Values and Mission:

The Durham Teaching Schools Alliance aims to inspire learning for all through: support and collaboration, reflection and enquiry,sharing and dissemination, access to expertise and nurturing talent. Together we can shape the future of learning in Durham by: improving teaching, developing leaders, raising achievement and promoting positive attitudes to learning.

The Durham Teaching School Alliance is a consortium of Early Years, Primary, secondary and special schools in County Durham led by two lead schools: Prince Bishops Primary School and Etherley Lane Nursery School. The Durham Teaching School Alliance is a Cohort 3 teaching school alliance.

What does the Durham Teaching School Alliance offer?

  1. School to School Support- deployment of NLEs/SLEs, NLGs and EDPs
  2. Workforce development- CPD/succession planning- bespoke courses and longer route programmes
  3. Initial Teacher Training- Early Years and Primary

Please browse the Durham Teaching School website at

The teaching school website has been updated and improved to make it more responsive and easier to navigate.

Please browse the North East Teaching School website to find out about courses/events in the Northern region-

Please browse Schools North East website to find out about changes in the educational policy landscape and educational events across the region-

System Leaders- National Leaders of Education (NLEs), National Leaders of Governance (NLGs), Local Leaders of Education (LLEs), Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs)

System Leaders are experienced senior leaders who have been designated by the National College to facilitate and lead school improvement. System leaders can be commissioned by you to support your school or by the Local Authority. System leaders can be deployed to help raise school achievement, deliver bespoke CPD, mentor/coach individuals, advise governing bodies, assist with allocation and evaluation of Pupil Premium funding, assist with Ofsted preparation and much more. If you would like further information about how system leaders can support you please let me know.

The 46 Teaching School Alliances across the Northern region have an agreed pricing structure for school 2 school support

NLEs/CEOs- £550 per day

LLEs/HoS- £450 per day

SLEs-£350 per day

These costs indicate a full day deployment and include all preparation and reporting. They can be adjusted for half day sessions and twilights. A copy of the Charging Policy can be downloaded from the teaching school website.

Name/Designation / School
Mrs L. George / Prince Bishops Community Primary School
Mrs L. Patterson / Etherley Lane Nursery School
Mrs F. Gowland / Our Lady and St Thomas RC Primary School
Mrs A. Lupton / Crook Primary School
Mr J. Buckham / c/o Prince Bishops Primary School
Mrs A. Aisbitt / c/o Our Lady and St Thomas Primary School
Mr D. Kingston / c/o Our Lady and St Thomas Primary School
Mr D. Brown / Ramshaw Primary & St Chads RC Primary School
Mrs S. Taylor / Burnopfield Primary School
Mr S. Whelerton / Staindrop CE Primary School
Mr D. Eason / Fishburn Primary School
Mrs E. Sturrock / Ramshaw Primary School, English
Mrs L.Cooper / Sunnybrow Primary School, Maths
Miss R. Stanhope / Burnside Primary School, Attendance
Mrs K.Costello / Vane Road Primary School, ICT
Mrs K.A.Lee / Prince Bishops Primary School, ITT
Mrs J. Crosby / Ludworth Primary School, EYFS
Mrs J. Madgwick / Etherley Lane Nursery School, EYFS
Mrs K. Lee / Hartside Primary School, SBM
Mrs R. Newbold / Hopewood Academy, Behaviour
Mr P. Robertson / St John’s School & 6th Form, MFL
Miss C. Irwin / Grove Primary School, SEN
Miss C. Williams / Lumley Junior School, English and maths
Mrs M. Morton / Peases West Primary School, Assessment/PE
Mr J. Peoples / Fishburn Primary School, English/Assessment

Initial Teacher Training

The Durham Teaching School Alliance offers 2 School Direct teacher training programmes:

  1. High Force Education SCITT and The Durham Teaching School Alliance work in partnership to offer an exciting and innovative School Direct Initial Teacher Training programme Primary 4-11.
  • Trainees study at High Force Education SCITT
  • Trainees will be placed in good and outstanding partner schools
  • Trainees will have opportunities to gain employment at a partnership school
  • Training will be similar to training programmes in universities and colleges
  • Trainees will pay fees but might be eligible for funding through tuition fee loans, training bursaries or scholarships
  • The training programme is tailored towards teaching in the local area
  • The SCITT and its partner schools provide a practical, hands-on teacher training programme, taught and supported by experienced, practising teachers

Entry onto this programme is made through UCAS.

Further Information about The Durham Teaching School Alliance and this course can be viewed at:

Further Information about High Force Education SCITT can be viewed at:

Please contact Gemma Costello, Programme Manager for further information

Tel: 01833 690298

Training Provider Code Name: A1727

Training Provider Code: 1LN

Training Programme Code: 28GN

  1. The Durham Teaching School Alliance in partnership with NorthumbriaUniversity offer a post Graduate Certificate in early Years Education with Early Years Teacher Status. This course specialises in birth to 5.

Etherley Lane Nursery School (Lead School), together with partner schools and settings in Newcastle and Durham, work closely with Northumbria University, the accredited ITT Provider, to offer an innovative and specialized programme in early childhood development.

The government is committed to raising the quality of early years provision by encouraging graduate leadership. Early Years ITT is the only teacher training focused on the birth to five range.

To be awarded Early Years Teacher Status trainees will meet robust standards designed specifically for high quality learning with this age group. Early years teachers will be specialists in early childhood development and the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum (0 – 5 years). Trainees will be taught the theoretical element of the programme by specialist practitioners from Northumbria University and teachers from placement schools and settings. Trainees will be placed in a range of good and outstanding schools and settings across Newcastle or Durham for the practical elements of the programme.

Recruitment onto this programme is likely to start in January 2017. Applications are made directly to Northumbria University. Further information will be published on the teaching school website and in this newsletter.

Lead Teachers

The Durham Teaching School Alliance has a directory of Lead Teachers on its website.Lead Teachers are skilled and experienced teachers whose practice is judged outstanding by their Headteacher.Lead Teachers are able to demonstrate best practice in a specific area of the curriculum. The Durham Teaching School Alliance has a wide range of Lead Teachers representing both primary and secondary phases.Lead Teachers complement the work of SLEs, LLEs and NLEs by providing another layer of school to school support.Unlike SLEs, who engage in outreach work, Lead Teachers are school based providing real opportunities for teachers and practitioners to observe excellent teaching in a school setting. If you would like to visit a school or observe a Lead Teacher please contact the Headteacher of the school directly.

If you would like to apply to be a Lead Teacher please complete and return the application form available on the teaching school website: application must be endorsed by a reference from your Headteacher. The reference proforma can also be downloaded from the website. There is no deadline for applications. New Lead Teachers will be added to the data base regularly.

In order to keep information in the directory up to date please let me know if any information currently displayed is inaccurate or out of date (e.g change of school/role..)

Lead Practitioners

The Durham Teaching School Alliance has a directory of Lead Practitioners on its website.Lead Practitioners occupy a wide range of roles and responsibilities within schools and settings including: HLTAs, TAs, Learning Mentors, School Business Managers, Office Mangers, Attendance Officers, Counsellors…..The teaching school website contains a Lead Practitioner Directory which can be accessed by schools looking for ways to support school/setting improvement by viewing innovative and expert practice. Lead Practitioners are based in schools and settings and do not engage in outreach work. Please contact the Headteacher of the school directly to make an appointment to visit.

If you would like to apply to be a Lead Practitioner please complete the application form available on the teaching school website. Your application must be endorsed by a reference from your Headteacher. The reference proforma can be downloaded from the website.There is no deadline for applications. New Lead Practitioners will be added to the data base regularly.

Please let me know if any information on the current data base is inaccurate or out of date.

Workforce Development

Please see the website for details of all courses/workshops and twilights offered by the teaching school alliance Please let me know if there is area of need in your school or cluster of schools and we will design a bespoke course or twilight for you.

Anxieties, Worries and Fears- Brand New Course

This half day workshop is for teachers, teaching assistants, Parent Support Advisers, Learning Mentors..Delegates will find out about anxiety, worry and fear and learn what to do when these normal emotions and feelings become a problem or disorder. Delegates will also find out how to recognize triggers, how anxiety impacts on children’s learning and what strategies and interventions can be used to support children with their needs. Training will be led by Nick Connell a mental health nurse, social worker and play therapist.

When:Tuesday 10th January 2017

Where: Prince Bishops Primary School

The Importance of Raising Self Esteem and Improving Emotional Wellbeing- Brand New Course

This full day course is for teachers in middle leadership roles and Recently Qualified Teachers. This practical/ hands on day will provide delegates with lots of opportunities to network with colleagues and practice using tools and techniques that are designed to raise awareness about, and developself esteem and assertiveness. Research shows that teachers who understand their own motivation, behaviour and beliefs are more able to understand other people and communicate more effectively. Confident, emotionally resilient teachers promote and support higher levels of pupil achievement.

When: Wednesday 18th January 2017

Where: Prince Bishops Primary School

Three day Preparation for Higher Level Teaching Assistant status

Expressions of interest are now invited for the next rounds of HLTA Preparation which will begin in January and May 2017.The 3 day course is offered in partnership with HLTA North. This course is mandatory for all TAs seeking Assessment to gain HLTA status. Places on this course are by application only and are filled on a first come first served basis. Applicants must complete an application form containing a reference from the Headteacher and have GCSE English and mathematics grade C and above, or an equivalent level 2 qualification at the time of registration. Training is delivered by Kate Jones from HLTA North. The 3 day course including meals is £400 per delegate. Please download an application from the website. Please also read the eligibility criteria before making an application

Cohort 2 Cohort 3

Day 1: Thursday 19th January 2017 Day 1: Thursday 4th May 2017

Day 2: Thursday 9th February 2017 Day 2: Thursday 18th May 2017

Day 3: Thursday 9th March 2017 Day 3: Thursday 22nd June 2017

Where: Prince Bishops Primary School

Being Resilient

This one day course has been designed, and is led, by Jenny and Elizabeth from Rainbow’s End Coaching. This course was delivered earlier this year and received excellent feedback from the teachers and TAs that attended. During the day attendees will learn techniques to stay positive and manage stressful situations. Delegates will also explore ways to introduce resilience in the classroom and develop their own resilience.

When:Thursday 26th January 2017

Where:Prince Bishops Primary School

Stress Management- Brand New Course

This is a brand new course that has been developed to meet the need of teachers, TAs and educational practitioners. This practical hands on day will be led by Jenny and Elizabeth from Rainbow’s End Coaching. During the day delegates will: learn techniques to manage stressful situations, identify and understand their own stressors and learn how to cope and stay calm.

When:Tuesday 7th February 2017

Where: Prince Bishop Primary School

The Importance of Raising Self Esteem and Confidence- a one day course for TAs- Brand New course

This one day course is designed for Teaching Assistants and is led by Jayne Heron. It will provide a unique opportunity to explore self -esteem and confidence. It’s based on the belief that staff can’t develop the confidence of children unless they have confidence and belief in their own ability. Throughout the day delegates will explore and develop tools and techniques to raise self- esteem and confidence.

When:Wednesday 8th February 2017

Where:Prince Bishops Primary School

Using Counselling Skills to Improve Communication- Brand New Course

This is a great opportunity for middle and senior leaders and staff in non- teaching roles to explore the power of counselling skills to develop and improve communication to make leadership and followership in your school more effective. This course is designed for all teaching professionals. It will help you to communicate more congruently and effectively with adults, children and young people. You will learn how to deal positively with conflict, resolve issues effectively, understand negative feelings and limiting beliefs and ultimately improve learning and well- being.

When: Monday 13th February 2017

Where: Prince Bishops Primary School

Look out for Think Like a Learner for School Governors and The Science of Learning for Teaching Assistants designed and delivered by Dr Tom Robson coming in March 2017

Professional Development Days

The Durham Teaching School Alliance can design and deliver a bespoke training day for your school or lead a twilight session or staff meeting. Do you want teachers and teaching assistants at your school to receive a different input during a training day? The Durham Teaching School Alliance can provide quality, good value training for staff. If you have a particular need in mind please contact me to discuss how we can help. Please be mindful that all of our SLEs are serving teachers who will need at least half a term’s notice in order to prepare a bespoke training event in your school or setting.

CPD Audit

The Durham Teaching School Alliance organizes bespoke CPD for a wide range of staff in schools and settings. One of the strengths of the Alliance is that it meets the needs of your staff and school by using local providers who understand the context of your school. I would like to know what professional development your school/setting needs. I’d be grateful, therefore, if you would send me requests for training of a generic nature that would benefit all schools or a specific nature that would benefit your school. Please send emails to:

Charges for CPD- The Durham Teaching School Alliance is reducing its prices!

Research shows that successful, high achieving schools invest more in the professional development of staff than schools that are less successful. The Durham Teaching School Alliance wants to support your school by providing good quality CPD for all staff. We will always endeavour to keep charges for CPD as low as possible as well as pass on savings to you and keep you informed of funded places/ opportunities. In order to ease the pressures on your school budget The Durham Teaching School Alliance is reducing its prices!Wherever possible, (the cost of some trainers varies), the cost of a full day of training will be £95.A morning session will now cost £70and an afternoon session will cost £50. These costs represent good value for money. Please bear in mind that the cost of training includes: the cost of the trainer/facilitator, hospitality, letting fees, photocopying, admin…...

Cancellation Fees:

Your school/settingwill incur a cancellation fee, (50% of the cost of the course), if you withdraw from a course giving less than 7 day’s notice. Your school will be charged the full cost of the training event for non- attendance without prior warning, unless there are mitigating circumstances.

Confirmation of CPD:

Wherever possible bookings for training are made by email. (this is simply to reduce/remove the possibility that a message left with a member of staff is not passed on or lost in translation).Confirmation of places at training events are sent to all schools within 24 hours of a booking. If you haven’t received confirmation within 24 hours please send a reminder since your expression of interest may not have reached me or a member of the teaching school staff. The confirmation will be sent to the person making the booking or to the email address given by the school. A reminder will be sent to all schools a week to ten days before the training event. Please make sure that delegates booked on courses from your schools/settingsreceive the necessary information.

When making a booking please provide the name of the attendee, the school name and the contact details of the person attending training.

Best wishes Joe Sonnenfeld- Durham Teaching School Alliance Manager