A large and representative group of schools met at St Andrew’s Cathedral School to consider the Alphacrucis College Hub model for training Christian teachers. Under the chairmanship of Dr John Collier, Principal of St Andrew’s, Dr David Hastie, Associate Dean for Education Development at AC, gave an energetic account of the program, to which three wider sector contributors (Dr Ruby Holland, University of Sydney; Dr Norman McCulla, Macquarie University, and Professor Trevor Cooling, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK) responded. Dr McCulla and Prof. Cooling noted the international practice, the importance of formation, and warmly applauded the model, proposing improvements on the paper. Dr Holland countered with the opinion that the current ‘big tertiary’ approach was working well, and that there was sufficient critical space within a general neo-Marxist intellectual environment to challenge the system from the inside.
Delegates were then given the opportunity to ask questions, both of Dr Hastie, and of two delegates from an existing Hub-based Initial Teacher Education based in an expanding six campus networked school -- Graeme Irwin (CEO and Executive Principal) and Samantha Van de Mortel (Director of the St Philip’s Teaching School), St Philips Christian College. While one delegate noted that, due to location, they had little problem finding ethos-aligned staff, numbers of school leaders in the seminar expressed the fact that quality teacher supply was becoming a critical issue for their schools’ respective missions. St Philips Christian College is now actively fielding a large number of applicants for their third annual cohort of ITE candidates, and is shaping up to offer positions to their first conditionally accredited teachers in 2020.
Since the meeting, five schools have engaged in conversations around formalizing a Sydney-based ‘Teaching School Alliance’, an association which is forming under the interim chairmanship of Mr Ray Jarratt. The first invitations to potential applicants are expected to be issued in late September.
For further information, please contact Dr David Hastie ([email protected]), or for the Teaching Schools Alliance, please contact Mr Ray Jarratt ([email protected]).
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