Together with the University of Hertfordshire, we have developed a new ‘Harrow First’ programme. This model involves the recruitment of graduates in their final year of degrees and graduates looking to change careers, through direct advertising and is designed to work with post-graduate links such as the University of Hertfordshire’s graduate alumni association. As well as responding to emergent recruitment needs.
Participants in the programme will be prepared by undergoing a rigorous programme of training in the summer months, either directly from their previous career or after their degree for new graduates. Trainees will then be deployed in schools with a significant timetable (but one which allows for their training needs to be met) alongside Higher Level Teaching Assistants with knowledge of the individual schools. As the trainees develop, as assessed by schools and evaluated by the alliance and the university, the HLTA support will be gradually withdrawn over the course of their first year.
The alliance has worked with the University of Hertfordshire to develop recruitment processes, training programmes and evaluation mechanisms for the ‘Harrow First’ School Direct programme. The inclusion of a further education college in the alliance gives a unique opportunity for trainees to develop vocational teaching skills within appropriate settings.
The alliance is developing a summer training programme, using Teach First ambassadors based in partner schools to draw out the best of that programme and tailor it to our context. We will develop training for HLTAs in supporting trainees. Reflective practice will be a major feature throughout the programme. Initially it will focus on the craft of teaching and classroom management. Towards the end of the first year, and in the trainees NQT year, there will be more emphasis on linking this practice to educational theory through action research Teachers in their NQT year will be encouraged and supported to pursue Masters credits or full Masters accreditation with the University of Hertfordshire.