Hi all! I am having the biggest head ache deciding where I schould trainnext year! I have been offered a conditional place by a really well established partnership in a school that is a perfect distance for me. It is graded as 'needs improvement' but is making big strides to improve this, including a new (3 years) head teacher. The partnership are offering a very welcome SKE and are super organised with great communication and really keen leders. All sounds good right? Well therein lies my problem. I am currently a Study Supervisor with another (less local) school who took me on this year without any experience and a spanking new degree in my pocket. They were aware from the start that I wanted to train and have been extra encouraging. Now, they have just become the lead school in their own partnership. They have said they catagorically want me to train with them, but arent in a position to be able to offer me a training role in their actual school. The schools they have offered are fine, but dont offer anything better than the school in the other partnership, other than the chance of doing my second placement in my current school. I am unsure I will even have any contact with my current school throughout the year as I will be guided by a mentor in my host school and the University. I guess, my question is, how do you decide? Do I broaden my professional horizons knowing I have a good connection with this school, or am I risking damaging the relationship I have now? From your experience, am I going to miss out working with a new partnership? or is that overshadowing the benefit of knowing the lead school 'know' me? Does it matter that the placement school isnt as staffed/prepared for me? Or will I still learn nonetheless? I appreciate the enormity of my post but the only people I can truly discuss this with are within my current school and I dont feel that is fair! Thank you so much in advance for reading and in advance for any input or advice you may have! =D P.S How annoying is it that paragraphs dont work on here??!? (Makes my esssay look even worse!)
I think who you train with in your placement school can have a real influence on how you do in your ITT. However, if you were doing a PGCE, you'd have no choice about your placements or who you work with. Could you ask to meet with the people you might be likely to work with, or at least visit the schools? This might make them feel like more of a known quantity.
How is behaviour in the school where you have a place? This is something that can really influence your experience during ITT too. Why were they "requires improvement"? If progress or behaviour is really poor, I'm not sure you'd get an ideal experience there either. It is very easy for head teachers to talk the talk, but day to day you will not be interacting with the head much. How are the teachers in your department? Do you feel they'd be good role models and supportive towards you? Has staff turnover been high? If so, this may make kids more wary of yet another new person coming in.