About us

We are a group of eight Teaching School Alliances who work collaboratively with the Local Authority and other Strategic Partners to provide a professional resource to local schools

East Sussex Teaching Schools Network

We are comprised of a group of eight Teaching School Alliances from across East Sussex who work collaboratively with the Local Authority and other Strategic Partners to provide a professional resource to local schools. We include both primary and secondary teaching schools, and SABDEN Multi-Academy Trust who bring expertise in SEND and SEBD to our joint offer.

Sharing a moral purpose, we came together as a partnership to work for the benefit of schools, academies and multi-academy trusts across East Sussex to deliver the vision of a self-improving school system.

Our network has a common ethos, proven track record and local knowledge which is strengthened and enhanced by our broad range of local, regional and national partners. We have created this site for teaching professionals of all levels to support us in the delivery of our vision, values and aims.

Our ambition is to sustain a collaborative approach in East Sussex, regardless of national designations and resourcing and we have created this site for teaching professionals of all levels to support us in the delivery of our vision, values and aims.

Our vision

The vision of the ESTSN is to be a professional resource to:
• Support the recruitment and retention of high-quality staff.
• Provide research-informed continuing professional and leadership development in order to support a career pathway.
• Provide effective and timely school to school support.

Our values

We aim to be:
• Child and young person centred and focused.
• Open and honest fostered by professional dialogue and communication
• Innovative
• Evaluative and research based
• Collaborative

Our aims

To improve outcomes for children and young people in East Sussex schools by:

• Strategic pursuit for improvement with a continuous strive for excellence
• Recruiting and training new teachers
• Providing outstanding continuing professional development for teachers at every level
• Providing opportunities for leadership development at all career stages
• Fostering effective collaboration and school to school support which leads to continuous improvement in standards and pupil outcomes
• Developing centres of excellence to share and disseminate effective practice

What we offer

The East Sussex Teaching Schools Network aims to be a professional resource to support the recruitment and retention of high quality staff and to support them on their career pathway from trainee to headteacher. We aim to make East Sussex the first choice location for teachers in the South East. We provide research-informed continuing professional and leadership development and share and jointly develop best practice. School to school support enables our colleagues in schools to access help and make improvements in an effective and timely way.

Teaching school alliances in our network

Our eight Teaching School Alliances are all run by a Teaching School Director and represent a school or group of schools from Primary, Secondary and Special phases. Each has a unique offer, born of their own local needs, phase, capacity and staff expertise.

Membership and accountability

All designated Teaching Schools are members of the network and newly designated Teaching Schools will be invited to join.

Each individual Teaching School is accountable to the Department for Education, via the Teaching School Council, for achieving the KPIs and acting according to the principles of Teaching Schools.

The ESTSN is accountable to its members for ensuring that through effective collaboration each Teaching School achieves their KPIs.

For more information about the individual Teaching School Alliances and their current activity, please follow the links to
their respective websites:


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What is a Teaching School?

Teaching schools are good or outstanding schools that play an important role in a school-led system, working with others to provide high-quality training and support for school improvement in their local area. Launched in 2011, there are now more than 800 teaching schools across the country and their role includes:

• Co-ordinating and delivering high-quality, school-based initial teacher training (ITT)
• Spreading excellent practice by supporting other schools, to raise standards and improve outcomes
• Providing professional and leadership development for teachers and leaders across their network.

To become a teaching school, a school must be judged at least good in their most recent Ofsted inspection and have a proven track record of delivering ITT and supporting other schools.

Teaching School Alliances

Teaching Schools typically form alliances between themselves, their partners and the schools they support. These partner organisations can vary, but often include a higher education institution, other schools and local dioceses.

The strength of these alliances is the breadth and depth of experience that comes from schools and staff in the alliance and the skills and experience they bring. The structure of alliances varies depending on the local situation: some are led by a single school, others by multiple schools or partnerships.

Typically, alliances appoint a director or other senior leader to co-ordinate their work.

The future of Teaching Schools and ESTSN

In 2019, the Department for Education announced their plans to overhaul the school improvement system and to create teaching school ‘hubs’. This is currently in a ‘test and learn’ phase where the first six hubs launched in February 2020.  Teaching schools will continue in their current form for 2020/21, after which they will lose their designation.

Whatever the impact of these changes, our vision, ambitions and values as a group of schools and academies will continue. We remain committed to the East Sussex Excellent for All Strategy – creating an excellent education system in East Sussex, where no child or educational establishment is left behind. A system which prepares all young people to move into adult life and make a positive contribution as global citizens and life-long learners.

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Our Strategic Partners

We work closely with a broad range of partners according to our locations.

East Sussex County Council

The ESCC has a set of collective ambitions to help create an excellent education system in the county, known as ‘Excellence for All’:

• Where no child of educational establishment is left behind
• Which prepares all young people to move into adult life and make a positive contribution as global citizens and life-long learners.

The detail of these priorities and the strategies plans for school effectiveness can be found here

Primary Board

The East Sussex Primary Board was established in September 2019 with three main functions:

• To act as a county wide strategic body
• To provide continued accountability in the system
• To build the capacity for school led improvement

The Board brings together EIPs, Teaching School Alliances, Dioceses, Multi-Academy Trusts and the Local Authority to secure the vision, priorities and capacity for primary school improvement. The East Sussex Teaching School Network acts as the key delivery arm of CPD and school to school support in response to priorities identified by the Board.

Education Improvement Partnerships (EIPs)

All East Sussex primary schools are members of an EIP. There are six area-based EIPs across the county that encompass local authority schools, stand-alone academies and members of multi-academy trusts. The schools within an EIP work together to improve outcomes for all pupils in the primary phase. They keep pupil outcomes under review, identify areas for improvement in member schools and facilitate the delivery of support to meet these. EIPs provide local information and are accountable to the Primary Board. All EIPs have a closely linked Teaching School Alliance with whom they work.

Secondary Board

The Secondary Board serves all secondaries in East Sussex, whether they are local authority schools, stand-alone academies or members of a multi-academy trust. Their goals are to support headteachers and schools in achieving the following:

• All students benefit from what their local schools offer every day, realizing their personal attributes to thrive as global citizens. All schools have committed to maximize attendance and minimize exclusions.
• Affirmative action to raise achievement – and close ‘achievement gaps’ where they exist – in the best interests of students and strong social cohesion in our communities.
• Classroom teaching and leadership at all levels are of the highest quality when benchmarked nationally.
• Rooted in a dynamic curriculum, consistency of educational provision, systematically reducing an in-school variation of performance by subjects.

The full vision and goals for the Secondary Board can be found here.

Sussex Teaching School Alliance Network

Teaching School Alliances from East and West Sussex and Brighton and Hove form the Sussex Teaching School Alliance Network. Their aims are to work collaboratively in order to enhance capacity, improve co-ordination and avoid duplication in the region.

Sussex Maths Hub

This is one of 40 Maths Hubs across England, formed in 2014 from a partnership of schools and colleges, from Early Years and Primary, to Secondary and Further Education. They work together with maths educationalists researchers and practitioners to improve maths teaching and learning.

Sussex Maths Hub is led by St Paul’s Catholic College in Burgess Hill and covers Brighton and Hove and East and West Sussex. Find out more here.

Durrington Research School

Part of the Research Schools Network, supported by the Education Endowment Foundation, Durrington is based near Worthing and plays a key role in supporting a school-led system, supporting schools, sharing evidence and best practice and providing training. For more information on their website.

School-Centred Initial Teacher Training providers

We work with a number of school-led teacher training providers, including:

Sussex Teacher Training Partnership

Newick Teaching School

St Mark’s Teaching School

Teach Kent and Sussex

Wealden Partnership

Our section on Routes into Teaching outlines all the options available for training to teach in East Sussex.

The Chartered College of Teaching

The Chartered College of Teaching is the professional body for teachers. They aim to celebrate, support and connect teachers and to raise the status of the profession and to provide the best possible education for children and young people. They work with schools to bridge the gap between practice and research providing high quality resources and training via membership.

National Support Schools

The East Sussex Teaching Schools Network encompasses schools led by National Leaders of Education (NLEs) who bring the capacity of their National Support school status.


We are fortunate to be able to work closely with the University of Sussex and University of Brighton as part of the Initial Teacher Training programme and have strong links with University College London regarding leadership training and the Early Career Framework.

The University of Brighton is in the top 15 for education courses in England, in Complete University Guide 2021. In the Guardian University League Tables 2020 Brighton is in the top 20 in the UK for education courses. Find out more here.

For the University of Sussex graduating cohort of 2020, 98% secured Qualified Teacher Status. Find out more here.

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Teaching School Council

The Teaching Schools Council is a national body made up of 20 members who lead and shape the work of over 800 Teaching Schools.

They represent all Teaching Schools and work with system leaders to promote a self-improving school-led system, as well as leading the designation of new teaching schools.

The Teaching School Council states:

“The self-improving school-led system is at the heart of the government’s vision for education in England. Simply put, this means that schools are being empowered to make decisions about how to improve and to work collaboratively to support each other to do so. 

The TSC uses its professional expertise and knowledge of how schools operate to work closely with government ministers and senior officials towards our goal of ensuring that every child goes to a great school.”

To find out more about the work of the Teaching School Council here.

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