'Outstanding' Ofsted rating
The quality of training in Primary Education at the university is outstanding, according to the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted).
Ofsted found that the key strengths of the primary partnership include the innovative approach of its leaders, and a quest for continual improvements. It found there was an extremely strong relationship between the university and its partner schools, and that a successful blend of university-based and school-based training was an important feature of its undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.
"Excellent use is made of specialist expertise within the partnership, to ensure that trainees are very well prepared to start their teaching careers," the report stated. Inspectors also made special mention of trainees' enthusiasm, and strong impact on pupils' progress and learning.
"They (Greenwich graduates) are very much the first choice for employers in the local and wider London region," the report states. "There is a confidence among headteachers that, if they recruit a University of Greenwich NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher), he or she will be highly professional and competent."
In addition, teacher training at Greenwich in the areas of Early Years, Secondary Education and Further Education was rated as good by Ofsted in its recent report.
Government inspectors found plenty to praise in the university's approach to equipping all of its trainee teachers with the skills and knowledge to embark on successful careers. The ratings for the training of teachers took into account factors such as securing the best outcomes for trainees, the quality of training, and the quality of the university's leadership and management.
Inspectors said that the university's trainees and newly qualified teachers are highly professional in both their personal and professional conduct. "They are good role models and expect the very best efforts from their pupils and students," Ofsted noted.
"All phases of initial teacher training prepare trainees and NQTs very well to meet the diverse needs of both the local and wider community."
There are also high employment rates following the completion of all Greenwich teacher training programmes. The university works in close partnership with 365 schools, academies, colleges and nurseries across 19 local authorities in London, Kent, Essex and the south-east of England, to provide teacher training.
'Making a difference'
Felicity Hilditch, Head of the Department of Primary Education, says the university's primary partnership is "thrilled" to have the quality of its provision recognised by Ofsted as 'Grade 1' – outstanding.
"This outcome is testament to the strength of the partnership, the quality and effectiveness of tutors and mentors, and a strong commitment from partner schools to ensure that we supply confident and competent new primary teachers to local schools," she says.
"I am enormously proud that Ofsted recognised that our teachers 'hit the ground running'. Making a difference to children's life chances is what has motivated me to work in teaching and education throughout my career. Knowing that primary students from the University of Greenwich are making this difference is confirmation that we are achieving this."
Linda Burke, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Education & Health, says: "We owe this achievement to excellent leadership and much hard work in preparation for what was a long and intense inspection. The report endorses our ambition in the Faculty of Education & Health to further develop relationships with our local community across a rich set of interrelated disciplines including education, health, social work and counselling."
This outcome is testament to the strength of the partnership, the quality and effectiveness of tutors and mentors, and a strong commitment from partner schools
'Serving local needs'
Chris Philpott, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor and Lead for Initial Teacher Training, Faculty of Education & Health, says: "We are one of only a handful of university providers that train teachers for all phases of education in early years, primary, secondary and further education. We are delighted that the Ofsted report recognises the diversity of our trainees, the diversity of partnership settings and our responsiveness to government initiatives through creating diverse routes into the profession.
"Ofsted has recognised the importance of the University of Greenwich partnership for supplying high quality and reflective practitioners that serve local and regional needs."
Stephanie Cook, NQT of the year (Kent Teacher of Year Awards, 2016)
Stephanie, 24, graduated from the university's Postgratuate Certificate in Education (Primary) in 2015. She now works as a reception class teacher in school in Sevenoaks, Kent.
At the Kent Teacher of the Year Awards 2016, Stephanie was named NQT of the year for PGCE Primary Education.
She says: "The lecturers at Greenwich were are so friendly and supportive. Their passion for, and knowledge of, teaching really shone through.
"My placements were so varied and enriched with opportunities, which is one of the reasons I chose Greenwich to complete my PGCE. I thought it was fantastic how the university worked in partnership with the schools I was in – even schools commented on how organised and helpful the university was! Juggling university studies with teaching practice responsibilities gives a great balance. In hindsight, it wasn't far off what was expected of me as a Newly Qualified Teacher, so it prepared me well."
National Teaching Fellowship for education expert
An inspiring Primary Education lecturer at Greenwich was recently awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship.
Jennifer Field was recognised by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) for her "passionate work in making maths a rich, creative subject". The HEA added: "She has an excellent reputation for inspirational approaches, which have improved mathematics teaching in the primary classroom, both locally and nationally, over the past three decades."
The National Teaching Fellowship is the UK's most prestigious award for excellence in higher education teaching. Jennifer says: "A huge factor in my success is being part of a strong, dynamic Department of Primary Education. Working with a group of talented people who are really passionate about education is a privilege, and this has inspired me to do well."
More on Primary Education at Greenwich
- Voted in the top two universities in London with 92 per cent student satisfaction. (NSS 2016)
- 98 per cent of students are employed within six months of graduation.
- 24 weeks 'on the job' comprehensive training, in two consecutive age ranges.
To find out more
The university's Avery Hill campus has been a home for teacher training for more than a century. Today there are a wide range of education and training programmes on offer, based within the university's Faculty of Education & Health.