Catholic schools outperform peers in producing new teachers

March 25, 2024

A primary school teacher reads a book to children seated on the carpet in front of her

Catholic schools are producing disproportionately more trainee teachers than their peers, due in part to recruiting their own pupils — and parents.  

Three Catholic secondaries in Surrey have supplied 13 out of 80, or 16%, of student teachers at a major training provider for the South East thanks to a drive for recruiting among current and former pupils and parents. Catholic schools represent 9% of state-funded education in England.

Xavier Catholic Education Trust (CET), made up of those three secondary schools as well as 12 primaries in the county, also encompasses Xavier Teaching School Hub and Xavier Teach SouthEast, an Ofsted outstanding-rated initial teacher training (ITT) provider serving the region.

James Kibble is Chief Executive Officer of Xavier CET, and former Headteacher of Salesian School, a mixed Catholic comprehensive for 1,800 pupils aged 11-18, in Chertsey, in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. He said that Salesian School has historically looked within for new trainee teachers, including even recruiting three parents of former students for the current intake.  

“We’ve always had it - I don’t really know how schools survive if they’re not looking to the long term."

Ellie O’Connor, a former Salesian School pupil now undertaking a teacher training course with Xavier Teach SouthEast at Salesian School, said

“Coming back to this community and being able to be a part of the teaching side and getting to work alongside so many inspiring teachers that helped me through my GCSEs, A-Levels and young adult life was really what pushed me to go on and do my SCITT training with Teach South East — I wanted to make a difference to someone else's life, like my teachers had made to mine."

To read more about the success of Xavier Teach SouthEast's recruitment programme, and Ellie's story, visit the Catholic Education Service (CES) website.

Source: Catholic Education Service