A SCHOOL has launched its own £2million teacher training and further education hub.
Tor View Community Special School in Haslingden has refurbished the former Ewood Day Centre just yards away from the main site on Clod Lane to create a state-of-the-art learning space.
As well as providing training to primary and special needs teachers, the school will also act as a sixth form college space for older Tor View pupils.
Up to 30 trainee teachers are being recruited who will attain a PGCE in either special needs or mainstream primary teaching this September.
It is the first time that teachers can secure PGCEs locally, instead of travelling to universities such as Lancaster and Edge Hill.
The building is also home to post-16 Tor View pupils not yet ready for mainstream colleges. The new centre has kitchens and bedrooms to teach life skills to these students.
The building also specifically caters for disabled people and includes fully kitted changing areas complete with hoists. At the centre of the space is a café and eating area where pupils put their cookery skills to daily use.
Headteacher Angela Holdsworth said: “The equipment not only helps us care for the pupils, but it also helps us train teachers. It’s one thing to describe a hoist or to show it in a video but here they can see the mechanism and how it works.
“It’s wonderful that we will be teaching both special needs and mainstream teachers together too. The mainstream teachers will take with them knowledge of special needs that most mainstream schools need these days.
“In the past, trainee teachers never became acquainted with special needs at all. They had to retrain later, which they didn’t do, and we saw a shortage.
“What we hope to do is train teachers of a really high calibre and see Tor View spread its knowledge.”
The school attracted glowing praise when it was awarded an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted for the third time in December.
The training scheme is a PGCE qualification under the unsalaried School Direct route, a government initiative which allows schools to train teachers in-house.