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Parbold Douglas Church of England Academy

National Teaching School (2012 - 2021)

Until 31 August 2021, Parbold Douglas was designated as a National Teaching School. During our 9 years as a Teaching School, we enjoyed the enormous privilege of leading a thriving alliance of 17 schools (Shining Lights Teaching School Alliance) and trained approximately 15 new teachers each year via our innovative School Direct programme. 


The impact of our work as a Teaching School leaves a heritage and legacy we will always be incredibly proud of.


We now work closely with Embrace Teaching School Hub and, from September 2021, have been designated as a Delivery Partner for the Church of England's new suite of National Professional Qualifications


Whilst our own School Direct programme came to an end in August 2021, we continue to be involved in the delivery of Initial Teacher Training, supporting our friends at Endeavour Learning Trust as they develop their new Primary SCITT programme.


Until August 2021, Parbold Douglas was the lead school of Shining Lights Teaching School Alliance.


The alliance - now known simply as Shining Lights Alliance - continues to be a forward-thinking, collaborative network of schools from across our region. 


As a Teaching School Alliance, our core aims were:

  • To provide supportive and collaborative learning climates that enable new and early-career teachers to enter the profession with the skills, attributes and attitudes that will underpin their career-long development.
  • To create professional learning cultures and development opportunities that enable every member of our teams to shine.
  • To create environments of support and trust within and between schools so that excellent practice can be shared and developed.


In achieving these goals, we sought to secure the best possible teaching and provision in our schools so that outcomes would be enhanced for every child. Excellence, we believe, is defined by a never-ending desire to be better. This attitude was at the heart of our approach as a Teaching School.


Our popular School Direct PGCE programme trained hundreds of new teachers and was proudly offered alongside the University of Cumbria.