School of Education

Grand Union Training Partnership

The Grand Union Training Partnership is an experienced school-centred initial teacher training consortium with over 20 years’ experience training secondary school teachers in Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes. Working with a close network of secondary partnership schools most of our trainees live in the Northampton and the Milton Keynes area and the Scheme is very conscious of its role in training local people for employment in their home area.

We provide Secondary PGCE courses, validated by The University of Leicester, in Business Studies, English, Design and Technology (typically includes food, product design, textiles and systems and control and more), History, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages, Physical Education, Geography, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. We aim to give trainees, who we refer to as Associate Teachers, as much practical experience of working in the partnership schools as possible. Each AT’s work and programme of study is supervised by a School Based Tutor who will take a close interest in their development as a teacher and colleague. This part of the course is complemented by a General Professional Studies Programme provided in co-operation with The University of Leicester.

Our overall aim is to produce reflective professionals confident in applying for, and starting, their first jobs as schoolteachers. Traditionally, over half of our Secondary Associate Teachers take up their first teaching posts in the Scheme's Partnership Schools.

Our trainees, or Associate Teachers, are selected from a wide age range with a good balance of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.  The majority of them come from within a 25-mile radius of the Partnership Schools.  We actively recruit from all sections of society.  We value the experience our trainees bring with them and we try to be flexible in meeting their particular needs when placing them in Partnership Schools. 

During the year, Associate Teachers have experience of working in two of the Partnership Schools, in each school their work and progress is closely supervised by one of the Scheme’s School Based Tutors.

The School Based Tutors ensure the Associate Teachers are involved in the classroom right from the start of the course, observing experienced teachers and then gradually developing their own confidence and ability to take an increasing level of responsibility for the planning and delivery of lessons.

The Scheme’s training course is very practical in nature, allowing its Associate Teachers to develop into reflective and adaptable teachers. The course encourages them to make full use of the opportunities provided in placement schools and they involve themselves fully in the work of their school departments and make positive contributions to the lives of their schools as a whole.  As a result, the scheme prepares its trainees to take up their first appointments with confidence and with a sound working knowledge of their subjects. 

All of our recent graduates have secured employment in their chosen geographical area. Of our 2018-19 Cohort who successfully completed the course, 100% are working as teachers within the local area and of these, 60% are employed by one of our partnership schools. 

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