs are deployed charges to the receiving school will be made in line with a national or local charging agreement.

Can I just be involved in CPD?

Yes you can send staff to as many training events/courses as you want.

What do I do if I can't find any appropriate CPD for staff?

The Durham Teaching School Alliance will endeavour to design and deliver bespoke courses and longer route programmes.The Alliance has a wide range of specialist practitioners who can support individual needs. The Alliance provides local solutions for local issues and needs.  

Is the Memorandum of Understanding a formal contract?

The Memorandum of Understanding is not a contract. You may prefer to think of it as a code of practice or an agreement.

If my school needs support who do I contact?

You can contact one of the Teaching Schools directly and talk to the Headteacher or contact Joe Sonnenfeld, The Teaching School Manager. The Local Authority or National College may commission the services of the Teaching School Alliance to support your school.

If my school can offer support what should I do?

You may want to get involved in training events, research and development or ITT. Contact one of the Teaching Schools or the Teaching Schools Manager.

My school is going through a time of transition I don’t feel the time is right to join the alliance?

You can get involved whenever you feel the time is right. Remember that all schools regardless of size or phase have something to offer.

Is there any evidence that teaching schools are having a positive impact on the quality of teaching and learning and/or leadership and management?

There are lots of case studies which demonstrate the power of the teaching schools model.

What is a Lead Teacher  and what do they do?

Lead Teachers are teachers whose practice is judged to be outstanding by their Headteacher and EDP. Anyone can apply, at anytime, to be a Lead Teacher and will be designated provided that their application is endorsed by a reference from their Headteacher and EDP. A directory of Lead Teachers is stored on this website so that schools can contact Headteachers and Lead Teachers directly to seek advice or arrange meetings or school visits.

What is a Lead Practitioner and what do they do?   

Lead Practitioners are support staff whose practice is outstanding or innovative. Lead Practitioners are: Teaching Assistants, HLTAs, Caretakers, PSAs, Learning Mentors, Attendance Officers, Midday Supervisors....Anyone can apply to be a Lead Practitioner and wil be designated provideed that their application is endorsed by a reference from the Headteacher. A Lead Practitioner Directory is stored on this website so that schools can make contact with another school dirctly to discuss support or arrange visits.