As a supporting member of Council of British International Schools, the International Initial Teacher Training Team have spoken at the conference previously, but the conference has not met in person since before the pandemic.
Dionne Ross, Principal Lecturer and Team Leader in International ITT at the University said: “With schools from around the globe attending the conference from countries as wide ranging as Azerbaijan, Jordan, Korea, and Lagos, it was good to reconnect and reflect upon how we had all met the demands of education during the Covid pandemic.
“We explored potential partnerships and how we could work together to ensure that international schools receive the highest calibre teacher training from the University of Sunderland.”
Themed as ‘Connect, Reflect, and Explore,’ it was a productive conference, filled with guest speakers and workshops.
One of the opening sessions came from teachers from the British School of the Ukraine describing how they had fled Ukraine – travelling to Europe and eventually arriving in the UK. The harrowing story was made even more emotional as attendees learnt that the principal, David Cole, has chosen to remain and provide education for his students from the Ukraine. The Dean of Education and Society, Professor Lynne McKenna and Dionne Ross, Principal Lecturer are now exploring how the University can support the school in their development of their teachers who are now dispersed across Europe.
Professor Lynne McKenna shared a presentation with Emma Hollis, Executive Director of the National Association of School Based Teacher Training to highlight opportunities for international teacher training, especially as an approved pilot provider of International Qualified Teacher Status (iQTS) from 2022-2023. Professor McKenna’s knowledgeable insights resonated strongly with a packed room of international school leaders and fellow providers. Questions relating to the roll out of iQTS were met by Professor McKenna and supported by two DfE colleagues from the Expert Working Group for the Development of iQTS of which Lynne was an invited member.
Professor Lynne McKenna, Dean of the University's Faculty of Education and Society, said, “The International Teacher Training team have been providing teacher education and training for over 20 years. We are delighted that we have now added iQTS to our provision.”