The University of Manchester’s Teach First programme judged outstanding by Ofsted

  • The Manchester partnership was awarded the highest rating possible across all four areas of assessment
  • The only university in the North West to have entire teacher training provision rated as ‘outstanding’

The University of Manchester’s Teach First programme, which works to improve the life chances of some of the most deprived youngsters, has been judged outstanding by Ofsted.

The education watchdog has published the results of inspections at universities delivering Teach First’s leadership development programme across nine English regions. The University of Manchester’s Institute of Education, which leads on the North West programme, was praised for the ‘outstanding effectiveness’ of its leadership and ‘can do’ spirit of participants.

The Manchester partnership, which trains teachers to work in schools with the aim of raising aspiration levels among disadvantaged pupils, was awarded the highest rating possible across all four areas of assessment, reflecting outstanding national results for Teach First, a registered charity.

The University of Manchester is now the only university provider in the North West to have its entire teacher training provision rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Dr David Spendlove, Head of Initial Teacher Education at The University of Manchester and Executive Director of Teach First North West, said: “We are delighted that this report confirms that our commitment to the university-wide goal of social responsibility is being realised everyday through our work.

“The outstanding outcome is recognition of the tireless work of Teach First, University tutors, mentors, local schools and Teach First participants all working towards a common goal of improving the lives of children in the North West. This is a tremendous achievement for all involved and recognises our commitment to high quality teacher education.”

Some highlights from the Ofsted report for Teach First, North West:

The overall effectiveness of the Teach First North West Partnership is outstanding. All leaders and managers, including senior leaders in partnership schools, share a closely aligned vision of recruiting and training a supply of high-quality teachers, capable of transforming the life chances of children and young people, both locally and regionally. 

Teach First participants are highly self-motivated. This, together with the rigorous monitoring of their progress as teachers, ensures that all participants exceed the minimum level of practice expected of teachers at the end of their training. The great majority of participants leave year 1 of the programme as outstanding teachers who have a clearly developed personal philosophy of teaching and learning. Participants also demonstrate exemplary levels of personal and professional conduct. 

Participants design motivating tasks and activities and their infectious enthusiasm makes pupils keen to work with them. In the words of one head teacher, ‘They bring such joy into the school.’ Consequently, relationships in participants’ classrooms are unfailingly positive and pupils feel confident to take risks with their learning, choosing the most challenging levels of work with the ‘can do’ spirit of the participants. 

The partnership between the university and Teach First is complementary and cohesive. The vision of the leaders and managers of Teach First and of those involved in the wider work of the university coincide exactly. Leaders and managers are relentless in their drive to achieve their ambition of high-quality education for disadvantaged children and young people in the local and regional community. 

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