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Cardiff Met’s new schools’ partnership to raise standards of initial teacher education

AN innovative partnership aimed at producing the highest standard of next-generation teachers is to give students at Cardiff Metropolitan University the opportunity to train alongside teachers from the best primary and secondary schools across south-east Wales.

Launched Monday 9th September, the Cardiff Partnership for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) sees the University’s newly accredited initial teacher education programmes working with 18 lead partnership schools/alliances, which have been identified as some of the leading providers of education and professional learning in Wales.

This collaborative approach seeks to raise standards of primary and secondary education in Wales and to meet the evolving skills requirements of the profession, offering Cardiff Met’s undergraduate and postgraduate students a seamless progression from student teacher to newly qualified teacher (NQT) status.

At Monday’s official launch of the Cardiff Partnership for ITE at Cardiff Met’s Cyncoed campus, the Dean of the University’s School of Education and Social Policy, Julia Longville, welcomed guests including Professor Graham Donaldson, a leading educational reformer who was commissioned by the Welsh Government to design Wales’ new curriculum.

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A number of representatives from the Partnership schools also attended the event, where guests enjoyed performances by pupils from Glasllwch Primary, Gwenfo Church in Wales Primary, Bassaleg School and Ystrad Mynach Primary, together with a panel discussion involving students and stakeholders.

Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, said: “I am delighted to see the launch of the Cardiff Partnership’s newly accredited programmes of Initial Teacher Education and I would like to congratulate all partners involved in achieving this.

These new programmes of ITE are designed to attract the right people with the right skills, qualifications and an aptitude for teaching and to provide a high-quality education workforce that is vibrant, engaged and committed to continuous learning for all.

By achieving accreditation of these new programmes, the Cardiff Partnership have proven that they are ready to help us deliver a real step change in teacher education in order to provide the high quality teachers we need to teach in our schools and provide the best opportunities for our children.”

Leading educational reformer Professor Graham Donaldson said: “The success of Wales’s ambitious education reforms will depend on the professional commitment and expertise of its teachers. I am therefore delighted to welcome this exciting initiative in initial teacher education built on a strong partnership across universities, schools and local government. By bringing research evidence and leading practice together the Partnership can ensure that our future teachers are ready to take advantage of the opportunities the new curriculum offers for the young people of Wales.”

Dean of the Cardiff School for Education and Social policy, Mrs Longville said: “In addition to the lead schools and alliances, the Cardiff Partnership for ITE also includes the University of Oxford**, Central South Consortium (CSC)**, Education Achievement Service (EAS)**, Education through Regional Working (ERW), Cardiff Council and Cardiff University.

“These partners have contributed extensively to the co-construction of our three ITE programmes – PGCE Primary, PGCE Secondary and BA Primary (Hons) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). We are especially delighted to have been granted accreditation for the BA Primary (Hons) with QTS programme and two new secondary subjects – PGCE Geography and PGCE Religious Education.

“Altogether, the Cardiff Partnership will be training 450-plus student teachers per year, who will be research-informed, highly skilled practitioners as well as leaders of learning for our 21st century classrooms in Wales and beyond. Our programmes are held in high esteem globally, with around 70 international students joining our ITE programmes as from this September.”

Professor Cara Aitchison, President and Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff Metropolitan University

Professor Cara Aitchison, President and Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff Metropolitan University said: “Cardiff Met has been delivering teacher education for more than 60 years. Our rich history of producing the best teaching talent to meet the demands of current education provision underlines the University’s status as a career-focused, vocationally-oriented institution.  Our wealth of experience has been the driving force behind the new Cardiff Partnership for Initial Teacher Education.

“Working collaboratively with the Partnership’s schools we will ensure that Cardiff Met student teachers not only gain but also exceed the professional standards for QTS.  We will achieve this by providing high-quality training that is rigorously practical and intellectually challenging and which prepares our students for the curriculum changes set to be introduced in Wales from 2022.”

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