Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ashington's Up There with Oxbridge Now

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ashington's Up There with Oxbridge Now

Article excerpt

Byline: By Graeme Whitfield

When it comes to teacher training, courses provided by schools in the North have been judged better than those at almost every university in the country. Graeme Whitfield reports.

A teacher training course at a North high school has beaten some of the country's top universities to be judged one of the best in Britain. The course provided by Ashington High School, in Northumberland, and the North-East Partnership has been declared the best school-based course in the country in a study by Liverpool University.

It has also beaten almost all of the more established university courses around Britain, being rated behind only Oxford and Cambridge universities in the standard of training provided.

The study by the Centre for Education and Employment Research rated teacher training courses according to the qualifications of their students, ratings from education watchdog Ofsted and employment statistics.

Old universities including Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol dominate the top of the league table, but the course in secondary education at Ashington comes out third best at secondary school level. Ashington High School headteacher Ken Tonge said becoming involved in teacher training was providing knock-on benefits for the school's pupils.

"As an establishment relatively new to teacher training, we're naturally delighted to find ourselves rated so highly," he said.

"Everybody who comes here and trains with us manages to get a job, but the most important thing is to train people to be good teachers at the end of the process.

"By working at the forefront of teaching training, our own staff are getting better at their own practice because they are learning new developments.

"We also have top-quality students that we can recruit as staff if we want them because they have been based with us. …

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