Looking back, looking forward

Author/Producer Dr Alison Jackson / ESCalate
Published in ESCalate news (Autumn 2007)
Date Published 23 October 2007
Pages 1


A message from ESCalate to the Initial Teacher Education community


ESCalate Initial Teacher Education will present a new face to the world from August 1st 2007 as St. Martin’s College amalgamates with Cumbria Institute of the Arts, and the Cumbrian campuses of the University of Central Lancashire to create the University of Cumbria. These are exciting times as we look forward to continuing our support for the ITE community from the new university, retaining what we know is successful and useful, and developing new initiatives to further benefit the sector.

This year all our activities have contributed to a service which has been appreciated by the ITE community. We have presented our third annual conference at St. Martin’s College, Lancaster and seminars on Masters level PGCE in the University of Gloucestershire and Liverpool John Moores University. A seminar on the new (QTS – Qualified Teacher Status) standards for classroom teachers took place at the University of East London. Workshops on Every Child Matters took place in a wide range of institutions: Sunderland University, the Open University in Milton Keynes, the University of Gloucestershire, University of Wales Newport, the University of East London, Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, the University of East Anglia, the University of Wolverhampton and the Swansea Institute of Education. We had workshops on four year degrees with contributions from Scotland and Northern Ireland and continued the expansion of the website through the Help Directory (www.escalate.ac.uk/ite/help). Thank you to all our hosts and contributors.

It has been evident throughout the year how much valuable work is being done across the sector and we are delighted to meet such a wide range of colleagues from so many far flung institutions. The annual conference, for example, owes much of its success to the highly professional delivery of symposia and workshops by a large number of colleagues. Work done in the workshops has been posted on the website and formed a valuable resource from colleagues’ hard work on the day. Our workplans for 2007-8 build on many links made during the course of the year and continue the work on interprofessional working, the transforming schools agenda and other national policy initiatives whilst, at the same time, seeking opportunities to go beyond the political agenda and examine teacher education in depth and breadth, drawing on the experiences of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and beyond.

Here are some of our plans, but remember that we are responsive to the sector and our workplans are not set in stone. If you feel there is a burning issue which we need to address, we need to hear from you. Write to escalate@cumbria.ac.uk.

Pete Boyd’s tool-kit on induction and transition needs of new teachers is available on-line at www.escalate.ac.uk/3662. Pete hopes to be out and about next year sharing this important work in workshops. Like this year we are looking to take workshops and seminars around the UK. If you would like us to present an event at your institution, please contact us – we want to enable as many teacher educators as possible to work with us and do not want to be overly restricted by geography. We are working on seminar possibilities of developing assessment for teacher educators, using e-portfolios with staff, creativity, looking at subject knowledge, and, of course, always a watchful eye on interprofessional working. If you have any ideas or would like to contribute, please contact us. It will soon be time for the call for papers for our fourth annual conference, so watch for information on this in September.

We intend to continue to develop our section of the website this year under its new identity of ESCalate at the University of Cumbria. The website is for you and mostly made by you, so please continue to contribute your ideas however great or small. Leading from our two successful seminars in 2007, we are hoping to begin a research project into M level PGCE. This is a joint ESCalate/University of Cumbria/UCET initiative and has the intention of tracking the progress and effect of M level PGCE provision in England from September 2007 with the intention of investigating the value-added it brings to the teaching profession. We want to include as many providers as possible in this research and, particularly, to benefit from examples of M level provision from the rest of the UK. The scale of this research is potentially huge, so we are starting small, within the bounds of available resources and welcome any help.

We have a busy year ahead with no shortage of possibilities to improve our service to the community. Thank you for your support this year and we will endeavour to do our best for you in 2007-8.