Oxford University Education Deanery plan to help local schools
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The Guardian, p.15, 26/11/2013, Richard Adams
Oxford University is to launch a ground-breaking new initiative aimed at improving the city’s state schools. The Oxford Education Deanery, which launches today, is the university’s response to suggestions that it should do more for state-funded education in its backyard. While some universities, such as Birmingham and UCL, have sponsored free schools or academies, Oxford has resisted the pressure to do so, citing the damage that a school with the university’s imprimatur would have. Instead, the university has embarked on an ambitious project to raise the profile and overall attainment of the city’s state sector schools. Teachers in the city’s secondary schools will be the first to benefit directly, through links with the department of education and fellowships offering professional development. Professor Andrew Hamilton, Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor, said: ‘All the university’s departments will offer a commonwealth of expertise to be shared among teachers and pupils in our local community.’ The partnership will also increase the potential for research partnerships, according to Ian Menter, professor of teacher education at in the university’s department of education, such as a recent project that looked at the perceptions of 13 year-olds living in the city towards higher education. The university’s postgraduate teacher training course has been working with local schools for 30 years, and the Deanery will encourage more professional development for experienced teachers.