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Planning for placements

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By Julie Smartfreelance education writer

Can trainee teachers help to raise standards in your school? Four primary schools in Walsall did some research to find out

Trainee teacher and class

Many schools are reluctant to take student teachers on placements because they are worried about the impact on children’s progress, particularly in those important weeks leading up to SATs. However, four schools in Walsall are taking on more students than ever before because they have discovered just how useful they can be.

They all took part in the Partnership Development Schools (PDS) programme with the University of Wolverhampton and Newman University College, Birmingham. The programme, which was funded by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), encouraged collaboration between schools and initial teacher training (ITT) providers with the aim of improving the quality and number of placements for trainee teachers.

From 2006–2009, the TDA funded projects all over the country that were designed to address regional and national ITT priorities. Before she retired, Cate Price was Primary Partnership Coordinator for the School of Education at the University of Wolverhampton and was behind a number of initiatives in Walsall.

‘The priority for us was always developing strong partnerships with the schools we worked with,’ explains Cate. ‘We wanted to show that having a student doesn’t just mean more work, it’s also an opportunity for schools to be innovative and develop themselves. There are joint benefits.’

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