Initial Teacher Education Partnership Agreement


Background and Principles:

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

The continuing improvement of pupil attainment and the well-being of children are at the heart of this Partnership, and inform all aspects of the training of students to become qualified teachers.

The Partnership has a commitment to ensuring students are provided with the preparation which ensures that they evolve into good and outstanding professionals. This outcome is achieved through the distinctive roles and responsibilities across the partnership in both schools and the university. The close working relationship between University of Cumbria, University Partnership Tutors (UPT’s) and teachers provides an environment for the exchange of ideas that informs practice across the partnership.

The Institute of Education Mission: is to provide and promote excellent and accessible higher education which enhances the lives of individuals and fosters the development of the communities to which we belong. We achieve this by embracing four guiding themes: sustainability, creativity, employability and enterprise.

Out Partnership Vision: Aspirational training to achieve inspirational teachers with pupils’ learning and well-being at the heart of our partnership

Partners can complete our Partnership Agreement by clicking here

Selection and Deselection Principles:

School / Setting Selection

The University of Cumbria (UoC) Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Partnership Agreement aspires to support trainees on a journey to recommendation of award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Schools are selected on their willingness to work together with UOC for continuous improvement of the quality of training.

The School / Setting should provide mentors who are willing to engage with UoC 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 children selected for trainees to work with.

Ongoing Quality Assurance processes monitors and encourages further professional development to enhance greater partnership gains e.g. QMS / QLMS qualification or MA study.

Use of Schools in challenging circumstances, no externally verified quality grade or AP

C2.3 Training in schools

Where the University of Cumbria enters into a partnership agreement with schools/setting above. Student teachers will be placed in areas that allow them to observe and participate alongside Expert (mentor trained), QTS qualified, Good quality T&L practitioners.

In all circumstances we take a quality assurance check of each placement / experience to ensure that trainee teachers can continue to develop, well supported by expert colleagues, to meet the national teacher standards by the end of their programme.

Uncategorised Inadequate New(Free) AP Schools QA template

Deselection Criteria

It is rare that circumstances arise when a school or setting will be de-selected however, should any of the following circumstances arise, the school will be deselected and the university 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 university as soon as possible after they receive notification of the grading. A risk 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.

Risk assessment procedure for schools/settings that enter a category during school based training placements (see page 6 of Intervention Plan Guidance and-Forms 2021-22)

If quality assurance assessments, evaluation data provided by University Partnership Tutors, trainee evaluations and discussions with the Placement Liaison manager provide evidence that school based training is inadequate the university will provide extra support. This may take the form of School Based Tutor and class teacher training, guidance on session observation and mentoring or other support agreed by the university and the school. However, if the University Partnership Tutor and Placement Liaison Manager cannot evidence that school based training is improving then the school will be deselected.

Responsibilities of Participants in the Partnership:


The student will fully engage in the training process and make full use of the opportunities provided. They must:

  • Work in partnership with colleagues in school and 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.
  • Provide effective feedback to the University relating to placement quality and management.
  • To work with the University and school to consider the impact of teacher workload reduction and resilience; and setting regular targets for wellbeing / workload reduction.
  • Behave professionally by, for example, 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 and University procedures relating to Equal Opportunities and current legislation, particularly with respect to safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare.
  • Plan, carry out and evaluate activities that are related to the placements and required University of Cumbria programmes.
  • 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 University-based 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 a placement folder; contents as outlined in placement documentation. Make available to the school final reports from previous school placements.

School Mentors

The University recognises that some schools have a trained mentor who also acts as the class teacher for placements. The following roles and responsibilities are in addition to those of class teacher.

  • Participate in mentor training development & qualifications as provided by the University.
  • Disseminate training provided by the University to colleagues within the school.
  • Act as a moderator within the school.
  • Actively liaise with students as to their wellbeing and workload. Help them set appropriate targets to monitor their resilience levels.
  • Support the class teacher in the process of lesson observation and assessment of the student’s progress and target setting on a regular basis.
  • On a regular basis, support the class teacher in reaching decisions about whether a student is meeting (or failing to meet) staged expectations or current teacher standards at both the interim and final stages of the placement.
  • Liaise with subject co-ordinators, the SENCO, Assessment co-ordinator and involve them as appropriate in each placement.
  • Liaise with University tutor, Class teacher and Head Teacher.
  • In consultation with the University Partnership Tutor, support the class teacher in completing an interim and a final report and share this with the student. Ensure the documentation is sent to the University.

Class Teacher

  • Provide students with an appropriate induction programme which includes information about the school and school policies appropriate to the placement.
  • Provide/share with the student, as appropriate to their stage in the training process, assessment data, e.g. the school’s online national data sets, the Ofsted summary, LA and school targets.
  • Induct students into school planning models and provide support for students’ planning to enable them to incorporate University requirements for the individual placement with those of the school. Actively consider student teacher workload as part of this process. Discuss issues of current legislation and national strategies.
  • Provide the student with access to a range of resources, including ICT.
  • Discuss health and safety regulations, procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child, dress code and expectations of professional conduct.
  • Ensure the student 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 student 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 co-ordinate activities which give students experience of the wider professional requirements of the Standards.
  • Provide students with practical support and guidance in their medium and short term planning to enable the students to incorporate University requirements for the individual placement with those of the school.
  • Discuss their own practice with the student and provide the opportunity for the student to observe different aspects of teaching and learning. In briefing and de-briefing make explicit the pedagogy which underpins the choice of teaching and learning styles, the organisation and delivery of particular lessons.
  • Monitor the student on a day-to-day basis, including scrutiny of the student’s file. Provide the student with feedback on lesson planning, lesson evaluation, assessment, monitoring and recording through verbal feedback, annotation and comments in the student’s file(s).
  • Observe the student in line with placement documentation. Provide regular, constructive and challenging feedback to the student and complete written Lesson Observation records. Set specific and focused targets for development.
  • Monitor the student’s progress, including targets set, through a weekly review.
  • Support the student 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 students at ‘key assessment points’ (KAP’s) during placements. In consultation with the University Partnership Tutor and school mentor, and in accordance with criteria published by the University, reach a judgement as to whether a student is meeting or failing to meet the staged expectations or standards.
  • Discuss with the University Partnership Tutor the student’s progress, including: classroom teaching, work towards meeting targets set, the standard of the student’s files and make weekly Records of Lesson Observation available to them during visits.
  • Alert the student, school mentor, Headteacher and the University tutor to any problems.
  • Complete reporting documentation, in consultation with the mentor and University Partnership Tutor and share this with the student. Send this to the University by the date specified.

Head Teachers

  • Support class teacher and mentor in their awareness and support for the safeguarding of the student themselves when they are in school, taking any action that might be required to protect this.
  • To ensure a School-based teaching placement is provided as outlined in the Student Progress Assessment Record (SPAR) for primary students, and placement handbooks.
  • To identify a school mentor who will manage the student’s experience.
  • Ensure the school mentor has engaged with training sessions in order for them to discharge their responsibilities appropriately and effectively and attend cluster meetings when necessary.
  • Identify and brief a class teacher who will support a student working in his/her class.
  • Ensure students are not placed with class teachers who are Early Career Teachers (ECT)
  • Accept and welcome students as temporary colleagues, providing an appropriate induction programme.
  • Provide a supportive environment for the students and give them, as far as possible, the opportunity to enter into the full life of the school during their placement.
  • Ensure that student teachers workload (school led) is considered to help them work effectively and manage their own resilience levels.
  • Support the class teacher and mentor in ensuring that the school’s Equal Opportunities policies apply equally to students.
  • 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 students are placed with classes where the class teacher is an appropriate role model.
  • Ensure that students are provided with opportunities to meet and engage in discussions with subject co-ordinators, the assessment co-ordinator, the SENCO and other colleagues as appropriate.
  • Ensure that students are provided with a class setting/placement which is appropriate to their stage of development.
  • Liaise with class teacher, mentor and University tutor.
  • Alert the named tutor at the University immediately if any concerns have been raised regarding the student, with respect to safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare.
  • Inform the University 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 involvement in Initial Teacher Training is included annually in the school development plan/school policies.
  • Work with ITE provider to contribute towards (where required) the selection of trainees to ITE provision. E.g. interviewing for ITE places.

The University

The University will provide appropriate services to support the student’s professional and personal development and welfare. These are:

  • Provision of funding to schools in line with published amounts.
  • Provision of appropriate documentation to support School-based Training.
  • Provide effective in year updates on partnership developments and agendas.
  • 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.
  • Providing University Partnership Tutors with responsibility for a designated cluster of schools. This involves monitoring of Quality Assurance processes and procedures surrounding student 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 students whose progress is deemed to be ‘In Need of Intervention’ which will outline additional support available to individual Partnership schools where a student is at risk of failure or in cases which are difficult to resolve.
  • Actively promote teacher workload reduction and resilience through use of the University of Cumbria wellbeing charter.
  • Providing the school with relevant DBS information for each student on placement.
  • Ensure that effective evaluation opportunities are available for all stakeholders.
  • Respond to Quality Assurance issues raised by school-based tutors, students and University tutors.
  • Provision of clear procedures for monitoring, supporting and evaluating the Partnership.
  • Provision of Initial Teacher Education and Training.
  • Provision of training for University and school-based tutors.

University Partnership Tutors

  • Have regular quality assurance contact with each school; where necessary visit students in QA moderation or support role. Support the school-based training process
  • Monitor the Quality Assurance processes and procedures concerning student placements within the school, including the role of the class teacher and mentor in the documented training and assessment processes.
  • Ensure the student’s files are reviewed to ensure planning, evaluation and assessments are appropriate for the student’s stage of development.
  • Ensure that teacher workload reduction and resilience help guide the direction of travel in reviews of supporting documentation, training and processes for students.
  • In consultation with the class teacher, ensure the student is assessed at the relevant / published time, using criteria published by the University.
  • Ensure the student is provided with additional support where a student’s progress is deemed to be ‘In Need of Intervention’ or in cases which are difficult to resolve.
  • Contribute to discussion of all reports in consultation with the class teacher and mentor.
  • Attend relevant staff development sessions, placement-specific meetings.
  • Monitor quality assurance of student placements across the schools in the cluster on a regular basis.
  • Provide School Engagement Managers with a report if Ofsted Grade 3 or lower schools are being used for placements.
  • Monitor school-based training across the cluster to ensure students are fully supported in respect of Equal Opportunities.
  • Ensure that all necessary data is ready for Examination Boards of placements.
  • Contribute to continuous evaluation of school-based training.
  • Provide a permanent point of contact for school-based tutors and students 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

Data Sharing Agreement:

This Data sharing agreement defines the arrangements between the University of Cumbria and placement settings providing placements for University of Cumbria students.

Responsibilities for compliance with the agreement are as follows:

University of Cumbria; Placement Unit Manager

Placement Provider; Head teacher or Manager of setting

Purpose of data sharing:

Student personal data is shared for the following purposes -

To comply with Department for Education (DfE) requirements;

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

Providers should confirm in writing to schools that a non-salaried trainee’s criminal record check, including a check of the children’s barred list, has been completed and that the individual has been judged by the provider to be suitable to work with children. 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 or college 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 student progress and performance against teaching standards whilst on placement to inform the award of Qualified Teacher Status.

The University, where appropriate will share information regarding a students declared disability, learning difficulty, long term physical or mental health condition and any specialist support that may be required to support them whilst on placement in order to comply with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

Our full Data Sharing Agreement can be obtained Here.

This policy is subject to annual review.

Management and Co-ordination of the Partnership:

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

The Institute of Education will nominate a University Partnership Tutor (UPT) for each school, with responsibility for promoting effective communication between Partners.

The assessment of students and the recording and reporting of progress will employ the criteria and procedures, as described in the programme and school–based training handbooks.

Child Protection Regulations

The University 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 the University admissions system

A University Committee will make a judgement of the student's suitability to begin work with children in Partnership Schools, based on student’s DBS disclosure certificate in consultation with a school based colleague

When the University has a student teacher whose DBS check is not fully complete before a placement starts, the University will ensure that a check of the Department for Education list of those barred from teaching and the Disclosure & Barring Service Children’s Barred List takes place.  Students in this position will be notified to the school, so that the school can ensure that the student is appropriately supervised.

There is no requirement for students to take their DBS certificates to school as the University of Cumbria is responsible for processing their DBS. Schools will be provided with students’ 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 student, the University 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 student. In accordance with current requirements and legislation a partner school must extend its cover to include a student if (s)he is engaged in visits or similar extra-curricular activities involving pupils.

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 student experience, paying attention particularly to:

Students’ entitlement to equivalent experiences in different schools.

Opportunities for a student 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 students’ competences.

Students, class teachers and University tutors will be involved in the evaluation process. Feedback from the evaluation process will be shared with all parties. The departmental quality committees will receive issues arising from the evaluation process on an annual basis.

The University monitors the Ofsted grade of all of its Partnership schools on a weekly basis.

Termination of a school placement

In the event that a student fails to follow the University code of conduct or their performance on placement gives cause for concern, the Head Teacher or Mentor will contact the University Partnership Tutor allocated to the school. Full guidance on the process to follow can be found here.

University policies

The Institute of Education is governed by the policies and procedures of the University of Cumbria. The following is a list of the policies and procedures that inform the way the Institute conducts its work. The list also provides a link to the University’s website where the policies can be read in full. These policies are subject to change.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Data Protection

Health and Safety

Student Placement Policy

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