Arthur Terry National Teaching School

Outstanding teacher training provider praised by Ofsted for leading with ‘integrity, clarity and vision’

Thursday 21st July, 2022

The Arthur Terry School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme has achieved an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating in all areas.

The respected Arthur Terry SCITT course, part of Arthur Terry Teaching School, has been awarded ‘outstanding’ judgements by the Government’s Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) for the quality of education and training, and leadership and management.

A glowing report, following an inspection in May, said: ‘Leaders at every level lead with integrity, clarity and vision. Their dedication, enthusiasm and energy shines through.’ Inspectors also noted that ‘trainees thrive in their training year.’

The established SCITT course trains teachers across the West Midlands each year, as part of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP) learning family. They stand as one of a very small number of providers to achieve an ‘outstanding’ judgement against the new Ofsted framework.

I’m so proud I am of the whole SCITT team for their dedication and vision in developing our provision to the level confirmed by Ofsted,” said Cathryn Mortimer,  director of Teaching School, SCITT course director.

“To have moved from a Good rating in 2014 to an ‘outstanding’ rating in the current climate is testament to an exceptional team, dedicated to training high-quality teachers that have enriched schools across the West Midlands and beyond.”

In their report, Ofsted inspectors highlighted the trainer’s fundamental values, stating that ‘many trainees describe the partnership as being ‘like a family’.

The SCITT team are proud of how their ability to ‘act quickly to provide quality academic challenge and sensitive pastoral support’ underpins their dedication to ‘listen to trainees’ views’ as part of a collaborative, inclusive ethos that develops new teachers into the strongest entrants into the profession they can be.

The Ofsted report states that the SCITT’s curriculum is ‘exceptionally ambitious and coherent’, which extends far beyond the limited scope the timeframe of an inspection provides.

The team of leaders are committed to ongoing development of their programmes, thoroughly engage with the latest research, and are passionate advocates for research-led innovation in the classroom. SCITT develop teachers who are fully conversant in the ‘latest thinking in each subject’, acutely aware of their professional identities, with a strong sense of moral responsibility that underpins everything they do.

SCITT are also indebted to a talented team of learning coaches, whose ‘rigorous’ approach to training, their ‘diligent’ approach to providing emotional support and their expectations of ‘excellence’ are key to driving the continual improvement of associate teachers. Their dedication is testament to their passion and commitment, inducting new entrants to the profession in the best possible manner.

Ofsted also acknowledged how associate teachers ‘flourish into thoughtful and knowledgeable teachers’.

Cathryn said: “Ofsted’s judgement confirmed our unequivocal belief that we help our associate teachers ‘grow, achieve and excel’. We are confident that we provide one of the strongest initial teacher education (ITE) programmes in the country, and we look forward to developing many more exceptional teachers for years to come.”

Speaking about Ofsted inspector’s findings, Cathryn said: “This latest report confirms what we already knew: that we provide aspiring teachers with a superb programme that provides a platform for long-term success at a time where teacher retention is in a state of crisis.

“My team have demonstrated resilience and commitment throughout, going above and beyond to provide the best training experience possible, while continually developing and refining our practice. Training new teachers is a privilege, and I remain confident that our graduates will enrich thousands of lives, teaching with integrity, intelligence, and passion.”

She added: “I am pleased that Ofsted recognise the ‘integrity’, ‘dedication and enthusiasm’ that drives everything we do. Above all else, it is the passion of our team, stakeholders and Associate Teachers that has created a truly special training experience, driven by a ‘family’ atmosphere. We are committed to academic rigour, empathetic support, and a genuine love for what we do. We will continue to improve, continue to succeed, and continue to develop exceptional teachers.”

Richard Gill CBE, chief executive officer of the ATLP and chair of the Teaching School Hubs Council, said: “I’m absolutely delighted with this judgement. It is testament to our SCITT’s bold ambition, drive and expertise to deliver a respected, high quality programme, that we are exceptionally proud to provide, along with the calibre, passion and dedication of our associate teachers.

“We’re training the teachers of tomorrow. Professionals who aspire to be the best they can be. We are privileged that so many of our trainees choose to stay with the ATLP family and progress their careers with us, which means we can share that excellence across many schools, to give children and young people across many communities opportunities to excel.”

The Ofsted report is available to view here: