Louise Atkins, Head of Initial Teacher Education at the University of Greenwich

Initial Teacher Education in this country is second to none. The closely cultivated partnerships support outstanding teacher education and I am proud to say I am part of that. At the University of Greenwich we are proud of our heritage of being a centre of excellence for the training of teachers in London and the South East since 1906. We continue to develop thriving educational partnerships in the early years, primary, secondary and further education phases. Together these partnerships support the successful development of around 800 practitioners each year across a diverse range of settings and locations.

What makes this partnership special is the ever-evolving interaction between student teachers and their mentors, between universities and schools, and between teachers and researchers. These interactions provide localised and pedagogically crafted training to support teachers into practice, drawing on the expertise of partners and the underpinning academic and research based expertise of the university. This unique partnership enables trainees to thrive when entering the profession which we can see through the judgement of Ofsted in 100% of a full range of these partnerships being rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

ITE and the partnerships are essential in delivering excellence through the academic underpinning, practical experience and professional role modelling. This blended model enables teachers to start their careers as confident, reflective, skilled and informed practitioners who impact on learners’ lives.

The ITE partnerships have supported teacher training for decades. The work between academics and teachers is essential in supporting and enabling future teachers. ITE partnerships have been instrumental in developing a two-way exchange of knowledge and practice that not only supports future teachers but also enhances the current workforce.

“Mentoring has helped me to look in an evaluative way at my own practices, also have learnt loads from the students, so very much a two-way process.” University of Greenwich Mentor

Looking ahead, I would like the DfE to be listening to all the partners that deliver ITE. We are not a market, we are a critical public service. A public service that is creative, adaptable and underpinned by research-informed practice – and essential to the learning and development of future generations.