Published on 30 June 2023
The University of Sunderland’s programmes for training the next generation of teachers have been rated ‘Good’ in a recent Ofsted inspection.
The overall effectiveness, the quality of education and training and the leadership and management of the University’s Primary phase, Secondary phase and Further Education and Skills (FES) phase programmes were classified as ‘Good’ in the education watchdog’s latest official report.
Ten of His Majesty’s Inspectors and six Ofsted Inspectors visited 25 schools and colleges during the inspection, which took place between May 9 and May 12, 2023.
The report highlighted that the University’s trainees benefit from well-designed Initial Teaching Education (ITE) curriculums that expose them to pertinent research, discussion and debate and that trainees are well prepared to embark on their careers in the teaching profession.
They reported that the ITE partnerships between the University and schools and colleges, ensured that trainees across the Primary phase training routes are learning much of the important knowledge which underpins the primary national curriculum, and they are well prepared to embark on teaching as early career leaders.
Inspectors also highlighted that mentors are helping trainees to learn about adaptive teaching, for example for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or those who speak English as an additional language.
In addition, apprentices on the Primary phase programmes are confident, articulate and well-placed to succeed as primary teachers.
Inspectors judged the Secondary Partnership’s key strengths to be in leadership, with a suitably ambitious curriculum where the focus, rigour and quality of training that trainees receive is strong. The report acknowledges that staff and mentors support trainees to manage their workloads and maintain a healthy work-life balance. They also found as a result of leaders’ and partners’ work, trainees at the University of Sunderland are well prepared to begin teaching in their chosen subject and age-phase.
The watchdog said trainees across the University’s FES programmes are well prepared to embark on their teaching careers in the sector, and leaders have prepared trainees well to support learners with SEND.
Inspectors also found apprentices on FES programmes receive high quality on and off-the-job training.
Professor Lynne McKenna MBE, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Society at the University of Sunderland, said: “The publication of this report is a testament to the hard work of our Initial Teacher Education teams and our schools partnership, who have worked tirelessly to provide an ITE curriculum which goes beyond the minimum entitlement and enables our trainees to leave the University of Sunderland more than suitably prepared to begin their careers in the teaching profession.”
There are 240 schools in the Primary Partnership covering 36 local authorities located around the University; 66 schools in 21 local authorities in the Secondary Partnership and the Further Education Partnership represent lifelong learning settings throughout the north-east.
Sir David Bell KCB DL, Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sunderland, said: “I am delighted that the University has regained its ‘Good’ classification following the recent inspection of teacher education. Under the excellent leadership of Professor Lynne McKenna, all aspects of our work have been rated highly, reinforcing our position as one of the best providers of teacher education regionally, nationally and internationally.”