Northampton university ‘generating high quality teachers’ for region, says Ofsted

One trainee told inspectors: “This course has cemented in my mind that teaching is exactly what I am meant to be doing”

Thursday, 21st July 2022, 7:30 am

The University of Northampton (UON) has been graded ‘good’ as a provider of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) by Ofsted.

UON works in partnership with primary schools to help the next generation of teachers work towards becoming fully qualified.

Four Ofsted inspectors visited UON in May and, in a report published this week, graded the university as a ‘good’ ITE provider.

The University of Northampton.

The report said: “Leaders have a clear vision for generating high-quality teachers for the region. The partnership is strongly valued, underpinned by a culture of collaboration and mutual respect.”

During the inspection, 12 primary schools providing placements to teaching students were visited including Kingsthorpe Grove Primary School, Duston Eldean Primary School and Standens Barn Primary School.

Inspectors found that trainees receive “high quality” mentoring in schools and are well prepared for their first teaching positions in what they described as a “super supportive environment.”

The report said that subject knowledge is well developed and the training programme is “ambitious” and “well informed by academic research.”

Ofsted commended recent improvements made to the programme that are helping trainees to provide effective support to pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and those who speak English as an additional language.

One trainee told inspectors: “This course has cemented in my mind that teaching is exactly what I am meant to be doing.”

Improvements suggested by Ofsted include improving areas of the curriculum to ensure they are as ambitious as other aspects of the training course - particularly the importance of relationships education, the protected characteristics and fundamental British values.

Inspectors said that leaders should improve their communication with mentors at schools so that they know what trainees learn in their university-based sessions and they can build on this work practically.

UON became an ITE provider in September 2004 and currently has 266 trainees, all training in the primary phase.

Training routes that current students are on include the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) route; PGCE School Direct fee-paid route and the undergraduate Bachelor of Arts with Qualified Teacher Status (BA QTS) route.

There are 221 UK schools involved in the primary-phase partnership across 10 local authorities.