LJMU is the best provider of teacher training in Merseyside, following the outcome of the latest report produced by the independent inspector of schools and teacher training, Ofsted.
Ofsted ranked the LJMU primary teacher training partnership as ‘outstanding’, and its secondary teacher training partnership as ‘good’, noting that the university and its partner schools are dedicated to training a supply of ‘well-qualified, committed and socially engaged teachers who are prepared to make a positive difference to the life chances of pupils across Merseyside and beyond.’
LJMU is the only university in Merseyside to have achieved the combined ‘outstanding’ and ‘good’ rating for primary and secondary initial teacher education. The inspections covered schools across the region, including Liverpool, Wirral, St Helens, Crosby, Widnes, Runcorn and Warrington.
Across its provision of both primary and secondary teacher training, the university was congratulated for its partnership with schools, with Ofsted inspectors commenting that LJMU’s belief in its ‘civic duty’ is at the core of the partnership’s mission. They commented that the partnership provides good quality teachers for schools in socio-economically challenging circumstances, where recruitment can be difficult, with LJMU actively targeting schools in an Ofsted category of concern; ensuring trainees have sufficient practical experience to develop their teaching skills in a wide range of settings.
In relation to teachers’ workload – an area cited by teaching unions to be a major cause of teachers leaving the profession – the inspectors said LJMU demonstrates an ongoing commitment to reducing trainees’ workload, adding that staff are also dedicated to ensuring there is a wide range of effective support for trainees’ mental health and wellbeing.
Inspectors also found that, across both primary and secondary training, the proportion of trainees who find employment locally, nationally and internationally is consistently high. Leaders in employing schools value the training programme and the contribution that newly qualified teachers (NQTs) make to the learning and progress of pupils. They added that, during the primary inspection, inspectors heard nothing but praise for the training and the high-quality student teachers and NQTs it produces.
Dr Cheryl Bolton, Director of the School of Education, commented: “The report clearly recognises our commitment to working with schools, including those in challenging circumstances, our civic engagement and how we work in ‘true partnership’ with schools across all areas of our provision. It also outlines the positive experience, support and outcomes for trainees. Gaining such praise from Ofsted is no easy feat – the inspection period itself is incredibly demanding and intensive – this is the result of on-going programme development, partnership building, and the continual investment we make in our students.”
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), Professor Peter Byers, added: “At LJMU we place great emphasis on delivering a high quality teaching and learning experience for all of our students. It is therefore significant that we have been recognised by Ofsted as not only providing excellent teaching and learning opportunities for our teaching students, but also for playing a major role in producing the next generation of outstanding primary and secondary teachers. This is in no small part due to the collaborative working with our partner schools across the region, and we are grateful for their considerable contribution which has made this glowing Ofsted report possible.”
Tim Byrne, Head Teacher of Matthew Arnold Primary School in Toxteth, Liverpool, commented: “We are absolutely delighted with the Ofsted outcome. For a number of years we have worked closely with the LJMU ITE partnership and it is very satisfying to see how that partnership has produced quality teachers coming into the profession.”