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UK teaching schools now supported by New Technologies Advisory Board

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Paul Haigh

Paul Haigh, VISCED’s lead contact for our pilot project at Notre Dame school in Sheffield, is a leading force behind establishing the New Technologies Advisory Board for teaching schools (initial teacher training) with a wide range of members including the Department for Education.

The NTAB’s inaugural meeting has just been hosted by one of the first teaching schools, Sheffield’s Notre Dame High, at the National College headquarters in Nottingham. Educators from teaching schools and government agencies, are getting together with industry players and other interested parties to develop the role of the NTAB.


Representatives from the Department for Education, the Training and Development Agency for Schools (the Teaching Agency from April 2012 onwards), the Vital teacher professional development programme, higher education and the headteacher unions support this new teaching schools pressure group that will report to the Government on how teaching schools can improve the teaching of ICT from basic digital literacy to high-level computer science. The National College is a supporter along with the advisers’ organisation NAACE, the British Computer Society and the technology industry (including Google, Intel, Microsoft and Toshiba) is also on board, along with Lord Jim Knight, the former Labour schools minister who is also a consultant for Apple.


'We hope to give wings to new ideas'

A driving force behind the scheme is Paul Haigh, director of the Hallam Teaching Schools Alliance based at Notre Dame High. Describing his role as “voluntary instigator and strategist” for the NTAB, Paul Haigh said the work done so far has been largely informal – his teaching school is a lead for ICT – but NTAB is preparing to build a formal offering along with extended capacity as and when required.

“We hope to bring together advice and support that is already out there but give simple and easy access to it by sharing it through the growing teaching school network,” he explained. “And we hope to give wings to new ideas around supporting schools with new technology and step in where other agencies have left a void after they have contracted or been shut down – everything from national support like Becta and local support like local authorities shrinking in an academy system.”


Priorities for the new body are twofold: helping schools implement computing across the curriculum; helping them make better use of technology in all aspects of a successful 21st century school, be that technology in the classroom, helping students work out of school or the efficient and innovative running of schools as organisations.

Following the meeting, Paul Haigh told us: “What we hope to coordinate is a coherent message to schools bringing together a lot of what is already out there in terms of support from people like CAS, NAACE, Vital but needing a network to be a conduit; and teaching school venues for people to come together and work on teaching ideas together.”


He added: “It is a very exciting time for new technology in schools - Michael Gove has offered schools the freedom to make much better use of new technology and develop a new curriculum in a way that suits each individual school. We want to ensure schools don’t find this freedom daunting and can capitalise on it to improve themselves by aligning it to the new support teaching schools are offering the system and through harnessing the support the IT industry wants to offer schools.”


Teaching schools give outstanding schools a leading role in the training and professional development of teachers, support staff and headteachers, as well as contributing to the raising of standards through school-to-school support.


You can read Paul Haigh's full article about the NTAB here.

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