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Primary ITT School Experience Handbook 2021/22

St Mary’s University is proud to support students to become the next generation of outstanding teachers.

We collaborate closely with schools and mentors to deliver the Core Content Framework to ensure students are able to make progress against the Teachers’ Standards in an environment which encourages self-reflection and excellence.

Statement of values

St Mary’s ITT Partnership serves to prepare its students to be outstanding teachers, to lead flourishing lives, have successful careers and a social commitment through excellent, research-enriched teaching. This is framed within a strong community of mutual respect based on our Catholic ethos and identity.

Four core values define St Mary’s and underpin all we do as a University. They are:

  1. Inclusiveness: We celebrate differences, recognising that everyone is born with a unique identity. St Mary’s is a place where students and staff can reach their full potential and make a positive contribution to society.
  2. Generosity of spirit: Our generosity of spirit sets us apart. It can be seen in the encouragement, collegiality, empathy, helpfulness and service to be found across the University.
  3. Respect: We respect everybody. We treat everyone as we ourselves would want to be treated.
  4. Excellence: We strive to be the best at everything we do. We seek professionalism through setting high standards and continuous improvement in all our practices and work.

The ITT programmes at St Mary’s not only serve therefore to prepare outstanding students for a career in teaching, but also offer and service the professional development requirements of those seeking leadership roles.

The visiting members of staff who support trainees on school experience and liaise with colleagues in partnership schools are called Link Tutors (LTs). LTs play a vital role in securing and maintaining good relationships between St Mary’s University and its partnership schools.

The vision for St Mary’s Outstanding ITT Partnership is to:

  • promote passion in teaching and learning, and make a significant contribution to the learning of pupils
  • ensure finalist trainees are consistently judged as outstanding or at least good
  • develop Newly Qualified Teachers who are highly confident and competent in subject and pedagogical knowledge and who are ready to meet the challenging circumstances of today and to anticipate and shape those of tomorrow
  • develop critically reflective practitioners who are committed to their own continual professional learning

Handbook overview

This handbook is intended as an outline of the nature and role of School Experience for primary initial teacher training courses (BA, WBR, School Direct and PGCE) at St Mary’s University.

All guidance and documentation (including templates and examples) are available on Moodle (for trainees) and our Partnership Portal (password: partnership) (for mentors).

Quality assurance

St Mary’s University offers a rigorous system of Quality Assurance in relation to School Experience. The quality of the experience is evaluated both internally and through the External Examiner visits. In addition, evaluations are completed by all partners. More direct evidence is in the Partnership Agreement.

However, it is the nature of the observation, review and feedback processes that ensures good quality supervision. A valuable way of monitoring quality is the undertaking of joint observations and feedback by LTs  and PCMs; and the undertaking of joint observations/feedback in conjunction with another LT, both of which are practised by St Mary’s Partnership.

All trainees are assessed at the end of their course against the Teachers’ Standards, which is a DfE requirement and provides a benchmark of the minimum requirements for recommendation for QTS.

Privacy policy

St Mary’s University will hold and process personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018. Full details of our privacy policy are available on this website.


St Mary’s University will undertake an enhanced DBS check of all trainees, which includes a check of the children’s barred list. The outcome of this check will be formally notified to the school. Schools do not have to (but may wish to) record this evidence on their single central record (DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education: September 2018).

Please note: St Mary’s  would be deemed non-compliant in sharing  a trainee disclosure as it is an offence under the 1997 Police Act punishable by fine and / or imprisonment and for the school to obtain such information (DfE update January 2015).

Where a school allows an individual to start work in regulated activity before the DBS certificate is available, they should ensure that the individual is appropriately supervised (DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education: June 2019).

It is the responsibility of the trainee to inform St Marys University if there are any changes to the content of a DBS. St Mary’s full ‘Safeguarding Policy’ for ITT can be found on the Partnership Portal.

Contact details

St Mary's University

Eleanor Stewart
Head of ITT Partnerships

Mary Nkune
Head of ITT Partnerships

Jemima Davey
ITT Partnership Lead

Katie Carruthers
Partnership Administrator (placements)
020 8240 4018

Rebecca Fallon
Partnership Administrator (placements)
020 8240 4133

Fiona Kennedy
Partnership Administrator (travel claims)
020 8240 4133

Fran Birch
Abyasa support
020 8240 4150

Glyndwr University

Placement Office: Prifysgol Glyndŵr University

Karen Rhys Jones
Programme Leader: QTS Programmes Primary Education

Abigail Schwarz
Deputy Programme Leader: QTS Programmes Primary Education

Kevin Hughes
Placement Officer

Michelle Byron
Placement Officer