Next phase of scheme to improve teaching at Daventry school

Left to right: Lizana Oberholzer, Chris Bates, Adam Drake, Jenni Gatley, Claire Anderson, Helen Bloomer, Katie Gibson, Ben Jones, Andrew Mackereth. NNL-150420-162627001
Left to right: Lizana Oberholzer, Chris Bates, Adam Drake, Jenni Gatley, Claire Anderson, Helen Bloomer, Katie Gibson, Ben Jones, Andrew Mackereth. NNL-150420-162627001
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A scheme aiming to help improve the quality of teaching at Parker E-ACT Academy is to move into its next phase in May.

Since September the academy has been developing a team of ten ‘coaches’ to support colleagues in each department and foster the development of new skills along with specialist training provided by the Buckingham Partnership.

Senior vice principal Jenni Gatley is behind the training programme.

She said coaches were encouraged to share skills and experience and to help colleagues identify areas in which they can improve, adding: “We have meetings on Thursday after school. We discuss a range of areas such as marking and afterwards the coaches go and work with their departments.”

Now the school is preparing to train up ten new coaches in May. Ms Gatley added: “If we could get to a place where everyone is a coach that would be ideal.

“I think the programme is essentially to getting Parker out of Special Measures. The only way to improve these things is to improve the quality of teaching.”

Parker was placed in Special Measures in March last year. A report published by an inspector rated as ‘inadequate’ the achievement of pupils, the quality of teaching, and leadership and management of the school.

But principal Andrew Mackereth said now Parker’s coaching scheme was becoming an example other schools were keen to follow, with Parker staff helping other local schools with training and development.

He said: “My thanks must go to the energy and drive of Mrs Gatley who came up with the idea and Lizana Oberholzer of the Buckingham Partnership. Lizana’s own dedication to the school has been immense. I remain optimistic, but I have people who are so dedicated to doing the best for our young people I am constantly re-energised. The summer results are going to be a real defining moment and will change the way parents perceive us.”

Mr Mackereth said he is confident the school will be out of Special Measures by the turn of the year.