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What are Teaching Schools?

What are Teaching Schools?

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QuestionsFollowing on from the recent announcement from the DfE about increasing the number of teaching schools, we were intrigued at Modern Governor to find out a bit more about them. (see press release information here)

“Teaching schools will be examples of the best schools in the country. They will draw together outstanding teachers and leaders who are committed to supporting other schools in an area as part of an alliance of schools.” The  DfE aim to have an established network of around 500 outstanding teaching school alliances by 2014.

There are 363 teaching schools at the moment. (You can see a current list here)

Who can become a Teaching School?

Teaching school designation is open to the following if they have Outstanding status, a Headteacher with at least 3 years experience and a capable leadership team.

  • Nursery schools (that have identified sufficient capacity from named strategic partner schools)
  • Primary, middle, secondary, all-through and special schools
  • Pupil referral units and short-stay schools
  • Faith schools
  • Independent schools
  • Academies, chains and free schools
  • Sixth form colleges

Full eligibility rules can be found here

What are the different types of Teaching School?

  1. Single teaching school alliance: one designated teaching school leading one teaching school alliance
  2. Job-share teaching school alliance: two small/special schools jointly leading one teaching school alliance
  3. Multiple teaching school alliance: two or more designated teaching schools leading one teaching school alliance

Alliances may be cross phase and cross sector, work across local authorities and may include different types of organisations.

Teaching schools give outstanding schools a leading role in the training and professional development of teachers, support staff and headteachers, as well as contributing to the raising of standards through school-to-school support. Find out more here.

Collaboration is at the heart of the teaching school model. All teaching schools will be expected to work with a number of schools and other strategic partners to deliver support for other schools in their wider network to:

  • Play a greater role in recruiting and training new entrants to the profession (initial teacher training)
  • Lead peer-to-peer professional and leadership development (continuing professional development)
  • Identify and develop leadership potential (succession planning and talent management)
  • Provide support for other schools
  • Designate and broker SLEs
  • Engage in research and development activity


Designation is likely to be for four years, subject to the school or academy continuing to meet the eligibility criteria.


There is no cost to apply to be a teaching school and Teaching schools will receive some funding to enable them to undertake their core role.

Core Funding: Payment of an annual grant.This will be  Year 1: £60,000; Year 2: £50,000; Year 3: £40,000

Additional funding:

  • as a licenced provider
  • commissioned directly by a school
  • commissioned directly by an organisation i.e. the National College, DfE to complete a certain activity

The collaborative fund process:

Teaching schools are issued funding via the collaborative fund process. Following designation, teaching schools will be asked to complete a set of collaborative fund terms and conditions, which shall be renewed at the start of each financial year. At the end of each financial year teaching schools will be asked to complete a collaborative fund evaluation in which they will be asked to clearly demonstrate how they have spent the funding issued to them to achieve the objectives stated within their action plans.

You can find more information about teaching Schools on the DfE website and download the fact sheet here. There is also a FAQ section on the DfE website.

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