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Teach First appoints BlueSky - online staff development expert - to track progress of its teachers
BlueSky's online tool will provide support at over 900 schools working with Teach First participants throughout the UK
Teach First, the largest graduate recruiter in the UK, has appointed BlueSky, leading online staff development, professional learning and self-evaluation software experts, to support the progress tracking of its teachers working at over 900 primary and secondary schools serving low income communities across England and Wales.
As a Bronze pro-bono partner responsible for hosting the online journal and portfolio for all participants on the Teach First Leadership Development Programme (LDP), BlueSky will help the charity to capture and analyse data quickly and easily. This will ensure that those making outstanding progress are highlighted and those needing additional support can be quickly identified.
Teachers and support staff, including those working in partner universities and schools, will be able to access BlueSky at any time or place, allowing ongoing collaboration and support. This will ensure that Teach First's training and objectives framework and the Teacher Standards are embedded into everyday practice for both participants and those supporting them through the LDP.
The BlueSky software will be rolled out to all teachers and the schools, universities and Teach First staff that support them from 2016 and will be used at the Teach First Summer Institute six-week training programme from June to August. Last year Teach First welcomed over 1,600 trainees onto the LDP.
Its two-year LDP provides teachers, who are all university graduates, with Qualified Teacher Status and involves the completion of a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) which is based on a file of evidence of progress, achievement and reflection.
Reuben Moore, Director of Leadership at Teach First, welcomes the new software. He said, “We are pleased to introduce BlueSky to our Leadership Development Programme this year and believe it will make a real difference to ensuring our teachers are the best that they can be for their pupils.
“Teach First is extremely grateful for the pro-bono contribution BlueSky are making to the charity; our teachers and those that support them are excited to embrace this new technology to help them progress as leaders of learning. We all look forward to the launch during our training this summer and our ongoing work with BlueSky to maximise the potential of the software to support our teachers and ultimately their pupils."
Commenting on the appointment, Denise Inwood, BlueSky's Managing Director said, “Teaching is a complex and demanding profession. The importance of developing self-awareness and adaptability is fundamental in the journey to outstanding practice and the importance of the 'critical friend' in this journey cannot be underestimated. BlueSky can enhance the use of these strategies by adding a simple and powerful mechanism for objective discussion and formative dialogue, as well as rapid intervention and support.
“We believe the relationship we are forging with Teach First will add real value, supporting their aim of maximising the impact of their teachers in the most socio-economically challenged schools."
Designed to drive school performance processes, BlueSky Education is already a Premier Partner of the Association of School and College Leaders and a Preferred Partner of the National Association of School Business Management.