THE Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church have been named as a joint provider of the new school-leadership qualifications for teachers.
Working in partnership, the Churches will deliver the new reformed qualifications through schools around the country. Between them, the two Churches currently run one third of schools in England.
The new National Professional Qualifications (NPQs), which are voluntary, offer training for teachers in different areas of school leadership, including headship and specialist teaching.
The Churches are expected to work with up to 2500 teachers a year. All mainland Church of England dioceses will be involved in the scheme, and there will be a particular focus on getting teachers in rural schools involved. Teachers from any school, not just church schools, will be able to sign up to the church-run NPQs.
Eight other providers have also been selected by the Government to offer the new NPQs, including Teach First, the Ambition Institute, and the UCL Institute of Education.
The Church of England’s chief education officer, the Revd Nigel Genders, and the director of the Catholic Education Service, Paul Barber, said that the new NPQs placed “teacher excellence at the heart of our recovery from the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic”, and represented a “step change in leadership thinking” that would put excellence in teaching first.
In a joint statement welcoming the Government’s announcement of the new providers, they said: “Whether teaching a mixed-age class in a small rural primary school, or leading a large MAT [multi-academy trust] across a region or nation, our first call in educational leadership is to put teaching first.
“Although there are many other aspects of our roles, these can sometimes cloud or distract us from this core purpose: to secure the very best teaching experience for every child in our care. And that means leadership built on authenticity, integrity, and a renewed sense of vision and purpose.”
The Department for Education said that its nine lead providers had been “chosen by a fair and open procurement process”, and would be subject to quality assurance through Ofsted inspection, “to ensure the best support for schools and teachers”.