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Mr Dan Quirk joined Shelley College as an English initial teacher trainee of the Green Light Alliance.

Dan was offered a role as a teacher of English at Shelley College towards the end of his placement, and has been with us ever since.

Read his story ……

“I had been part of the workplace for over 10 years when I made the decision to enter the world of education. As such, I quickly made the choice that the best route into teaching for me would be school centred. The idea of something akin to ‘on the job training’ appealed to me and the network of schools which formed the Green Light Teaching Schools Alliance were kind enough to offer me a position as an ITT in English. I had other interviews for training providers lined up, but after the fantastic experience of my interview with the GLA, I knew I didn’t want to train anywhere else, and promptly cancelled any other applications I had pending. In fact, I liked it so much, I never left the wonderfully supportive alliance!”

Throughout my ITT placements, the focus on being in school, and in the classroom from day one helped me to develop the skills needed to succeed in teaching. Being able to marry up the theory of pedagogy with practical classroom experience was enormously helpful in this regard. The weekly training sessions, which reunited a cohort of trainees spread across each of the schools in the alliance, were always a highlight of the week, allowing me to visit a host of schools other than those in which I had been placed. The GLA offered a tightly knit support network consisting of other trainees and the supportive staff who guided us through our initial teacher training, and prepared us for the applications and interviews that lead to our first jobs. My ITT contemporaries were an invaluable resource, with whom I frequently shared lesson plans, success stories, and of course, the occasional war story where everything just went a little wrong! Likewise, the network of mentors throughout the alliance were always on hand to offer suggestions and support wherever needed. I was fortunate enough to end my ITT year being recognised amongst the nominees for the Huddersfield Examiner’s Initial Teacher Trainee of the Year, and I have no doubt that this would not have been possible without the GLA.

In addition to training me, the GLA also offered me my first teaching post, at a school within the alliance where I had trained. This meant I had a wonderful sense of continuity in, what can be a very turbulent transition from ITT to NQT. Seeing familiar faces, both in the teaching staff who had become my colleagues and my contemporary NQTs who attended the regular twilight training sessions offered by the alliance, helped to smooth this, and allowed me to have a successful NQT year.

I am now entering my second year as a qualified teacher, still within the GLA, and continue to reap the rewards of my choice of training provider, as I am offered multiple opportunities for CPD to keep pushing myself as far as I can.”

Dan Quirk, Teacher of English, Shelley College