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Schools Minister Says University of Worcester Helping to 'Breathe New Life' into Learning

The Minister for Schools, the Rt. Hon. David Laws MP, has visited the University of Worcester.

The Minister, who visited at the invitation of Professor David Green, the University’s Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, was welcomed to the University City Campus and to The Hive, Britain’s multi-award winning University and public library.

After meeting children from St. Clement’s Primary School from St. John’s in Worcester, who were having a lesson at the Hive, the Minister was shown the rest of the Hive by Anne Hannaford, the Director of Information and Learning Services at the University.

The Minister then participated in a discussion on the question of ‘How to Produce Outstanding Teachers who Provide Inspirational Teaching in Schools’.

Participants in the high level meeting included Ann Jordan, Head of the University’s Institute of Education whose teacher training, at both Primary and Secondary levels, is rated Outstanding by OFSTED, together with the Kate Brunt, Head of St. Clement’s, Clive Corbett, Head of Pershore High School, Paul Topping, Head of South Bromsgove High School and Paul Whitcombe, a Head Teacher at the Lord Scudamore Academy in Herefordshire.

The University of Worcester, which has earned the reputation of being one of the UK’s best Universities for teacher training, was founded as a small Teacher Training College in 1946. The University now works in partnership with well over 500 schools throughout Herefordshire, Worcestershire, the Black Country and South Birmingham to educate the next generation of teachers.

Teacher training school groups as geographically distant as Somerset and Bromley in Kent have chosen to work in partnership with the University because of the outstanding quality of the work of the University’s Institute of Education.

Mr Laws took time after his meeting to praise the University’s work. “It is my belief that teachers should be properly qualified before they teach, and that they should be topping up their learning over time,” he explained.

“Being qualified as a teacher and obtaining the right skills shouldn’t be a one-off matter – continuing professional development should stretch right over a teacher’s career.

“Institutions like this have a key role to play not just at the beginning of a teacher’s time in education, but throughout their career, which could last for a number of decades.”

Mr Laws also expressed his admiration for The Hive, the library run jointly by the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council, which issued one million books and welcomed one million visitors within 13 months of its opening in July 2012.

Mr Laws continued: “I think it’s an absolutely fantastic facility. To have a library of this quality – really fit for the modern age – used not only by students but by the whole community is very unusual and very impressive.

“People are used to thinking of libraries as old, dusty buildings that nobody – particularly nobody young – ever wants to be seen in, but this is quite the opposite, and I think places like this could really breathe life into libraries and learning in the future.

“It’s a really inspiring facility and those people involved in creating it really deserve our praise for what they’ve achieved.”

Of Mr Laws’ visit, Professor Green said: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister for Schools to the University and to show him around The Hive, which is a unique facility so full of life and vibrancy.

“We also discussed our model of teacher training with David Laws. This model is based on sustained and really close partnership working with schools. The Minister listened carefully and asked insightful questions. He seemed taken with the quality of work we’re doing in conjunction with our school partners, in classrooms across the region and in partnership with the Worcestershire County Council and schools here at the Hive."

Professor Green added: “Our model is very adaptable and highly innovative, as well as being extremely cost-effective. In the years to come, we hope to have the opportunity to select and educate even more people who will make an inspirational contribution to our schools and the all-round education of our children.”

For information on courses at University of Worcester visit www.worcester.ac.uk or for application enquiries telephone 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk