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Partnership Agreement

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 the 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's 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 & Deselection


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

  • ITT providers should be satisfied themselves that partner schools have the capacity to undertake their responsibilities. Where a school has serious weakness or is in special measures, it may still be possible for providers to use the school, especially if the improvements to be made do not affect the subject or age range of the training. The partnership needs to be confident that the trainee will not be disadvantaged by the school experience and the situation should be kept under close review.
  • Training may take place in a special school or in a pupil referral unit (PRU), particularly where a provider chooses to offer an additional specialism in special educational needs. In these cases, providers should ensure that the design of the overall training programme would enable trainees to demonstrate all of the Teachers’ Standards across the age and ability range of training.

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.

  • The University of Cumbria are confident that ITT can / should help & have impact in the types of provision outlined above.
  • Indeed; our ambitious curriculum intent “To support and aid ‘Challenging disadvantaged’ in communities” continues to focus our partnership on including everyone where we can help to add value.

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:

All within our partnership are to play a key part in the following core areas:

  • Understanding and delivering the ITT curriculum identified for each programme of ITT study.
  • Ensuring that ITT trainees receive their entitlement of expert colleague time and detailed professional dialogue; leading to high quality targets for development.
  • Engaging fully with our suite of Quality Assurance mechanisms.
  • Engage with briefings and training as appropriate to role.
  • Actively promote teacher workload reduction and resilience through use of the University of Cumbria wellbeing charter.

Please see full roles responsibilities below:


School Mentors (Expert Colleagues)

Class Teacher

Head Teachers

The University

University Partnership Tutors

Data Sharing

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.

Obtain our full Data Sharing Agreement.

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.

The University of Cumbria are deemed the data processor for DBS compliance. Schools will be provided with students’ DBS numbers and the date the checks took place but are not entitled to share further detail with individual schools. However, Schools and colleges are legally entitled to and can insist to see a student’s DBS certificate if they wish to do so. In most cases this will mean that the individual will need to be prepared to present their certificate on request. If an individual is unwilling to do so, the school or college is legally permitted to turn them away (without further reason).

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 they are engaged in visits or similar extra-curricular activities involving pupils.

ITT Curriculums

The University of Cumbria–Institute of Education has further developed our Partnership assessment processes to ensure it builds on student progress from phase to phase of placement experience (staged expectations). This approach fully integrates the ambitious ITT curriculum across student’s learning contexts to ensure that a seamless link occurs between learning and enacting parts of their programmes. It explores the ‘what the student’s ‘will have learnt’ and ‘will have learned how to’ and asks them to work on developing their enactment of learning within the context they are placed.

Our ITE curriculums ensure full coverage of the national ITT core content framework (CCF), which is the mandatory, minimum for all ITT courses. Indeed, our integrated curriculum is ambitious and is designed to meet local/ regional needs (Challenging Disadvantaged together).

Links to our ITT curriculums can now be seen in breadth and depth through our partnership assessment guidance.

Primary Overview:

Primary and EYFS Placement Documentation (including the Curriculum Depth Documents) can be found on the Primary Information Page

The PGCE Secondary Curriculum

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 assessment criteria and 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.
  • ITT curriculums are shared and used as part of ongoing formative assessment through placement activity. ‘End Point’ summative assessments are made at the culmination of the final placement (Secondary- SEP; Primary- Extending phase).
  • Quality assurance visits are made at all placement phases.
  • Placement evaluation processes are put in place to understand strengths and developments needed for future provision. 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.
  • Quality reporting helps leaders understand the impact of training throughout our partnership. Stakeholders and quality assurance groups receive findings and help shape ongoing development and quality control.

Leadership responsibilities can be seen in our organogram diagram which shows how our ITE structure operates and where key individuals, working groups or committees have ownership allowing us to maintain an overview of our partnership quality & delivery; at all times we are focussed on how school/setting partners can help drive up the quality of our student & stakeholder focused approach.

IoE Organogram - School Integration

Organogram Explanation

Quality Assurance (QA) of placement activity in our ITT Partnership occurs across a number of themed approaches:

  • Mentor development continuum (mentor training and quality)
  • Staged Expectations based on Programme (ITT) Curriculum development- using 6 core domains of ITT learning (ongoing ‘assessment’ on placement)
  • End Point Assessment of Teacher Standards- and link with ECF
  • Student Led process & Paperwork development (Student ownership of reflection and meetings with mentors)
  • Expert Colleague (Mentor) Coaching & Mentoring Feedback & Target development
  • University Partnership Tutor (UPT) QA Visits
  • Stakeholder / External development & verification of quality

We focus on:

  • What do we teach;
  • How well is it taught;
  • How do school-based learning and centre-based learning work together;
  • How well is it learnt.

Quality Assurance Framework - Primary ITT

Quality Assurance Framework - Secondary Handbook

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.

Workload Reduction and Wellbeing

The University of Cumbria ITE Partnership has a strong focus on teacher workload reduction and teacher resilience for all. Our aim is to supplement and, add value to the support being offered in Partner Schools & Settings. The opportunities offered by the University of Cumbria are open to all of our students, current or recently qualified. Everyone has a right to expect access to support throughout our Partnership - please see our Teacher workload and resilience charter starting point for conversations with leads both at University and in Schools/Settings.


  • Our intent is that our partnership has a focus on ensuring all teachers & students are well supported (mentally / emotionally)
  • Challenge and lead dialogue about Teacher Workload Reduction (TWR) and Teacher Resilience.
  • Encourage professional conversations…& lay out responsibilities for ensuring Resilience and TWR are key attributes of any Teacher training programme.
  • To provide support for students targeted at individuals leading to resilient trainees.

Workload Charter

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