Activate Learning is launching an exciting new initiative, which will see teaching staff developing their knowledge and skills through industry placements.
The new Thames Valley Talent Transfer Programme (TVTTP) will see teachers swapping the classroom for the workplace to gain first-hand experience within their sectors.
This experience will allow them to bring the curriculum alive and develop project-based learning experiences that will be relevant for both students and industry partners.
Dr Alice Eardley, who is the Activate Learning project lead for the initiative, said she is delighted that the scheme is now up and running.
She added: “Activate Learning has always recognised the importance of collaborating with industry so we are able to pass on to our learners the things that we know they will need when they go into the workplace.
“But we want to build on this and give our teachers the best possible insight they could have of the sectors we send our students into.
“This felt like a logical step and through participation in the Taking Teaching Further programme, which has funding from the Department for Education and is managed by the Education and Training Foundation, we were able to launch this.
“So now, when teachers that have been through this process sit down to design their lesson plans, or are trying to work out how they are going to teach a particular aspect of the curriculum, they will be able to draw on these experiences and have a really unique insight into the best way to deliver this.”
Alex Warner, Director for Career Pathways for Technology at Activate Learning, said the new initiative would allow teachers to get a much richer understanding of what industry wants.
He said: “The speed at which industry moves outpaces the curriculum and the idea of an initiative like this is to fill the gaps between what we teach and what industry needs.
“I’m delighted with the early successes we’ve achieved during the pilot phase and the feedback we’ve had about the staff that have gone out into companies has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Now we need for more businesses to engage with us and to become part of what we feel is an innovative project that has the potential to have a profound impact not only on our learners, but also on our teachers.”
The new programme has been made possible after Activate Learning secured support from the Department for Education through the Education and Training Foundation (ETF).
Alex Thatham, Managing Director of Westcoast, was one of the early businesses to be involved with the pilot and gave his backing to scheme.
He said: “As part of a wider scheme, we have enjoyed the past week with Preeti Vohra – Reading College’s Computer Science teacher. Whilst she has seen inside all round our dynamic business, we have been privy to her insight of the education curriculum and the much needed changes going on in Technology education in the UK.
“What a delight she has been and how proud everyone at Westcoast has been to have welcomed Preeti in such an innovative scheme to link teachers, schools and business. Gold stars all round.”
Any businesses that want to get involved in the programme can do so by contacting Alice Eardley via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Taking Teaching Further visit the ETF website at: etfoundation.co.uk/takingteachingfurther