Partnership working with St Mary’s University

By Fiona Wilkins - November 15th, 2023 | Posted in Article

One of the ways that OHC&AT seeks to enact our core purpose of “Working together to transform lives” is by working with external partners to strengthen the quality of education for young people with additional needs wherever they might be learning. On this basis, we are delighted to have forged a powerful co-working relationship with the School of Education at St Mary’s University. SMU is an Ofsted Outstanding provider of teacher training with a strong SEND focus already in place, working with the Autism Education Trust and ADHD Embrace to ensure that graduates begin their teaching careers well equipped to support pupils with additional needs.

Suzanna Challenger, OHC&AT Head of Training Partnerships, said “Research has consistently shown that teachers wish they had learned more about special educational needs during their training, and that more high quality SEND content within initial teacher education plays a part in improving both pupil outcomes and retention in the profession. Working with teacher training providers like St Mary’s offers a fantastic opportunity for OHC&AT to contribute to SEND-informed teaching practice across the sector, as well as engaging in professional conversations with our sector colleagues in order to continually improve our own practice.”

This term has seen Sandy Turner, Principal of the Link School, delivering workshops on Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) best practice at SMU’s inaugural “SEND for Early Careers Teachers” conference on Friday 8th October, and John Reilly, Principal of Addington Valley Academy, delivering two keynote sessions for SMU trainees on effective working with autistic young people.

We look forward to more co-working opportunities in the future!