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What is a Teaching School?

Teaching Schools are outstanding schools that work with others to provide high-quality training and development to new and experienced school staff. They are part of the government’s plan to give schools a central role in raising standards by developing a self-improving school-led system  and making significant improvements in the quality of teaching, leadership and pupil attainment.

Teaching School Alliances are led by a Teaching School. Sacred Heart High School in Hammersmith is the Teaching School that coordinates the West London Teaching School Alliance (WLTSA).  We have a large number of partner schools (primary, secondary and special).  We also work closely with universities and have a separate Catholic Division to focus on issues specifically relevant to Catholic schools. 

There is no membership cost and we welcome new partner schools at any time.


Teaching Schools coordinate expertise in partner schools to work collaboratively:

School-Led Initial Teacher Training in partnership with universities

Through WLTSA, partner schools can recruit trainee teachers specifically for their school. If schools wish, they can also go on to employ these trainees as NQTs, with no further need for advertising or competitive interview. All our PGCE and QTS programmes are run in partnership with universities but WLTSA provides additional support. 

Professional Development, Leadership and Research

We collaborate within the alliance to offer a range of targeted CPD programmes as well as a full NQT CPD programme and coaching; and events such as teachmeets, Good Practice Networks and an educational book club.

For the first time this year we will act as an NQT appropriate body and hope to extend this service the following year. 

We run a number of leadership courses for staff at different levels including Early Leadership, NPQ ML& SL and opportunities to train to facilitate these. We also have specific programmes for developing leaders in faith schools (through the Leaders for London Programme and our Shepherding Talent programme run in partnership with St Mary’s University, Twickenham)

We also offer shadowing opportunities for staff to extend this experience of leadership outside their home school environment.

We have a Research and Development group to focus on issues relevant to our schools and their work is shared amongst our partners and beyond. This group can help schools to securing funding streams for research projects to enable us all to learn and develop our expertise. 

School to School Support

Every school (even those judged to be outstanding) should be a giver and receiver of support. We aim to facilitate greater collaboration between schools to share good practice and offer support between us and beyond.

WLTSA has a team of expert teachers/managers (known as Specialist Leaders of Education) who are available to be booked by you for specific support. These are not specifically teachers from Sacred Heart but are drawn from a wide pool across the alliance and the group includes primary school business management expertise.

There are also opportunities for your experienced teachers to join this group of experts and for them to learn from the experience of providing support to others.