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Welcome from Ed Leighton and Sam Chater - Leaders of the Cheshire Teaching School Hub


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It's a privilege and an honour to lead the Cheshire teaching School Hub. As a Teaching School Hub we are a school-led centre of excellence for teacher and leadership training and development.

The Cheshire Teaching School Hub will provide high-quality professional development to teachers at all stages of their careers across Cheshire East and West:

We will play a significant role in delivering:

  • School-based Initial Teacher Training (ITT)
  • The Early Career Framework (EFC)
  • The new specialist National Professional Qualifications (NPQs):
  • Leadership NPQs
  • Appropriate Body services for early career teachers.
  • Other high-quality evidence-based professional development to school leaders and teachers.

Please find below a link to a short video presentation explaining the role of the hub and details about the new Early Career Framework, Appropriate Body and the reformed NPQs.

We are absolutely delighted to have partnered with Best Practice network and a range of expert local delivery partners to deliver both the Early Career Framework and the newly reformed NPQs.

This is a really exciting time in teacher development, and we really look forward to working with teachers and leaders across Cheshire.


Ed Leighton and Sam Chater


Welcome from John Dowler – Chair of the Cheshire Teaching School Hub

I am delighted to briefly introduce myself as the Chair of the Cheshire Teaching School Hub.

I started my teaching career back in 1981 in Cheshire, firstly as a Physics teacher at Neston High School and then as Head of Physics at Blacon High School. My career then took me to St Helens (for 16 years) and then as Headteacher in rural west Northumberland, from 2004 – 2010.

In 2010 I then returned to Cheshire as Headteacher at Helsby High School, from where I retired from full time work at the end of 2018. Since that time I have worked as a part time educational consultant.

In 2021 I was delighted to be invited to Chair the new Cheshire Teaching School Hub, based out of St Joseph’s College in Stoke.


My role includes:

  1. Chairing termly Strategic Leadership Group meetings each academic year. These meetings include representatives from the three school phases (special, primary and secondary), curriculum hubs, delivery partners (including former Teaching Schools and ITT providers) and both Cheshire East and Cheshire West & Chester Local Authorities.
  2. Working with the team at St Joseph’s to act as sounding board to ensure that the Teaching School Hub for Cheshire is providing the best quality support for schools, staff and young people across both Cheshire East and West. Key people include Ed Leighton – Director of the Cheshire Teaching School Hub, Sam Chater – the Hub lead for ITT and the Appropriate Body and Melissa Roberts – Headteacher of St Joseph’s College.
  3. Ensuring that the Cheshire Teaching School Hub meets the DfE’s accountability measures and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)



Despite the challenges posed by Covid restrictions we have been delighted by the progress of the Cheshire Teaching School Hub during our first academic year. Since September 2021 the commitment of our partners from across Cheshire and the hard work of our central leadership team at St Joseph’s has enabled us to exceed all the DfE’s KPIs. We look to build to build on these successes in future years and look forward to working with you.


John Dowler July 2022



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