School-led initial teacher training


WCTSA will develop opportunities to provide school-led initial teacher training.

WCTSA will:

  • lead the development of school-led initial teacher training through School Direct or by gaining accreditation as an initial teacher training provider
  • take an active role in the recruitment and selection of trainee teachers
  • have a clear plan for teacher training, including: access to outstanding lessons and teachers for observation and planning, mentoring and quality assurance
  • coordinate initial teacher training with professional development opportunities

Continuing professional development and identifying and developing leadership potential

WCTSA will offer a range of professional development opportunities for teachers and school support staff, by extending the Weston College strong learning culture to the schools WCTSA works with. This will build on initial teacher training and induction. WCTSA will:

  • identify the best teachers and leaders from across the alliance to provide school-based professional development
  • tailor development to meet the specific needs of schools
  • offer coaching and mentoring
  • evaluate the impact of professional development across the alliance
  • offer opportunities for formal accreditation or school-based research

WCTSA will develop successful succession planning strategies to identify and develop people to fill leadership positions in the future.
To meet this responsibility, WCTSA will:

  • develop future headteachers to help meet the most pressing national needs in primary, small rural, special, challenging urban/coastal and faith schools
  • help more women, and leaders from black and minority ethnic backgrounds to become senior leaders
  • put processes in place to identify potential leaders in areas of need
  • develop potential leaders within and across its alliance schools
  • build strategic governance and partnerships in order to make decisions about developing and placing potential leaders

Supporting other schools

This will include designating and brokering specialist leaders of education.

WCTSA will lead the coordination of school-to-school support, including brokerage of national leaders of education (NLE), specialist leaders of education (SLE) and national leaders of governance (NLG) when required. This will usually involve working with a school or academy in challenging circumstances to bring about improvement.

WCTSA will identify priorities across the region to support under-performing schools and academies. Regional Schools Commissioners, local authorities, dioceses and multi-academy trusts may also work with WCTSA to support schools in need of improvement.

WCTSA will ensure that the best leaders are working to improve the quality of teaching and leadership where it is most needed.


This will include deciding how to use the services of system leaders to provide support to other schools, such as:

The WCTSA will recruit and manage the placements of SLEs. This will involve:

  • identifying subject area priorities within the alliance
  • setting up a panel of headteachers to assess applicants
  • using eligibility criteria to select SLEs
  • ensuring that the recruitment process is fair
  • notifying us of outcomes and confirming them to applicants
  • dealing with applicant appeals
  • organising training for SLEs
  • negotiating SLE work within the alliance
  • ensuring that specialist leaders of education are providing high-quality support that is having a positive impact

Sign up for updates