Yorkshire’s Red Kite Alliance celebrate another successful year of school direct – initial teaching training

16 May 2014

The Red Kite Alliance, a partnership of Secondary, Primary and Special schools in North & West Yorkshire with Harrogate Grammar School as the lead Teaching School is celebrating another successful year of bringing on exceptional new teaching talent via their School Direct PGCE courses.

The Red Kite Alliance offers exciting, innovative programmes with highly regarded local HEIs – The University of York, York St John University and Leeds Metropolitan University/Carnegie Faculty to offer a School Direct pathway for trainee teachers within their Alliance of schools.

Many of this year’s trainee teachers have already secured full time positions with the Alliance of schools.

Christopher Mirfin, Red Kite Physics Trainee said: I was attracted to the Red Kite School Direct training programme by the balance of a strong school alliance and an excellent University. As a Red Kite trainee, I really feel a valued member of staff and am delighted to have secured a full time position in September 2014 at the Harrogate Grammar School.


Richard Sheriff, Head of the Harrogate Grammar School said: We have been delighted with the quality of our School Direct trainees, they have shown a real commitment to develop the professional standards required to deliver consistently good and outstanding lessons. The Red Kite Alliance is committed to achieving excellence in all our schools, and for every child, and we know that to achieve this we need outstanding teachers in every classroom. Our School Direct trainees have shown the potential to help their schools deliver excellence.

The Red Kite Alliance School Direct Programme is open to all graduates, whatever age, whether newly qualified, looking for a career change, or returning to work after a career break. They are currently recruiting for School Direct courses 2014-2015 and whilst many places have already been successfully filled, there are still vacancies in some secondary subjects.

The programme of study lasts for one academic year (September – July); during which students undertake high quality school placements within the Red Kite Teaching School Alliance schools and enjoy a bespoke training programme. The Red Kite School Direct programme has been designed to build students confidence and subject knowledge and give them the necessary skills to become an effective classroom practitioner.

Red Kite English Trainee Alison Hughes said: I was drawn to the Red Kite Alliance in particular as it offered me the chance to enjoy two significant block placements in different schools, but also offered a Masters level PGCE qualification alongside this. I felt it was the best of both worlds; on-the-job training and the conventional PGCE route. Being a more mature student I was looking for a ‘hands-on’ approach where I could enjoy as much time as possible in schools getting to know the job and the Red Kite programme has been absolutely ideal for this. As well as being well respected schools in the local area, schools in the Alliance are committed to developing teachers and I have really benefited from this. Both professional mentors and University-based tutors take the time to support you throughout and as a result I have hugely benefited from their expertise and this has been reflected in my own developing practice. As well as the excellent University-based teaching I have enjoyed, the course also provides in-school training which has allowed me to get to know two different schools in depth and bring elements of both into my teaching practice. I have been fortunate enough to secure my first teaching position within the Alliance at Ilkley Grammar School and absolutely can’t wait to start my teaching career in September – knowing I will continue to benefit from the excellent further development opportunities within the Alliance and work at a fantastic school!”

The Red Kite Teaching School Alliance is a partnership of Yorkshire schools and institutions, across all phases, primary, secondary and special, from inner city locations to rural contexts, that have come together to share their skills, experience, talent and capacity to help improve the learning and achievement of young people across the Yorkshire and Humber region. These schools are Harrogate Grammar School, Horsforth School, Ilkley Grammar School, Malton School, Oatlands Infants School, Oatlands Junior School, Prince Henrys Grammar School, Rossett Acre Primary School, Rossett School, Roundhay School, South Craven School, Springwater School, St Peters Primary School, Western Primary School, Ralph Thoresby High School, Nidderdale High School and Benton Park School.

Frances Dolata, Red Kite MFL Trainee said: I chose the Red Kite Teaching School Alliance because of the calibre of schools that make up the ‘family’ of schools. I was delighted when I was offered a position because I knew that I would be trained in schools which aspire to provide the best education for students, and which are forward thinking in their approach to teaching. As I embark on the next stage of my teaching career and look forward to joining a new school community, I know that I will continue to stay in touch with my network of Red Kite colleagues and friends.

Graduates of the Red Kite School Direct programme are given all the skills needed to be confident, passionate, knowledgeable and reflective teachers, ready to embark on a rewarding and fulfilling career, hopefully taking up positions that arise within the partnership of schools.

Further information on the School Direct PGCE courses for 2014-2015 offered by the Red Kite Alliance visit www.redkitealliance.co.uk, email us at redkitealliance@harrogategrammar.co.uk or call on 01423 531127 ex 218 or 273.

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