Dunstable school will help raise teaching standards


Lark Rise Academy, Dunstable, has been chosen by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) to become a national teaching school – an important role in raising standards.

Teaching schools take a leading role in recruiting and training new entrants to the profession, identifying leadership potential and providing support for other schools.

Lark Rise, in Cartmel Drive, was one of only 200 schools in England to be granted teaching school status in the latest designation round.

Introduced in 2011, teaching schools are all rated as “outstanding” and mark a shift towards school-centred training. They work with partner schools in an alliance, including at least one university, to ensure high-quality school-led initial teacher training and professional development opportunities for teachers at all stages of their career.

They raise standards through school-to-school support, engage in research and development, and ensure that the most talented school leaders are spotted and supported to become successful headteachers.

Rebecca Baker, headteacher at Lark Rise, said she was “delighted with this exciting accolade”. She added: “Having a teaching school locally provides a fantastic opportunity for schools in the area to work collaboratively. It is envisaged that this collaboration, which will focus on delivering high- quality training for staff, will result in an improved learning journey and better outcomes for the children and young people that we serve”.

NCTL has responsibility, in partnership with headteachers from the Teaching Schools Council, for the designation and quality of the teaching schools programme.

Charlie Taylor, chief executive of NCTL, said: “Lark Rise Academy should be very proud of their teaching school status. It recognises the school’s outstanding performance and its track record of raising standards through supporting other schools.

“There are now more than 500 designated teaching schools around the country with more to follow. In an increasingly school-led system, they are leading the way in training new teachers and helping existing teachers develop their skills, ensuring we’ll have the best people teaching our children for generations to come.”