Staff, trainees and board members from Star Institute are celebrating after its Star Teachers training partnership has been judged ‘outstanding’ in all areas following its first Ofsted inspection.

An Ofsted team inspected Star Institute’s teacher training provision during a two-stage process, which saw visits taking place to assess the quality of both its training and its trainees in June and October 2019.

The inspection report published this week highly commends the teacher training partnership in all four areas: its overall effectiveness, outcomes for trainees, the quality of training and the quality of leadership and management.

Star Institute, which was established to raise standards in teaching and train the next generation of teachers, works in partnership with a number of schools to deliver the Star Teachers programme. All trainees complete placements in two contrasting schools so that they experience working in high performing schools and those in more challenging circumstances.

Ofsted inspectors lavished praise on the quality of the training provision and the outstanding outcomes Star Teachers enables trainees to attain. They reported that ‘school leaders are resoundingly positive about the calibre of teachers developed by the SCITT’ and that ‘trainees benefit from an exceptionally well-planned training programme.’

Over the course of the two-stage inspection, the Ofsted team visited a number of partnership schools to observe trainee and newly-qualified teachers in the classroom. Inspectors complimented the standard of teaching by reporting that trainees ‘perform well on their teaching placements and make impressive progress over the course of their training.’ In 2018/19, 100% of trainees are working in an education position after graduating from the Star Teachers programme, which was echoed by the inspection report stating that ‘outcomes for trainees are excellent.’

The inspection report goes on to praise the strengths of the partnership with schools, praising leaders who ‘are relentless in their determination to develop first-class teachers who can ensure that pupils, irrespective of their background, benefit from a high-quality education.’ Inspectors commended Star Teachers on its person-centred approach and called it ‘a partnership where people matter. As the SCITT and MAT grow, leaders have not lost sight of the importance of every trainee and each pupil that they teach.’ Inspectors also reported that ‘leaders are passionate and driven’ who ‘have skilfully overseen the ongoing development of the SCITT.’

Other key findings of the Ofsted report include:

  • ‘Leaders have ensured that the training programme is flexible, personalised and responsive to both trainees’ needs and emerging national priorities.’
  • ‘Leaders have meticulous systems in place to ensure that placement schools are well matched to trainees’ developmental needs. Trainees benefit from truly contrasting placements.’
  • ‘Leaders attach great significance to the development of trainees’ subject knowledge.’
  • ‘Leaders have ensured that the SCITT makes a significant contribution towards helping under-represented groups join the teaching workforce.’
  • ‘Trainees have exceptionally high expectations of themselves and the pupils that they teach. They are thoroughly professional in their conduct and are keen to immerse themselves fully in the broader life of their schools.’
  • ‘Outcomes for trainees are excellent. In 2017/18 all trainees completed their training and secured employment.’
  • ‘A high proportion of trainees attain the very highest standards during their training, including against the teachers’ standards.’
  • ‘Support for trainees as they become NQTs is exemplary. This enables trainees to become teachers who are a force for improvement in schools within Star Academies and beyond.’
  • ‘The training programme ensures that trainees are ready to excel at the end of their training year.’
  • ‘Trainees benefit from a diverse range of opportunities that enable them to fulfil their wider professional responsibilities as teachers.’
  • ‘Trainees and NQTs are knowledgeable about how to establish and maintain a positive environment for learning. They are calm, assertive and respectful towards pupils.’
  • ‘Governance is highly effective. Those responsible for governance hold leaders to account for all aspects of the SCITT’s performance.’
  • ‘Leaders have ensured that a significant proportion of strategic board members come from schools outside of Star Academies. This has helped leaders to ensure that the partnership remains  focused on working for the benefit of all partners.’

Linda Thompson, Executive Director: Star Institute, said: “I am overjoyed that our SCITT partnership has been recognised as ‘outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted. It was wonderful to read the inspectors’ plentiful praise for the quality of our training and how we successfully support our trainees to develop all of the necessary attributes to become outstanding teachers. I am delighted that the hard work and commitment of our trainees, staff, partners and board members, along with everything that we have achieved together since we established the partnership, has been recognised.”

Mufti Hamid Patel CBE, Chief Executive of Star Academies, commented: “We are immensly proud of Star Teachers’ outstanding status. It is incredibly pleasing that Ofsted has recognised the hard work and dedication of trainees, staff, and partners, guided by a highly-effective leadership team, to create exemplary training for our future teachers.”

Star Teachers is a school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) partnership run by Star Institute, the training and development arm of leading multi-academy trust Star Academies. The programme, which was established in September 2017, provides both primary and secondary teacher training for graduates. The 12-month SCITT programme leads to a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) with the optional award of a Masters-level Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCert) with Manchester Metropolitan University. In September 2019, Star Teachers expanded its provision and now offers a postgraduate teaching apprenticeship as an alternative route into the profession.

Read our full Ofsted report here.