Reigate Sixth Form College was selected in February 2015 to become a National Teaching School. Only “outstanding” schools and colleges are eligible to become Teaching Schools as their role is to raise standards through supporting other schools, engage in research and development, and ensure that the most talented school leaders are spotted and supported to become successful headteachers.
The College was part of an alliance of six local outstanding schools who applied together to become Teaching Schools. Steve Oxlade, Reigate College Principal at the time, explained:
“We wanted to provide teacher training, support and development across schools of all age ranges in South East Surrey. I can’t think of many areas of the UK where all the outstanding schools and the local outstanding sixth form college are working in partnership to ensure that students at all ages up to 19 get a fantastic teaching experience. We are all Teaching Schools in our own right but our strength is in our alliance.”
Steve continued: “I couldn’t be more delighted that the College has been recognised in this way. Someone told me that we are the first sixth form college in the UK to become a teaching school – that’s good, but I’m more pleased that local parents and students know that their own specialist sixth form is now a Teaching School – something to be really proud of.”
The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) has responsibility for the designation of the teaching schools. Charlie Taylor, the Chief Executive of the NCTL, said:
“The South East Surrey Teaching School Alliance should be very proud of this achievement. These schools and the college have been recognised as a centres of excellence in South East Surrey area, with outstanding performance and track records of raising standards through supporting other schools and colleges. Teaching Schools are at the heart of improving the quality of our teachers and helping other schools and colleges to become even better. Like Teaching Hospitals, they have become centres of excellence across the country, conducting research and training teachers.”
The five schools in the South East Surrey alliance are Dovers Green Infants School, Holmesdale Community Infants School, Reigate Priory School, Reigate Valley College and Reigate School.