Yorkshire schools join forces to offer teacher training Monday 25 November 2013 General News The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) is one of five leading Yorkshire schools which are to play a key role in the training of teachers from next September as part of a new government initiative. In its first year the White Rose Alliance (WRA) will offer on-the-job training to eight graduates as part of the School Direct programme, which has been introduced by the Department for Education (DfE) as an alternative route into teaching. Headed up by King James’s School, Knaresborough, the WRA will create teacher training opportunities throughout Leeds and North Yorkshire. The partner schools are GSAL, Allerton Grange School, Leeds, Thirsk School and Sixth Form College and Stokesley School. Dr Carole Walton, deputy head at King James’s School, said: “School Direct puts schools at the heart of teacher training and enables us to have more influence and control over the way that teachers are trained. Trainee teachers will have the advantage of spending their time in the classroom with pupils, in five educational establishments which reflect the rich diversity of our region.” For prospective teachers, there is also the attraction of low cost tuition fee loans, availability of bursaries and the chance to apply to a specific group of schools. In September places at WRA schools will be available in English, mathematics, history, geography, biology/chemistry, and French/German. Trainees will follow an educational and professional studies programme at King James’s School, covering generic issues like behaviour management, lesson planning and the use of data and assessment. They will also benefit from mentoring and from time spent at the other four partner schools. The year-long course will include lectures, tutorials and seminars and is being supported by the University of Leeds which will accredit the programme. Successful students will achieve a PGCE with qualified teacher status and 60 points towards a master’s degree. The application process for 2014 is now open and candidates apply through UCAS. WRA will be at the University of Leeds PGCE open afternoon from 1pm to 4pm at the School of Education on Friday 29 November. Trainee teachers Katherine Haddock and Edward Causton are pictured (front) with representatives of the White Rose Alliance (L-R): Dr Carole Walton, deputy head at King James’s School, Knaresborough; Kathryn Stephenson, vice principal at Stokesley School; Diane Norton, initial teacher training coordinator at The Grammar School at Leeds; Hadi Alnassiri, staff development leader at Allerton Grange School; and Hannah Millett, assistant head teacher at Thirsk School and Sixth Form College.