Don't miss out - deadlines approaching for our teaching and leadership programmes

09 October 2017

Message from Kate and Cassie

20 November 2017

Peer review

22 November 2017

Research Bulletins

24 November 2017

Welcome to our November 2017 Newsletter!

27 November 2017


Significant funding secured to narrow the gap in Southwark schools

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.”

Read more.

Kate Chhatwal leaving STSA to become CEO of Challenge Partners

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:

  • almost 90 aspiring and serving leaders, heads and executive leaders have started leadership development programmes with us;
  • two clusters of six schools each have received training and planned interventions to ‘challenge the gap’ between pupil premium children and their more affluent peers;
  • peer review visits and improvement workshops have continued across the 5 clusters and 22 schools and nurseries engaged in our peer review programme;
  • teachers have benefited from the second workshop in our Enhancing Teaching Programme; and
  • recruitment is underway for 40 new teacher trainees for September 2018.

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!

Read more.

We're recruiting a new Director

29 November 2017

The forthcoming departure of our current Executive Director to a CEO post has created an exciting opportunity for someone with the vision, ambition and entrepreneurialism to lead our successful and growing Teaching School Alliance through its next phase of development. We are looking for someone who can take Southwark Teaching School Alliance new heights of impact and influence on outcomes for children and the wider education system.

More information is available in our application pack and the closing date is noon on Monday 18 December.

Read more.