Monday, 16 November 2015
Inspiring the next generation of teachers and engaging young people in education are key priorities for the University of Worcester, the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan heard during a visit.
Mrs Morgan met with University educators, students, teachers and pupils to discuss the future of teacher training and the ways in which all parties are working together to raise aspirations.
She took great interest in how the University of Worcester has developed innovative partnerships to create a ‘golden triangle’ – made up of schools, trainee teachers and the University - all working together to deliver the best model of teacher education.
Reinforcing Mrs Morgan’s belief in the transformational power of the best and brightest teachers, recent Worcester graduate Gemma Bagnall spoke about the difference she is making in the rural school where she works: “I am in my first year as a teacher and I am already playing a very important part in encouraging my pupils to achieve all they can.
“The self-confidence and academic grounding that I developed during my degree has prepared me not only to motivate and support my students in the classroom, but also to understand their wide-ranging backgrounds and to work with their families.”
Perry Wood Primary School Headteacher, Tracy Keller-Freer, was also among those who the Education Secretary met during her visit. She described the ways in which the University and the school work together, including her school’s use of facilities, such as The Hive, the University and Worcestershire County Council’s joint library.
The Education Secretary praised this model of partnership working: “Listening to Tracy talking about trying to raise aspirations amongst both pupils and their parents; trying to get better results by engaging the whole family; our libraries are an ultimate place for that kind of work, and you can clearly see that here at The Hive.
“The library is very accessible, and the sharing of and skills between knowledge different elements of the community - from university lecturers to young children – is great to see.
“The Hive shows how libraries are going to develop moving forward: working together, working in partnership, and providing facilities and opportunities for the whole community.”
Mrs Morgan was accompanied by Worcester MP Robin Walker, who now works under her as parliamentary private secretary. He echoed her views on Worcester’s dynamic approach to teacher training “It is always a pleasure to be able to show off the wonderful facilities at the Hive but it was especially good to be able to talk to some inspiring teachers and NQTs about the way in which Worcester’s University had helped them and continued to do so after their studies. Working closely with Nicky in her roles both in Education and Women and Equalities has been a real privilege and I was delighted to be able to share with her some of the enthusiasm and expertise of Worcester’s students and alumni.”
Professor David Green, University of Worcester Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive said: “The University is delighted that Nicky Morgan MP, the Secretary of State for Education took the initiative to visit the University and the Hive.
“Her evident interest and enthusiasm for the creative, effective approach we have adopted was clear to see. This approach has led to books being borrowed by children more than tripling and the Hive becoming the second most visited public library in the entire UK.
“Nicky Morgan was very approving of the University and our partner schools’ work to improve education for our children now, whilst working together to produce outstanding teachers for the future.”