Time is running out to join Accelerate – the free new programme supporting early career teachers with excellent professional development.
We spoke to Jennifer Murphy, Director of Wade Deacon Trust Teaching School, to find out more about Accelerate and why they got involved. Don’t miss out, apply before 31 March.
Why did you sign up to be a delivery hub?
Agreeing to be a delivery hub for the new Accelerate programme was a very easy decision. What a
fantastic way to support our early career teachers as they embark on their journey inspiring and
developing our students into young people well-equipped for the challenges of the future. One of
the main reasons that I signed up was because it offers our young and talented teachers fantastic
CPD which allows them to grow and develop by engaging directly with experienced colleagues who
have a wealth of knowledge and are passionate about teaching young people. In our region we have
frustratingly lost some great teachers from the profession within the first few years of their careers
because they have lacked the support and CPD that they needed once they moved on from their
What do you see as the strengths of the programme?
One of the main strengths has to be the instructional coaching model. Having the chance to work so
closely with experienced colleagues from other settings means that the early career teachers can
learn from experience in a supportive and non-threatening environment. The online work helps to
build theory and gives access to the research behind the pedagogy, teachers can then practice what
they have learned, experiment and take risks in their teaching as they discover what works for them.
Does Accelerate fill any gaps?
The support that NQTs receive can be inconsistent; once teachers enter their RQT year and beyond,
support and targeted CPD is somewhat inconsistent. This programme more than fills that gap as it
targets teachers in their first 5 years, just when the early career teachers are developing their
pedagogy and becoming the teachers that they want to be. That’s what sets it apart from other CPD
offers. It specifically targets those areas that are of particular concern to early career teachers as
they really begin their teaching journey and are in the thick of taking responsibility for cohorts of
students and all of the activities associated with that.
How has the networking helped?
We had our first insight into how powerful the ‘Communities of Practice’ model can be at the recent
induction event at Wade Deacon. There was a real buzz in the room as the new teachers discussed
their worries and concerns and learned that they weren’t alone. They learned that the first few years
aren’t easy – that it takes time to build that bank of resources and strategies to help you get the best
out of your students. As a new teacher I couldn’t have succeeded without the help and support of
colleagues around me at the time. By engaging with each other and other colleagues throughout the
programme, our early career teachers can rapidly become great teachers.
Teaching isn’t easy; this programme will make such a difference to the teachers who have signed up
to the programme. We need to nurture our new teachers to ensure that they have access to the
wrap around support that keeps them in our schools, teaching our students, making a difference.
That is why this programme is so important.