partnership with schools agreement

School Partnership Agreement

  • Overview
  • Responsibilities
  • Data Sharing
  • Management
  • Quality Assurance
  • Selection & Deselection
  • Our Programmes


Overview of the School Partnership Agreement

We believe that the best model for producing high quality teachers is based on working in partnership with schools. This partnership relies on the involvement of school based professionals in recruitment, training, design and quality assurance of the provision. A balance of academic study and practical placement experience is delivered on the programmes at Postgraduate level. School and educational settings play a major part in our Teacher Training programmes by providing a range of assessed and non-assessed placements which enhance the Provision offered to our trainees. This, in turn, enriches the life of the schools participating in the partnership.

The continuing improvement of pupil progress and the well-being of Pupils are at the heart of this Partnership, and inform all aspects of the training.

The Partnership has a commitment to ensuring trainees are well prepared so that they evolve into good and outstanding teachers. This outcome is achieved through the distinctive roles and responsibilities across the partnership in both schools and Essex and Thames Education. The close working relationship between Essex and Thames Education, the University and schools provides an ideal environment for the exchange of ideas that informs practice across the partnership.

Our Partnership Vision:

‘Putting Pupils First, Training Excellent Teachers’




Department for Education

The University

Governing Body, Runwell Community Primary School

SCITT Headteachers Executive Committee

Quality Improvement and
Recruitment Committee

Finance Committee

Disciplinary Committee

Disciplinary Committee

Office Manager – Saffron Lowrie

Senior Administrator – Emma Nunn

Regional Managers – Eleanor French & Fran Attwood

Secondary Programme Leader – Emma Day

Finance Manager and Data Protection Officer – Sue Rooney

Secondary Administrator – Karon Edney

Lecturers and Subject Leads

ITT Coordinators

School Mentors

Class Mentors

Trainees and Apprentices

Responsibilities of Participants in the Partnership

The Trainees will fully engage in the training process. They must:

  • Work in partnership with colleagues in school, Essex and Thames Education and the University in a professional manner.
  • Take responsibility for their professional behaviour and learning; negotiate opportunities for professional development, use initiative, offer skills and expertise.
  • Actively work towards demonstrating progress across the requirements of the placement, including planning, delivery and evaluation of lessons, completion of tasks, maintenance of files and engagement in review processes.
  • To share with the school any additional learning or medical needs of which the University is already aware.
  • Seek, receive and act upon advice and feedback.
  • Behave professionally, for example, by respecting confidentiality; being reliable, punctual and responsible; being sensitive to the procedures and routines that are already established in the school; by dressing appropriately.
  • To act in accordance with school, Essex and Thames Education and University procedures relating to Equal Opportunities and current legislation, particularly with respect to safeguarding and promoting Pupils’s welfare.
  • Plan, carry out and evaluate activities that are related to the placements and required by Essex and Thames Education and the University.
  • Ensure that all relevant policies and procedures are read and understood.
  • Seek out and have discussions with all necessary personnel relating to these within the school.
  • Participate as fully as possible in the daily life of the school, including assemblies, playground duty and involvement in after-school clubs, as appropriate to the stage of their training.
  • Critically appraise their practice and, in consultation with school (Mentors) and Essex and Thames Education tutors, set targets for their professional development. Monitor the set targets on a weekly basis.
  • Develop professional competence in the current teacher standards
    Establish, maintain, and regularly review an online placement folder; contents as outlined in Essex and Thames Education Handbooks.

Essex and Thames Education will provide services to support the training and wellbeing of Trainees. These include but are not limited to:

  • Provision of funding to schools in line with published amounts.
  • Provision of appropriate documentation to support School-based Training.
  • Provision of Programme regulations, assessment schemes, the system of recording achievement and statements of the Standards to be achieved with due regard to legislation DfE circulars.
  • Provision of a strong framework of clear, well-written course documentation
  • Providing Essex and Thames Education Tutors with responsibility for a designated cluster of schools. This involves monitoring of Quality Assurance processes and procedures surrounding trainee placements within the school; having oversight of training placements; having oversight of the school’s identified CPD in relation to ITT.
  • Provision of a clear set of procedures for trainees who are ‘cause for concern’ which will outline additional support available to individual Partnership schools.
  • Providing the school with relevant DBS information for each trainee on placement.
  • Conduct an annual evaluation of school-based training.
  • Respond to Quality Assurance issues raised by schools, trainees or Essex and Thames Education tutors.
  • Provision of clear procedures for monitoring, supporting and evaluating the Partnership.
  • Provision of Initial Teacher Education and Training.
  • Provision of training for Essex and Thames Education and school-based tutors.
    Arrange placements intended to reflect the changing needs of trainees and schools taking into account the provision of diversity of trainee experience.
  • Provide effective and high quality centre-based training that balances the in-school provision for teacher education.
  • Provide access to Essex and Thames Education centre-based training for staff in schools where this is deemed to be appropriate by Headteachers of those schools and The Executive Director. A training day schedule will be published for schools in September each year.
  • Market Essex and Thames Education in the local community, regionally and nationally.
  • Work with local appropriate bodies to deliver a high quality induction programme for NQTs.

Essex and Thames Education Personal Tutors will:

  • Have regular quality assurance contact with each school; where necessary visit trainees in QA moderation or support role. Support the school-based training process.
  • Monitor the Quality Assurance processes and procedures concerning trainee placements within the school, including the role of the class teacher and mentor in the documented training and assessment processes.
  • Ensure the trainee’s online files and paper-based evidence bundles are reviewed to ensure planning, evaluation and assessments are appropriate for the trainee’s stage of development.
  • In consultation with the class teacher, ensure the trainee is assessed at the relevant / published time, using criteria published by Essex and Thames Education.
  • Ensure the trainee is provided with additional support where a trainee is a ‘cause for concern’ or in need of additional pastoral support.
  • Contribute to discussion of grading with the class teacher and school mentor, providing moderation as necessary and support schools to interpret evidence in relation to the Professional Standards for Qualified Teacher Status.
  • Attend relevant staff development sessions, placement-specific meetings.
  • Monitor the quality of trainee placements across the schools in the cluster on a regular basis.
  • Carry out capacity audits as necessary.
  • Monitor school-based training across the cluster to ensure trainees are fully supported in respect of Equal Opportunities.
  • Alert trainees to a range of theory and research related to generic professional issues and provide insights into how this theory can be used in the analysis of current practice
  • Attend as necessary Examination Boards.
  • Contribute to an annual written evaluation of school-based training.
  • Provide a permanent point of contact for school-based tutors and trainees within a cluster of schools.
  • Liaise with schools to develop a strategic and responsive approach to a school’s CPD needs.
  • Support schools new to the Partnership to enable them to meet Partnership criteria.

Headteachers will:

  • Ensure a School-based teaching placement is provided as outlined in the SCITT handbooks.
  • Use Essex and Thames Education criteria to identify school mentors and class mentors who will manage the trainee’s experience.
  • Ensure the school mentor has engaged with training sessions in order for them to discharge their responsibilities appropriately and effectively and enable the provision of additional on-site training by Essex and Thames Education when necessary.
  • Ensure trainees are placed with class teachers who have at least 2 years teaching experience, are consistently graded as good or better in their own practice and are appropriate role models.
  • Accept and welcome trainees as temporary colleagues, providing an appropriate induction programme.
  • Provide a supportive environment for the trainees and give them, as far as possible, the opportunity to enter into the full life of the school during their placement.
  • Support the class teacher and mentor in ensuring that the school’s Equal Opportunities policies apply equally to trainees.
  • Ensure any arrangements which have to be made as a consequence of identified needs are put into place, whether they relate to SEN, medical, cultural or religious requirements.
  • Ensure that trainees are provided with opportunities to meet and engage in discussions with subject co-ordinators, the assessment coordinator, the SENCO and other colleagues as appropriate.
  • Ensure that trainees are provided with a class setting/placement which is appropriate to their stage of development.
  • Liaise with class teacher, mentor and Essex and Thames Education tutor.
  • Alert the named tutor immediately if any concerns have been raised regarding the trainee, with respect to safeguarding and promoting Pupils’s welfare.
  • Inform Essex and Thames Education immediately of any changes to the school’s circumstances which might negatively impact on the quality of the training provided, ie categorised by OfSTED as Grade 4.
  • Ensure that the school keeps copies of the relevant paperwork as specified in the Headteacher’s Handbook.
  • Ensure that involvement in Initial Teacher Training is included annually in the school development plan/school policies.
  • Hold termly progress meetings with the Trainees.


Lead Schools Only will:

  • Allow Essex and Thames Education to manage their data management and UCAS accounts on their behalf
  • Receive funds from the DfE for salaried trainees who may be employed in their own or other partnership schools
  • Ensure the prompt payment of funds received from the DfE for fees to Essex and Thames Education and salaried contributions to the employing schools
  • Submit the annual return accounting for this funding to their own auditors and then to the DfE in accordance with the guidance and published deadlines.


Schools Employing salaried trainees and apprentices will:

  • Receive funds from the lead schools for DfE salary contributions for School Direct Salaried Trainees
  • Ensure that both salaried trainees and apprentices are paid on the correct unqualified teachers’ pay scale
  • In the case of apprentices, draw down the money from the Apprenticeship Levy and make prompt payments of fees to Essex and Thames Education
  • Ensure that they comply with all the requirements of the ESFA, DfE and the Institute for Apprenticeships
  • Supply Essex and Thames Education with employment contracts for the Trainees.

Essex and Thames Education recognises the complexity of this role and provides training for all those involved.
Responsibilities include the following:

  • Roles and responsibilities in addition to those of class teacher
  • Participate fully in mentor training sessions run by Essex and Thames Education
  • Disseminate training provided by Essex and Thames Education to colleagues within the school
  • Act as a moderator within the school
  • Support the class teacher in the process of lesson observation and assessment of the trainee’s progress and target setting on a regular basis
  • On a regular basis, support the class teacher in reaching decisions about whether a trainee is meeting (or failing to meet) current teacher standards at both the interim and final stages of the placement
  • Liaise with subject co-ordinators, the SENCO, Assessment coordinator and involve them as appropriate in each placement
  • Liaise with SCITT Personal Tutor, Class teacher and Head Teacher
  • In consultation with Essex and Thames Education Personal Tutor, complete termly online grading and ensure the documentation is shared with the Trainee
  • Monitor the trainee’s progress, including targets set, through a weekly review
  • Provide/share with the trainee, as appropriate to their stage in the training process, assessment data, e.g. the school RAISE online, the Ofsted summary, LA and school targets
  • Adhere to all the details of the Mentor Agreement (drop down)
  • Ensure the trainee is fully supported with respect to Equal Opportunities and make sure any arrangements which need to be made as a consequence of identified needs are put into place, whether they relate to Special Educational Needs, medical, cultural or religious requirements
  • Provide the trainee with opportunities to take part in activities which reflect the broader role of the teacher e.g. INSET, staff meetings, parents’ meetings, breakfast and after school clubs etc
  • Discuss professional issues and coordinate activities which give trainees experience of the wider professional requirements of the Standards
  • Observe the trainee in line with placement documentation. Provide regular, constructive and challenging feedback to the trainee and complete written Lesson Observation records. Set specific and focused targets for development.
  • Assess trainees at ‘key assessment points’ (KAP’s) during placements. In consultation with Essex and Thames Education Personal Tutor and school mentor, and in accordance with criteria published by Essex and Thames Education reach a judgement as to whether a trainee is meeting or failing to meet the Standards.
  • Discuss with Essex and Thames Education Personal Tutor the trainee’s progress, including: classroom teaching, work towards meeting targets set, the standard of the trainee’s files and make weekly Records of Lesson Observation available to them during visits.

Class Mentors will:

  • Provide trainees with an appropriate induction programme which includes information about the school and school policies appropriate to the placement
  • Share individual pupil data
  • Induct trainees into school planning models and provide support for trainees’ planning to enable them to incorporate Essex and Thames Education requirements for the individual placement with those of the school. Discuss issues of current legislation and national strategies as per the weekly agendas supplied by the Essex and Thames Education
  • Provide the trainee with access to a range of resources, including ICT
  • Discuss health and safety regulations, procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the Pupil, dress code and expectations of professional conduct
  • Ensure the trainee is fully supported with respect to Equal Opportunities and make sure any arrangements which need to be made as a consequence of identified needs are put into place, whether they relate to Special Educational Needs, medical, cultural or religious requirements
  • Provide trainees with practical support and guidance in their medium and short term planning to enable the trainees to incorporate Essex and Thames Education requirements for the individual placement with those of the school
  • Discuss their own practice with the trainee and provide the opportunity for the trainee to observe different aspects of teaching and learning. In briefing and debriefing make explicit the pedagogy which underpins the choice of teaching and learning styles, the organisation and delivery of particular lessons
  • Monitor the trainee on a day-to-day basis, including scrutiny of the trainee’s file. Provide the trainee with feedback on lesson planning, lesson evaluation, assessment, monitoring and recording through verbal feedback, annotation and comments in the trainee’s file(s)
  • Observe the trainee in line with placement documentation. Provide regular, constructive and challenging feedback to the trainee and complete written Lesson Observation records. Set specific and focused targets for development
  • Support the trainee in establishing themselves in their teaching role, discussing expectations, the curricular requirements for the pupils and the range of abilities and any specific needs in the class
  • Assess trainees at ‘key assessment points’ (KAP’s) during placements. In consultation with Essex and Thames Education Personal Tutor and school mentor
  • Discuss with Essex and Thames Education Personal Tutor the trainee’s progress, including: classroom teaching, work towards meeting targets set, the standard of the trainee’s files and make weekly Records of Lesson Observation available to them during visits
  • Alert the trainee, school mentor, Headteacher and Essex and Thames Education Personal Tutor to any problems.

Data Sharing

This Data sharing agreement defines the arrangements between Essex and Thames Education and placement settings providing placements for trainees.

Responsibilities for compliance with the agreement are as follows:

Essex and Thames Education; Jo Palmer-Tweed, Executive Director

Placement Provider; Head Teacher or Manager of setting

Purpose of data sharing

Trainee personal data is shared for the following purpose –

To comply with DfE requirements;

‘Providers should have regard to the Department for Education’s statutory guidance Keeping Pupils Safe in Education, when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of Pupils. They should ensure that all trainees have been subject to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records checks including a check of the Pupils’s barred list.’

‘Providers should confirm in writing to schools that a non-salaried trainee’s criminal record check, including a check of the Pupils’s barred list, has been completed and that the individual has been judged by the provider to be suitable to work with Pupils. Providers are not required to provide any information to schools in addition to this confirmation. Schools may wish to record this confirmation in their single central record, but they are not required to do so.;

“Where a school allows an individual to start work in regulated activity before the DBS certificate is available, then they should ensure that the individual is appropriately supervised and that all other checks, including a separate barred list check, have been completed.”

‘To share information on trainee progress and performance against teaching standards whilst on placement to inform the award of Qualified Teacher Status.’

‘To share information regarding a trainees declared disability and any specialist support required.’

ITT Criteria, DfE 2018.

Information to be shared:

  • Trainee Name
  • Trainee email
  • Self-reported disability, learning difficulty, long term physical or mental health condition
  • Trainee support plans
  • Lesson Observations and trainee targets
  • End of placement grades

Data transfer and Security:

Both Essex and Thames Education and schools will ensure that all personal data shared under this agreement will be kept secure and protected against unauthorised access, use or disclosure. If a school becomes aware of any potential data breach of security which involves data supplied by Essex and Thames Education, it must be raised with Essex and Thames Education DPO ( immediately.

Restrictions on the use of information:

The trainee personal data provided by Essex and Thames Education to schools shall only be used for the purposes set out in this agreement. Trainee personal data shall not be passed to any third party by the provider or placement provider unless permitted by Data Protection Legislation (GDPR)

Both parties are responsible for complying with Data Protection Legislation (GDPR), including ensuring that all staff who have access to trainee personal data are fully aware of the Data Protection principles.

Trainee Data Protection rights:

Essex and Thames Education and school are responsible for complying with the rights of trainees under applicable Data Protection Legislation (GDPR). This includes making a Privacy Notice available to trainees which sets out the legal basis on which their personal data is processed. Both parties must also have procedures in place to respond to Subject Access Requests (requests by a trainee for a copy of information Essex and Thames Education or school holds on them).

Retention of Information:

Personal data must only be kept for the length of time necessary to perform the processing for which it was collected. This applies to both electronic and non-electronic personal data. Essex and Thames Education will ensure that retention policies are adopted to ensure that the trainee personal data specified in this agreement is destroyed once no longer needed. All trainee data must be handed back to Essex and Thames Education with any copies destroyed as soon as the trainee is no longer in your school. This policy will be reviewed annually.

Lead Schools Only – Data Processing and UCAS

Applicants to our course apply in one of two ways; either to a ‘core’ SCITT place or via one of the lead schools. When an application is made to a core place, the data controller is EEssex and Thames Education. When an application is made to a lead school, the data controller is the lead school. The lead school provides access to Essex and Thames Education to the UCAS system to enable Essex and Thames Education administration team to download, process and progress applications on behalf of the lead school, at this point, the SCITT is the data processor, processing data on behalf of the lead school. Essex and Thames Education adhere to the GDPR and will only process data for the purpose of reviewing, processing and progressing applications to the SCITT course and will not use this data for any other purpose; data is held securely in both physical (paper) format and on our G-Suite for Education system. Access to files is strictly controlled with security in place. The Privacy statement for Essex and Thames Education can be found here, this explains how data is used at each stage of the application process, retention periods and legal basis for processing. Once an applicant accepts a place on the course, they are entered on to the DMS system, at this point the data controller becomes Essex and Thames Education.


An appropriate partnership forum will be provided, drawn from Partnership schools and Essex and Thames Education, will offer guidance on policy and organisational matters with respect to Initial Teacher Training.

Essex and Thames Education will nominate a Personal Tutor for each school and a Regional Manager, with responsibility for promoting effective communication between Partners. The assessment of trainees and the recording and reporting of progress will employ the criteria and procedures, as described in the programme and school–based training handbooks.

Safeguarding Regulations

Essex and Thames Education undertakes to apply the current arrangements involving monitoring and disclosure as specified in relevant ITT regulations as follows:

  • All applicants begin the DBS application process as soon as they enter Essex and Thames Education admissions system
  • Essex and Thames Educationwill make a judgement of the trainee’s suitability to begin work with Pupils in Partnership Schools, based on trainee’s DBS disclosure certificate, in consultation with a school based colleagues as necessary.
  • When Essex and Thames Education has a trainee teacher whose DBS check is not fully complete before a placement starts, Essex and Thames Education will ensure that a check of the Department for Education list of those barred from teaching and the Disclosure & Barring Service Pupils’s Barred List takes place. Trainees in this position will be identified to the school, so that the school can ensure that the trainee is appropriately supervised.
  • There is no requirement for trainees to take their DBS certificates to school as Essex and Thames Education is responsible for processing their DBS. Schools will be provided with trainees’ DBS numbers and the date the checks took place. Schools should not ask trainees to additionally provide sight of DBS disclosure forms as this does not fit within the statutory guidance.
  • For each trainee, Essex and Thames Education will undertake to provide insurance cover in respect of personal injury or loss (or injury to a third party) and will inform schools of the nature of that cover (which will normally extend to day-to-day classroom practice only).
  • A partner school may choose to extend its cover to include the trainee. In accordance with current requirements and legislation a partner school must extend its cover to include a trainee if (s)he is engaged in visits or similar extra-curricular activities involving pupils.
  • The Head Teacher’s Executive Committee has agreed which convictions, offences, cautions and warnings that would not typically pose a barrier to joining an ITT programme. These will be shared with schools as necessary.

Quality Assurance

The Partnership is committed to the pursuit of excellence and has developed appropriate structures and roles to monitor and evaluate the quality of the trainee experience, paying attention particularly to:

  • Trainees’ entitlement to equivalent experiences in different schools.
  • Opportunities for a trainee to gain experience in a range of schools and in the range of approaches and methods practised in individual subjects and age phases necessitating the consistent application of sets of assessment criteria and consistent judgements about trainees’ competences.
  • Trainees, class teachers and Essex and Thames Education tutors will be involved in the evaluation process. Feedback from the evaluation process will be shared with all parties. Essex and Thames Education quality committee will receive issues arising from the evaluation process on a termly basis.
  • Essex and Thames Education monitors the Ofsted grade of all of its Partnership schools on a half termly basis.

Termination of a school placement

In the event that a trainee fails to follow Essex and Thames Education code of conduct or their performance on placement gives cause for concern, the Head Teacher or Mentor will contact the Regional Director allocated to the school. Full guidance on the process to follow can be found here (drop down to schools guide to referring trainees causing concern)

Essex and Thames Education Policies

Essex and Thames Education is governed by a range of policies and procedures. Please follow this link to the Essex and Thames Education website where the policies can be read in full. These policies are subject to change.

Selection & Deselection

School / Setting Selection

The Partnership Agreement aspires to support trainees on a journey to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Schools are selected on their willingness to work together with Essex and Thames Education for continuous improvement of the quality of training.

All schools should provide mentors who are willing to engage with Essex and Thames Education mentor development training and quality assurance processes in line with National Mentor Standards (2016). Selection of mentors is based on full QTS awarded status and experience of working collaboratively to improve professional development in teaching and learning. All trainee placements will ensure that Equality characteristics are upheld.

QTS ITT guidance criteria are utilised to ensure that appropriate age and phase requirements can be achieved with each group/class of Pupils selected for trainees to work with. Ongoing Quality Assurance processes monitor and encourage further professional development wherever possible.


Deselection Criteria

It is rare that circumstances arise when a school or setting will be de-selected and de-selection will only take place when agreed by the majority of the members of The Headteachers’ Executive Committee.

Schools may be deselected from the partnership if the school has breached the agreed aims and values of the partnership (as detailed in its policies and vision documents) or the school has reneged on the agreement as detailed in this partnership document. Included in this are expectations that schools will behave in a way which ethically befits the profession as a whole.

Should a school be deselected Essex and Thames Education will continue to work with the school to assess how reselection can be supported and provide appropriate guidance and training.

If, following an Ofsted inspection, a school or nursery is placed in Category 4 the school should contact Essex and Thames Education as soon as possible after they receive notification of the grading. A capacity assessment will be undertaken immediately and any trainees on school based training needing to be removed from the school will be assigned to an alternative placement.

If any quality assurance assessments provide clear evidence that school based training is inadequate the SCITT will provide extra support. This may take the form of bespoke mentor training and detailed monitoring of the provision. However, if Essex and Thames Education cannot evidence that school based training is improving then the school will be deselected.

Our Programmes

QTS Only
Training Route
School Direct
Training Route
Training Route
PGCE Salaried
Training Route
Training Route
with Maths
Assessment Only
for QTS (only available
for those who
have been teaching for 2 years)
Duration 10 Months
Duration 12 Months
Monthly Salary
Government bursary available
Discretionary school bursary available
Specialism in SEND available
Specialism in EYFS available
Specialism in Maths available
Specialism in Leadership available
Specialism in Behaviour available v
QTS after 10 months
End-Point assessment in September
Student finance available
Centre-based course days (Approx 40 for secondary and 70 for Primary)
Assessment period of 6-12 weeks


If you would like some more information about the Essex & Thames SCITT, or would like us to contact you, please complete all your details in the form below:

Runwell Community Primary School,
Canewdon Gardens
Essex SS117BJ