IT is no secret that education in this country is facing a number of challenges — changes to the curriculum and qualifications, cuts to budgets, teacher recruitment and retention.

Turton School in Bromley Cross is ensuring that these issues do not impact on young people and the quality of education in the borough continues to excel — by training the next generation of teachers.

Kelly Leonard, assistant head teacher, said: "At Turton we have always prided ourselves on being forward thinking, keeping abreast of the latest changes in education to safeguard the best provision for our students.

"We began looking at curriculum and approaches to teaching several years before the government decided to make changes to both the GCSE and A level qualifications. Instead of fearing these changes, we felt the move to terminal exams have brought freedom to curricula and a love of learning where previously they were a slave to testing. Wisdom from the pursuit of knowledge as well as being an open-minded and considered individual is what education is all about but we realised very quickly that we couldn’t do it alone and set about looking for like-minds who shared our common passion.

"By happy coincidence, this was at the same time we began to work with Liverpool John Moores University and an increasing number of schools across the North West to provide an innovative teacher training programme across both secondary and primary."

The school also works with other experts in education and has led to the implementation of the 'trivium'.

Mrs Leonard said: "The trivium is an approach to teaching which focuses on three key aspects: subject knowledge, logical debate and communication. We recognised that teaching had become convoluted over the years and felt a need to go back to basics, putting teachers as experts at the centre of the learning. There are no fancy gimmicks in our classrooms; just a focus on the importance of knowledge, excellence in everything and an emphasis on the highest expectations on students with regard to hard work and behaviour.

"This isn’t anything new, in fact the trivium has been around since ancient Greece and is most likely the type of education that Shakespeare experienced. It hasn’t meant a step back to the dark ages for Turton, it is a move towards empowering our teachers to provide the best for our students in preparation for a world after school.

"Giving our children a first-class education that can compete with the best comprehensive, state-selective and fee-paying institutions across the country has been our primary drive. Our professional development courses for both trainee teachers and existing school staff focus on achieving this."

She said a broad and balanced education for young people means 'opportunity and choice' the opportunity to do more and the choice after sixth-form,.

Mrs Leonard said: "Through our partnerships with great primary and secondary schools across Bolton as part of our teacher training programme, School Direct at Turton, we plan to support the borough in directly addressing the issue of recruitment and retention in our locality.

"We are attracting and nurturing talented people who have had an experience of education in Bolton — and beyond — who want to give something back to their community.

"At the same time, our trainees have the opportunity to work with the best schools across the borough as well as receiving the highest quality professional and academic training. Teaching is a job for life and a profession that makes a difference to people’s lives, something that our network of schools and university providers are passionate about. The School Direct route is different to a traditional PGCE, it allows graduates to train in their locality, the programme is more bespoke to the individual trainee and what makes School Direct at Turton’s programme different to other providers is that we are big enough to bring the university to us so travel is minimised for every aspect of the programme.

"The School Direct route is also an excellent way of schools working together to spot talented teachers.

"Our current trainees are now in the eighth week of the programme and are teaching in schools all over the North West. One term in and they are already making a difference to the lives of young people whilst being students in the classroom once a week themselves led by our highly experienced expert team.

"Training to teach in Bolton has never been easier. We are the largest growing SD provider in the northwest with over 40 trainees across our primary and secondary courses, a number which we are looking to double for our September, 2018 cohort."

To find out more about the training programme ring Wendy Whipp on 01204 333233, or email:, visit our website: or the Get into Teaching website: