Friday, 18 December 2015 00:00

Newman University celebrates Ofsted report

Newman University’s Teacher Education programmes have received high recognition in all categories in its latest Ofsted report.

Ofsted inspectors have graded teaching at Newman’s School of Education “good”, reaffirming the University’s status as one of the UK’s leading institutions for excellence in teacher training.

Dean of Education, Professor Stephen Rayner, said: “We are delighted with the acknowledgement throughout the report of the inspiration and impact our work has on our trainee-teachers, newly-qualified teachers (NQTs) and the children and young people whom they teach.

“Newman trained teachers acquire a diverse range of skills and experience during their time with us, which helps prepare students to meet the demands of teaching in today’s challenging educational environment. It is evident from this extremely positive report that our students’ passion and desire to continually improve their teaching skills are in demand by employers who recognise the high calibre of our student-teachers.

“We would like to congratulate our Initial Teacher Education (ITE) team and to thank our partner schools for their support during the inspection process.”

Katie North, a Primary ITE student at Newman, commented about the standard of teaching from a first-hand perspective: “Staff at Newman truly do take the time to get to know you on an individual basis. This has had a positive impact on my confidence levels, and hence improved my personal quality of teaching in the classroom.”

The School of Education at Newman University has trained teachers for over forty years and has an established reputation in teacher training, excellent education research, and teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

The report highlighted several key areas of strength relating to the primary and secondary programme inspection including:

  • High-calibre trainees and NQTs who demonstrate exceptional professional attitudes. They share a passion for teaching and a desire to continually improve their teaching skills. They are held in high regard by local head teachers.
  • Exceedingly strong centre-based training, which blends theory and practice flawlessly, is complemented well by specialist and enhancement learning opportunities. This accounts for trainees' and NQTs' strong subject knowledge and their confidence and competence in teaching across the primary and early years curriculum.
  • The partnership enjoys a good local reputation for nurturing well-prepared teachers who are an asset to schools. Head teachers are overwhelmingly positive about the calibre of NQTs, who consistently demonstrate exceptional professional attitudes, and share a willingness to seek advice and learn from others. Trainees emerge from the different training programmes as well-rounded, resilient and enthusiastic professionals who make a difference to the schools in which they work and the pupils they teach.
  • A particular strength of the training programme is the enhancement and specialist weeks. These events ensure trainees become steeped in their specialist subject but also open their eyes to a broader range of teaching techniques. The opportunity to visit schools in Sweden to explore the impact of Forest Schools is just one example, among many, of the excellent learning opportunities available to trainees.
  • The outcomes for trainees are good. Trainees' attainment is high, especially through the School Direct route, where around three quarters of trainees were judged outstanding at the end of their training in 2015.
  • Careful vetting of the quality of the placement allows trainees to gain experience in schools in more challenging circumstances.


Notes to editor:

Newman University is a Catholic higher education institution based in Bartley Green, Birmingham and historically enjoys one of the highest graduate employment rates of any higher education institution in the country.

Founded in 1968, Newman was awarded University College status in 2007, receiving full university status in February 2013. With a strong reputation for teacher training, it also offers a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and foundation degree courses covering a range of subjects, primarily in the fields of humanities and social sciences.

It was recognised in the Top 10 UK universities for quality of teaching in the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2013 and is one of a select group of 15 higher education institutions to gain three ‘high’ ratings in the Which? University Guide.

Newman also enjoys a burgeoning reputation for research, with some outputs being recognised as ‘internationally excellent’ in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (REF2014).

Newman is named after Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801 – 1890), one of the intellectual greats of the nineteenth century. While proud of its Catholic heritage, the college welcomes staff and students of all religions and backgrounds.

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