A blog for students on the FDLT and BALT courses at the University of Northampton

at Leicester and UN

March 15, 2014
by Jean

An MP is training to be a TA!

John Woodcock, MP for Barnes and Furness, is working towards a Level 3 Teaching Assistant qualification as well as being an MP.

johnYou can read his column here – Guardian 14th March 2014

In it he explains that his constituency has long term low attainment in numeracy and literacy and faces many challenges in relation to raising standards and improving the potential workforce. He is leading an initiative to improve attainment in core subjects in primary schools so that children are prepared for education at secondary school.

As part of his work towards a Level 3 qualification he must work in schools for a minimum of six hours a week – click on the link above to read about his early experiences in a Year 5 mathematics lesson.

You can follow him on twitter @JWoodcockMP

What advice would you give him, as he works in school and on his course?

March 15, 2014
by Jean

What happens after FDLT and BALT?

Fiona Wilce was a Teaching Assistant on our first year of the FDLT course more than ten years ago. She went on to gain Qualified Teacher Status and within seven years she had become a Headteacher!








Fiona was appointed Headteacher of a primary school in Rutland in September 2013.

Fiona is now helping transform the lives of more than 160 pupils at St Mary and St John C.E.V.A Primary School where they have just been ranked top of Rutland Primary Schools in the expected national standards of Level 4+ in the end of Key Stage 2 SATs.

Fiona commented:  “I have definitely found my vocation in life. I have loved every moment of my rapid teaching career, but my real passion lies in education leadership. I feel privileged to lead such a fantastic school. We are well on our way to becoming outstanding and I am incredibly proud of all the children and my amazing staff team.”

Julie Jones, Head of Division at the University of Northampton commented: “The decision to do the Foundation Degree in Learning and Teaching started a challenging and rewarding career path for Fiona. I am so pleased that she has achieved so much in the career which she loves. It is a privilege to have shared in Fiona’s tremendous commitment and enthusiasm whilst she studied at the University of Northampton and I am delighted that she is using her expertise to inspire children’s learning.”

Fiona has also led the school to great sporting achievements in the county with Year 5/6 Girls Football, Year 5/6 Tag Rugby and three pupils selected to represent Rutland at Twickenham. Both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 teams won the Gymnastics competition overall with many individual medals in the different disciplines too. Fiona received the prestigious ‘Outstanding Contribution to Primary School Sport Award’ in the summer from her previous Sports Partnership in Leicestershire.

The Ofsted Report concluded: “The head teacher has made a very positive start, has quickly established high expectations, built trusting relationships with staff and parents and is leading the school effectively… Good and sometimes outstanding teaching helps the pupils make rapid progress… and pupils’ attainment is above average in reading, writing and maths.”

If you are a graduate from the FDLT / BALT we would love to hear and share your story – do get in touch.