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Ellesmere Port head chosen for key school support role

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Hinderton School, an autism-specific special school for pupils aged 3-11 in Ellesmere Port, is one of around 40 schools that has been selected to become a national teaching school in the latest round of recruitment.

The school will take a leading role in recruiting and training new entrants to the profession.

Hinderton School has been judged ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted on five consecutive inspections, and is accredited by the National Autistic Society.

National leaders of education along with staff in their schools (appointed as national support schools) use their knowledge and experience to provide additional guidance in other schools which require support.

The type of support provided is flexible and tailored to meet the needs of each individual school.

National leaders of education also have responsibility for developing the next generation NLEs and national support schools.

Introduced in 2011, teaching schools are excellent schools that work with partner schools in an alliance to provide high quality school-led initial teacher training and professional development opportunities for teachers at all stages of their career.

They raise standards through supporting other schools, especially those in challenging circumstances, and ensure that the most talented school leaders are spotted and supported to become successful head teachers.

Liam Dowling, head of Hinderton School, said: “This vote of confidence in the work we do here at Hinderton School is wonderful to receive.

“All of our staff work tirelessly to meet the needs of children with autism and this has always extended to supporting colleagues in the wider community.”

He added: “We have many visitors, students and colleagues coming to observe outstanding practice.

“As a National Teaching School, Hinderton will be able to greatly develop this important aspect of our work with local mainstream schools as well as strengthening our connections with leading special schools nationally.

“We look forward to working with a range of partners, including our colleagues in the local Ignite Teaching School Alliance, to further improve the level of training in understanding the needs of children with autism for trainee teachers as well as existing staff.”

Cheshire West and Chester councillor Nicole Meardon, cabinet member for children and families, commented: “I’d like to congratulate Hinderton School and Liam Dowling on being appointed as a teaching school and a national leader of education.

“Hinderton is a wonderful school and all the staff should be very proud of this achievement.”

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