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Teaching Scotland's Future - Report of a review of teacher education in Scotland

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Appendix 2: The concept of 'hub teaching schools'

Hub teaching schools could make the following contributions to improving the impact of teacher education.

  • Provide support for student teachers, leaders and other colleagues in schools by developing new models of partnership, with research and inquiry used to ensure sustained improvements to children's learning. This would include contributions to the early phase of teacher education, continuing professional development and leadership development. Hub schools should nurture and develop leadership talent from the outset of a teacher's career, and offer leadership development opportunities within the national pathway.
  • Develop a strong and meaningful partnership with a university to support their work. As well as enabling high-quality educational research, the partnership could lead to accreditation of a wider range of career-long learning. Dynamic and innovative forms of teacher CPD could be developed, including collaboration between school and university staff to implement, evaluate and share ways of teaching and learning These should look to the future and address the 'wicked issues' we face in a focused and practical way. Staff working together in this way will model the development of 'theory through practice'.

Hub teaching schools would provide a context for placing joint appointments made between universities and local authorities. Placing teacher educators within hub schools would enable teachers and researchers to work more closely together, developing research which impacts positively on improving learning. There is potential within the hub teaching schools model to create a new dynamic and partnership between teachers, researchers and those working for local and national agencies.

Potential hub teaching schools would need to be identified based on a range of evidence. This is likely to include:

  • a significant track record of successful collaborative relationships with partner schools, which impacts positively on improving learning. This would include the capacity within their staff team to lead learning and provide support and development for other schools;
  • successful approaches to improvement through self-evaluation;
  • a record of sustained improvement to young people's achievement; and
  • successful engagement with teacher education.

Evaluation of current approaches being developed by Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities could be used as the basis for developing the hub teaching school model in Scotland. Aspects of these experiments are based on a teaching hospital model, and also draw on the National CPD Team's work on 'learning rounds'.