11 September 2017
Southwark Teaching School Alliance and Southwark Council are delighted to have been successful in their joint bid to the Strategic School Improvement Fund. The substantial sum secured will improve outcomes for around 200 disadvantaged pupils in more than a dozen Southwark schools.
Working with Challenge Partners and Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance, the project will introduce ‘Challenge the Gap’, a whole-school approach to tackling the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers. This initiative draws on the latest research, proven best practice and emerging innovation. It has a track-record of success – including in Portsmouth – and is designed to be sustainable from the start, with leaders and teachers trained and supported to identify and implement the interventions that will work best in their context.
Dr Kate Chhatwal, Director of Southwark Teaching School Alliance, said:
“This is great news for Southwark schools and children, particularly those facing the multiple challenges associated with economic and social disadvantage. It also recognises the power of effective partnership between the Council, Teaching School Alliance and our schools.”
Cllr Victoria Mills, Cabinet Member for Children and Schools at Southwark Council, said:
“We are delighted to have this opportunity to build on our existing success in ensuring every child in Southwark receives an excellent education. This joint project underscores and recognises the value each of the major partners in Southwark can make to school improvement.”
Cassie Buchanan, Headteacher of Charles Dickens Primary, lead school in the bid said:
“43% of pupils at Charles Dickens school are eligible for the pupil premium and most achieve well. However, we know what a challenge it can be to ensure poorer pupils are able to flourish. We are looking forward to working with other Southwark schools and our partners to ensure all disadvantaged children achieve at least as well as their more affluent peers.”
20 November 2017
Kate Chhatwal will be stepping down from her role as Executive Director of Southwark Teaching School Alliance to take up post as CEO of Challenge Partners in February 2018.
Message from Kate Chhatwal, Executive Director of Southwark Teaching School Alliance
It is with a mixture of sadness and joy that I write to let you know I have been appointed CEO of Challenge Partners. I will take up post after February half term and will continue in my role as Executive Director of Southwark Teaching School Alliance until then.
Challenge Partners is a practitioner-led charity that enables collaboration between schools to enhance the life chances of all children, especially the most disadvantaged – doing at a national level what we have been doing through STSA in Southwark. Since September, STSA has been working closely with Challenge Partners through their Challenge the Gap programme and I hope we will be able to build on that partnership as I move into my new role.
As a Teaching School Alliance, we have grown and achieved a lot in the last year. I know I will leave the Alliance in the secure hands of the programme and working group leads who are making our activities around ITT, CPD and leadership development, school-to-school support, and research and development so successful. It is testament to their hard work that already this half term:
I know you will continue to build on these school-led activities to secure better outcomes for all Southwark children and young people in the years ahead. I look forward to continuing to work with you as I step into my new role – and in my current role until I leave in February.
Message from Cassie Buchanan, Headteacher of Charles Dickens Primary School (Teaching School)
We recognise the importance of partnership across all those leading system change, including sharing our best people over the course of their careers. Kate has had a tremendous impact at Southwark Teaching School Alliance and when she leaves in February, we will continue to have an influential alliance of schools leading powerful work across Southwark and beyond.
Kate and I will be working together to appoint her successor, someone who will climb even higher on the shoulders of Kate’s excellent work.
I hope Kate will maintain a healthy interest in our work through both Dame Sue John’s (of Challenge Partners) chairing of our Strategic Board and as a critical friend in her own right!
23 January 2018
We are delighted to announce that Sarah Seleznyov will take up post as Director of Southwark Teaching School Alliance. Sarah joins us from UCL Institute of Education, where she is Programme Leader. She has previously worked as a teacher and school leader, and in school improvement.
Sarah is already known to many in the Alliance through her work with us on Lesson Study, Workload Research and Challenge the Gap. As she explains in her first blog for us, she is looking forward to working with schools and practitioners in the Alliance to ensure that pupils in Southwark and beyond “benefit directly from the professional development we offer, and go beyond what they thought was possible”.