Know Us Better

Teaching School

What We Do

Teaching schools are outstanding schools that work with others to provide high-quality training and development to new and experienced school staff. They are part of the government’s plan to give schools a central role in raising standards.

Teaching schools have a crucial role in driving school improvement through leadership in developing a self-improving and sustainable school-led system. Teaching schools are centres of excellence, taking a focused role that prioritises core or key objectives.  Originally holding six priorities known as The Big Six, this has since centred upon three; Initial Teacher Education, Continuing Professional development and School to School Support.

The teaching schools initiative began in 2011, marking a shift towards more school-centred training and development. The programme gives outstanding schools the opportunity to lead a group of schools, working with other partners including at least one university, to deliver high quality support for teachers and leaders at all stages in their career.

Create a strong supply of new teachers that understand their community

Develop innovative leaders and grow the next generation of heads

Support schools in challenging circumstances to guide improvement

The Big 6 becomes 3… or does it…

Teaching schools initially utilised their experience, leadership and specialist capacity to support schools in six key areas, known as The Big 6.  Following successful implementation over the years, three of the original objectives are now generally regarded as embedded practice; Succession Planning, Specialist Leaders of Education and Research.

  • Initial Teacher Education
    lead role in recruiting & developing new teachers
  • Continuing Professional Development
    peer-to-peer professional & leadership development
  • School to School Support
    provide & coordinate support for other schools
  • Succession Planning & Talent Management
    identify & develop leadership potential
  • Specialist Leaders of Education
    SLE designate & broker specialist leaders
  • Research & Development
    engage & lead in educational research   

We understand and accept the revised focus and drive for the three Teaching School priorities [1 – 3 above] but still feel there is work to be done across The Big 6 in total.  We also support the move away from the term Initial Teacher Training to the more accurate Initial Teacher Education, acknowledging the depth and commitment to this level of professional achievement.

Autism Education Trust

Our London Regional Network is a collective of school based, specialist practitioners licensed to deliver the full range of Autism Education Trust [AET] programmes including Early Years, Schools and Post 16.

Bespoke & Consultancy

We offer half-day, one day or two day INSETs at your school or in partnership with schools in your area. Workshop days are especially stimulating, with trainers delivering a variety of one or two hour rotating workshops on key areas of your choice. Whether delegate numbers are 5 or 500 we can create the programme to suit all your needs.


Our purpose built Training and Conference Centre houses a prestigious suite of rooms available for hire as a whole or individually, suitable for every event, seminar, recruitment/interview day or meeting.

Forget the hassle of off-site engagements, our central location with quick, easy access to all modes of public transport combined with value for money and a ‘service’ response aim to do the hard work for you.

Schools Direct

The Bridge is a major provider of professional development in the UK in the field of education, both special and mainstream, holding a reputation particularly in the fields of Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD). An ‘outstanding’ National Teaching School, The Bridge has been delivering courses within its Training & Conference Centre and designing bespoke programmes since 1997.

Specialist Leaders of Education

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are outstanding middle and senior leaders who have the skills to support individuals or teams in similar positions in other schools.

They understand what outstanding leadership practice in their area of expertise looks like and are skilled in helping other leaders to achieve it.

Our superb SLE’s are currently:

Rosie Whur 
Eva Stokes
Louise Heard
Caroline Patrick
Daniele Borghi
Menita Sekhon
Amy Naylor


Curriculum Leadership in Special & Mainstream
Early Years, SEN
Early Years
Early Years

Please Contact Us

To get support in any of these areas