Wandsworth Primary Schools' Consortium

What is a SCITT?

School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)

As a SCITT, training is not managed by a University. Instead it is led and managed by a consortium of local schools. We offer a 'traditional' programme structure, with 'blocks' of school-based  and centre-based training, with the benefits of a small cohort, Wandsworth-based placements and the leadership of a  consortium of Primary Schools committed to developing excellent teachers in their borough.

Our consortium partners are varied and are not part of one academy trust. We recognise that our schools are each unique and each take different approaches to the development of their curricula. As a result, SCITT training prepares you well for your Early Career Teacher role and readies you to step into any school, rather than shaping you to fit one approach. 

The partnership schools that make up the Wandsworth Primary Schools’ Consortium are selected on the basis of the high quality, inclusive education which they offer their pupils and their capacity to provide expert mentoring to our PGCE trainees. 

Trainees are guaranteed an assessed placement in two partnership schools in addition to making visits and participating in school-based training activities during the centre-based training blocks.

In addition to offering placements, partnership schools work with the SCITT team to develop the programme in order to:

  • ensure it reflects the best research-informed practices,
  • keep the programme rooted in high quality, inclusive approaches which meet the needs of children in our diverse London schools, and
  • connect with best practice from regional subject hubs and local networks.

The role of the class-based mentor

Schools will carefully select experienced teachers to offering mentoring support to assigned trainees. We feel that the provision of class-based mentors (as opposed to non-class-based mentors) ensures continuity of support and an accurate, fair view of their  trainees' emerging needs. 

Mentors provide ongoing informal guidance and support in addition to observing trainees' teaching and providing formal feedback each week. By scaffolding trainees' reflective teaching, mentors will facilitate effective target setting which will ensure trainees meet the training requirements set out for each phase of the programme. 

Mentors facilitate opportunities for trainees to:

  • observe expert practice, 
  • engage in lesson deconstruction, linking theory to practice, and
  • gradually build their confidence in taking a lead role in the classroom. 

The role of the Link Tutor

SCITT appoint a small team of tutors to oversee the wellbeing and  progress of trainees  on placement. They also provide support and training for mentors. Typically visiting twice per placement block, Link Tutors also contribute to the overall Quality Assurance of the school-based training component of the programme. 

How are placements arranged?

The characteristics of the schools are varied, despite all being with the London Borough of Wandsworth. This means SCITT is able to offer contrasting experiences across the non-assessed and assessed placements. We feel that this prepares trainees well for understanding their needs and preferences and making an effective decision when job seeking prior to qualification. 

We place each trainee very carefully taking into account:

- any relevant previous experience
- parental/carer responsibilities
- prior connection with a school e.g. as a teaching assistant or former parent
- ongoing connection with a school e.g. as a parent or governor
- experience and personalities of the mentors available

Recruitment opportunities in consortium schools

Qualification and employment rates for SCITT graduates repeatedly exceed national benchmarks.

A large proportion of teachers who qualify through SCITT are recruited into local schools. However, the flexibility of the programme means that  candidates are free to seek the job opportunities that are right for them. While some training routes tie trainees to a particular school following the programme, SCITT does not. Our goal is to equip trainees with the experiences which will put them in a strong position when job-seeking; well-informed, self-aware, knowledgeable about the local needs and confident to convey their strengths at interview.