Teaching Partnerships

Teacher Training

GSA is working in partnership with the DfE and other state and independent schools to train new maths, physics and modern languages teachers through two school-centred initial teacher training schemes, known as SCITTs.



GSA schools: Bolton School Girls’ Division, Headington School, King’s High Warwick, Wycombe Abbey

Other schools: Bablake School, Beaconsfield High School, Bolton School Boys’ Division, Charterhouse, Children Way Federation, Desborough College, Dulwich College, Great Marlow School, Holmer Green Senior School, John Hampden Grammar School, Kendrick School, Kenilworth School & Sixth Form, Lawrence Sheriff School, Little Lever School, Myton School, President Kennedy School, Princes Risborough School, Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School, Rodborough School, Sir William Ramsay School, Smithills School, St Michael’s Catholic School, St Peter’s Catholic School, St Thomas The Apostle, The Camden School for Girls, The Grange, Warwick School, Wycombe High School

Other organisations: DfE, Institute of Physics, Mathematical Association


GSA schools: Bedford Girls’ School, Benenden School, Bolton School Girls’ Division, Francis Holland School, Stamford High School, St Helen & St Katharine School, Sydenham High School GDST

Other schools: Abingdon School, Bolton School Boys’ Division, Dulwich College, Larkmead School, Oundle School, Queen’s College Girls, Radley College, Silverdale School

Other organisations: DfE

NB The number of schools involved is growing and the above lists may not be wholly accurate


To encourage more teachers in subjects where there is a particular shortage ie maths, physics and modern languages. GSA schools work in partnership with other state and independent schools to provide the National Mathematics and Physics SCITT (NMAPS) and the National Modern Languages SCITT (NMLS).
Training with the NMAPS or NMLS offers:

  • unsalaried on-the-job training eligible for significant tax-free bursaries, scholarships and early career payments of up to £32k
  • professional development and support to both QTS and PGCE
  • pre-course residential induction (NMAPS only)
  • six-week placement in a contrasting state school
  • links to the National Subject Associations
  • phased progression towards independent teaching of whole classes


See www.nmapscitt.org.uk and www.nationalmodernlanguages.com for further information.

Leadership Mentoring

Encouraging more women teachers from state and independent schools into top education jobs.


Girls’ Schools Association (GSA)
Association of State Girls’ Schools (initial 2017/18 cohort)
All interested state schools (ongoing cohorts)
Bright Field Consulting


There is a crisis reported in the numbers of head teachers in our schools, with a shortage of up to 19,000 senior leaders predicted by 2022. This partnership works with women teachers in state and independent schools. It enables them to learn the characteristics and skills required for senior leadership in schools through a two-year programme of mentoring with high-performing leaders from the worlds of business, the justice system, public service and the Army, all co-ordinated by Bright Field Consulting.

Participants receive operational and emotional support, coaching and mentoring and the opportunity to network. Women can join the programme at any point in their career, whether the next leadership step for them might be running a school project or running a department.

For the first cohort (2017-18) GSA worked closely with the Association of State Girls’ Schools and now the scheme is open to women in any state school. Where feasible, independent and state school teachers work together in the programme, with each GSA participant paired with a state school counterpart, so they can share experiences outside their current school context. As well as meeting separately with their mentor, each pair works together on a local community project, paving the way for further independent-state school partnerships.


COHORT 1 (2017-18)

During 2017-18, 63 women took part, 4 became Heads and 6 were promoted, and a number of new state-independent school partnerships are now up and running with others brewing. The administrator, Ian Wigston of Bright Field Consulting, has been commissioned by John Catt Educational to write a book about the programme.

Participants – 63 – of which 37 were from 30 GSA schools and 26 from 18 ASGS schools
Headships – 4 – four women (3 GSA, 1 ASGS) have become school Heads since taking part in the scheme
Promotions – 6 – six women (4 GSA, 2 ASGS) have been promoted since taking part in the scheme

“Having a mentor has made such a difference to me, it’s added impetus. For me it’s fantastic to have that external support that ironically has nothing to do with schools. It has made me more reflective, more outward-looking.” Dr Charlotte Exon, Director of Music

“I found the mentoring programme to be fundamental to my eventual appointment as a Head. The quality of the coaching and the efficacy of the feedback given provided me with a great deal of insight into my leadership style, personal strengths and interpersonal skills. I would thoroughly recommend the scheme for all aspiring leaders and future headteachers.”

Simone Niblock, Headmistress

A number of new state-independent school partnerships are now up and running as a result of the scheme. They include:

Readaxation : three Birmingham schools are exploring the impact of reading – as an alternative to social media – on students’ mental health
Student mental health : participating schools are comparing experiences and practices for the benefit of all
Diversity conference : some schools are working on a conference to share experiences and learn more about best practice in diversity and inclusion