Ark Teacher Training in the top 20 teacher training providers

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Ark Teacher Training has been named as one of the top 20 postgraduate teacher training providers by The Good Teacher Training Guide 2017.

The guide, compiled by the Centre of Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham, assessed 180 postgraduate teacher training programmes in total. The results took into consideration Ofsted ratings, entry qualifications and outcomes.

Ark Teacher Training appeared 16th on the list of all postgraduate providers and 15th and 13th for primary and secondary training respectively.

The report also found that teachers trained in schools, as opposed to at universities, were more likely to stay in the profession. 90% percent of trainees from school-centred training entered teaching after completing the programme compared to 79% from university postgraduate courses.

Find out more about School Direct and the benefits of school-centred training. 

Places still available for September 2017, find out how to apply now

Ark Teacher Training rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted

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“Ark Teacher Training has made a strong contribution to the supply of outstanding teachers.” Ofsted, January 2017

We are delighted to announce that Ark Teacher Training has today been declared ‘Outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted within just two and a half years.

Ofsted observed our commitment to personalised training and development through coaching, stating that the programme offered “exceptionally tailored coaching and training… of the very highest standard”.

Our team has spent years finding what works in classrooms across the globe – including utilising Ark’s ten years of experience running some of the best schools in the country and looking at the worlds of sport, dance and medicine to find out how the best go from good to great and have taken this into the classroom.

Features of Ark Teacher Training coaching include:

  • Rehearsing lessons and parts of lessons – where the trainee and coach work together to practice delivery, anticipate potential misconceptions and difficulties, and plan to overcome them
  • Real-time coaching – with a coach observing a lesson and providing feedback on a small part of the practice – allowing trainees to then make instant changes and evaluate its success

Marie Hamer, Head of Ark Teacher Training says “Teaching is a science and an art and a sport and a dance…We spend time studying what helps an athlete achieve gold and how football managers can take a team from good to great. What they all have in common is their focus on practice and precision. At Ark Teacher Training we look at the big picture but know that every painting is only as good as the individual brush strokes that make it. We ask our students to have the highest standards and expectations. And we hold ourselves in the same regard. Today’s Ofsted judgement is a reflection of that and is testament to all of the hard work and dedication of our tutors and our trainees, coaches and all of the staff in all of our schools who, on a daily basis, go above and beyond to ensure the very best for our young people.”

A big part of our recruitment and selection process is finding those that believe passionately in the power of education to transform lives. Our eligibility criteria and rigorous assessment process helps to ensure a high retention rate during the training year and subsequently. Since launching, Ark Teacher Training has trained 120 new teachers and last year, 100 per cent of programme graduates succeeded in securing a teaching role.

Our trainees work predominantly in areas of economic disadvantage and historic educational underachievement and Ofsted praised them for being “expert at reducing differences in learning and progress between groups of pupils.” They also recognised the quality of teaching of the trainees saying “[their] steely determination helps to ensure their pupils make the same or better progress as pupils being taught by experienced teachers in the same school.”

Ofsted’s primary recommendation is that Ark “more widely share their exemplary teacher training”. Plans are currently underway to extend the programme to other areas of high need such as Bradford and Manchester in September 2017. Now Teach, an initiative led by FT Journalist, Lucy Kellaway to encourage more career switchers into the profession will be part of this, with their cohort receiving training and support from the Ark Teacher Training team.

Read the full report here – Ark Teacher Training Ofsted Report January 2017

Applications are still open for 2017. Find out how to apply or contact us for more information.

From the boardroom to the classroom

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New initiative, Now Teach launched by FT journalist, to bring high-flyers into the teaching profession.

A shortage in STEM and MFL teachers across the UK has led long-time Financial Times columnist, Lucy Kellaway to leave the world of journalism and launch Now Teach, an initiative tackling the crisis head on.fullsquarelogo

Supported by Ark, one of the UK’s best performing school groups, and Ark Teacher Training, Now Teach encourages experienced high-flyers from the UK’s top professions to bring their unique skills, knowledge and perspective into the classroom.

As well as her role as Co-Founder, Lucy, who leaves the FT next summer, will also be retraining as a maths teacher at a secondary school in London. To deliver the programme, she has partnered with entrepreneur, Katie Waldegrave, founder of literacy charity, First Story, who has taken up the role of Director. An experienced teacher herself, Katie was part of the very first cohort of Teach First.

 “Having spent my working life in the newsroom, I cannot wait to get started in the classroom.

 There is a real shortage of teachers in the UK, whilst at the same time, there is a whole group of people who have spent their careers in industry who now want to do something different –who want to challenge themselves and to make a real difference.

 As working lives extend and corporate models shift, Now Teach is opening up the profession and offering the very best professionals, the very best training and support to become the very best teachers”

Lucy Kellaway, Chief Executive and trainee maths teacher, Now Teach

cmc_kellaway_18In its first year, Now Teach will recruit a small group to train in Ark schools. Adapted from the successful Ark Teacher Training model to meet the needs of this new stream of teachers, trainees will receive the very best training and support, over four days a week, rather than the traditional five.

Ark is an international education charity with more than ten years of experience transforming schools, building outstanding new schools and improving the life chances of some of the most disadvantaged young people in the country.

It has successfully incubated other start-up enterprises including Frontline.

For the pilot Now Teach will work with Ark Teacher Training to train and support recruits. Longer term, it will be an independent charity, and hopes to place trainees with other ITT providers.

For more information, visit


I can’t wait to start my training year with Ark’s Charter Academy

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All over the country pupils’ nerves and excitement will be reaching a crescendo about entering their new schools. I too am about to enter school, as a trainee history teacher with Ark Teacher Training, and I sympathise with them completely.

My new school, Charter Academy, is doing some incredible things in Portsmouth, which only increases my sense of anticipation. Not only was it ranked the best school in Portsmouth last year, it is the most improved school in the country over the past three years. This summer it got great GCSE results again.

The thing that is special about this school is the great work it does to change the lives of the least advantaged in Portsmouth. In March, Charter was named the National Winner of the Pupil Premium Award, receiving £250 000 for the fantastic work they do. The scale of this achievement should not be understated and is a tribute to the success of the school and of the Ark network. I am confident I am training with the right people.

Needless to say, the pressure is now on! I have spent the last two weeks in London taking part in Ark Teacher Training’s Summer School, being given all the necessary skills and knowledge to hit the ground running when I start. For example, I am now well versed in how to create rigorous outcome-driven lessons, establish routines and meet the academic needs of all pupils – to pick just a few of the myriad topics covered in the fortnight. The next challenge, of course, is to put it into practice.

The Ark Summer School has above all reassured us, as trainees, that we have a formidable ‘cheering squad’ behind us for our training year. The enthusiasm of the Ark training team clearly stems from a fundamental belief in the Ark mission: to make sure all pupils do well enough to go to university or pursue the career of their choice. I left the Summer School feeling inspired, confident and privileged to be trained by an organisation with such drive and with such a wealth of expertise to call upon during this year.

Having been born and brought up in Portsmouth, it’s really exciting to join a great team of people who are doing such amazing things for the young people there. As with all Ark’s schools, Charter Academy exists at the heart of a community with severe social and economic challenges. Despite this, it maintains very high expectations of every child and achieves the results to match.

It is terrifying, but I am hugely looking forward to starting in September.

New report says Ark makes biggest difference to children’s lives

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A new report from education research foundation The Sutton Trust released today shows that leading academy groups such as Ark are having a transformational impact on their pupils.

The analysis of results from 34 academy chains shows that Ark schools secured the best results for disadvantaged pupils getting at least 5 good GCSEs including English and maths in 2014.

While other groups such as Harris and the City of London performed well, Ark was the best performing chain in maths, with over 80% of disadvantaged pupils making the expected progress in the subject.

While other groups such as Harris and the City of London performed well, Ark was the best performing chain in maths, with over 80% of disadvantaged pupils making the expected progress in the subject – a testament to the excellent work done by Ark’s teachers.

Ark also had one of the lowest attainment gaps between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students – less than half the average in mainstream schools – reflecting the ambition of providing high quality opportunities for pupils whatever their background.

The report, which raised concerns about the number of ‘coasting’ schools in some groups, was widely covered in the media.

“Ark has recognised that great schools come from great teachers,” Damian McBeath, who is executive headteacher of three Ark primary schools in West London, told the TES. “They have a number of programmes in place to support their staff.”

Matt Jones, Principal of Ark Globe Academy discussed the report’s finding with one of the authors, Professor Becky Francis of King’s College London on BBC London Radio this morning, talking about how the clear mission of closing the gap has helped focus the pupils to achieve strong results and become community leaders.

Ark celebrates the graduation of our ‘inspirational’ new teachers

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On Tuesday, 61 trainees from the Ark Teacher Training programme gathered together with their coaches and Ark staff to celebrate their graduation at Ark All Saints Academy in London.

The event marked the end of a successful year for trainees on the Ark Teacher Training programme working in schools across the Ark network and beyond. 61 trainees graduated with Qualified Teacher Status and a PGCE, with all of them being graded as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’. Most will now take up permanent Newly Qualified Teacher roles in their school or another in the Ark network.

Paul Marshall, chairman of Ark’s network of schools in the UK, called the event an ‘amazing and inspiring occasion’. “After many years of running schools and changing children’s lives, we can safely say that, of all the things that transform education and the system more widely, great teaching is the most important. And you have been trained by the best” he told trainees.

On the one year training programme, trainees have been based in-school from day one, learning on the job as they go. Starting with an intensive two week-summer school, and combined with multiple school placements in different schools and weekly training sessions, trainees have had an intensive yet rounded introduction to teaching.

Damian McBeath, Executive Headteacher of Ark Bentworth, Conway and Swift Primary Academies praised the trainees for what they have accomplished, and said they had challenged his views on education. “Years ago I thought great teachers were born, not created. When I joined Ark, this mindset was challenged, and absolutely smashed these past two years as I have watched the growth and development of these new teachers through Ark Teacher Training. How can this one programme produce such consistent excellence?

Llewella Owen, primary trainee at Ark Tindal Primary Academy in Birmingham, said her training year has been ‘amazing’. “The great thing about the programme is I now know the school, so I can hit the ground running in September – it’s given me all the confidence I need to go into my NQT year and beyond.”

This week Education Secretary Nicky Morgan visited Ark Academy in Wembley, London to meet trainees from the Ark Teacher Training programme, who she called ‘inspirational’.