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Wyebridge Sports College

At Wyebridge Sports College, we take the professional development of our learning support workers (LSWs) very seriously. This commitment has been recognised by NAPTA, who awarded us with a certificate showing that we are a Centre of Good Practice in the Management and Development of Support Staff. To gain this recognition, my team of 15 LSWs and I undertook self-appraisals regarding our skills within the context of the school. This appraisal was further linked to the school’s improvement plan and the National Workload Agreement.

Further training and development of teaching assistants have been priorities for the school. LSW roles have diversified and become more specialised to suit the strengths of the individuals. Four of our LSWs now have Higher Level Teaching Assistant status, with two more preparing for HLTA assessment during 2008. Mike Nelson, of Herefordshire Council’s School Improvement Service, has trained the successful HLTA candidates, and he says: "The dedication of all of Wyebridge’s support staff to their school’s mission to give the very best opportunities to students is exemplary and inspiring. The HLTA candidates have been particularly impressive for those who have been fortunate enough to work with them."

By working with NAPTA, we have been able to identify and focus specific support to areas that have the highest need. This year, support and training has been allocated to EAL pupils, whose numbers are growing greatly.

Wyebridge is the first school in the Hereford area to be awarded NAPTA’s prestigious title for the third year running and is, once again, honoured to be recognised as a school that demonstrates a commitment to the professional development of teaching assistants and support workers through specialised appraisal and review.

Mrs Chris Atkinson, Head of Learning Support at Wyebridge Sports College, Hereford

NAPTA, 1-2 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge CB2 8BB — tel 01223 224930 — email info@napta.org.uk