A TEACHER training business has been visited by the local MP following a glowing report from a government watchdog.

Mid Essex Initial Teacher Training (Mid Essex ITT), a business based at Notley High School & Braintree Sixth Form, welcomed MP and Home Secretary, James Cleverly for a visit.

Mr Cleverely met with the organisation’s leadership team, notably director Sophie Allchin, assistant director Steve Fox, and other parties such as Bridge Academy Trust chief executive Mark Farmer, executive leader Mark Barrow and headteacher Maggie Ryan.

The team was eager to speak with the MP on how to encourage local graduates and career changers to train to teach in schools in Braintree, Halstead, and Hedingham.

The discussion also looked at current challenges faced by schools nationally, and within the constituency, how these challenges are exacerbated by the current recruitment and retention crisis, and what the future of teaching looks like.

Braintree and Witham Times: Focused - left to right: Mid Essex ITT's Sophie Allchin and Steve Fox with Braintree MP James CleverlyFocused - left to right: Mid Essex ITT's Sophie Allchin and Steve Fox with Braintree MP James Cleverly (Image: Mid Essex ITT)

On the meeting, Mr Fox said: “It was very beneficial to speak directly and debate with Mr Cleverly the many real and significant challenges facing the teaching profession and teacher training in both a local and national context.  

"Teaching is an incredibly rewarding career and it is a privilege to work at an ‘outstanding’ teacher training provider, teaching the teachers of the future. 

"However, significant challenges relating to both recruitment and retention pose a persistent challenge to our local schools in a continued changing educational landscape.  

"Let us hope he reflects on the conversations raised and reports these back to the Education Secretary.”

Braintree and Witham Times: Conversation - MP James Cleverly talks to Mark Farmer, CEO Bridge Academy TrustConversation - MP James Cleverly talks to Mark Farmer, CEO Bridge Academy Trust (Image: Mid Essex ITT)

Mid Essex ITT was founded in 1994 and provides training for up to 60 teachers a year.

Trainees go on to teach children between the ages of 11 and 18.

After training is completed, they can opt to complete a postgraduate certificate in education through Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford.

Four of the Mid Essex ITT partnership schools are in Mr Cleverly's constituency, Hedingham School & Sixth Form, Honywood School, Notley High School & Braintree Sixth Form and The Ramsey Academy.

The MP said: "It was great to visit Mid Essex ITT at their Notley High School base to congratulate the team on their outstanding Ofsted award.

"And to talk about the issues facing the teaching profession, including recruitment and retention and the essential role teachers play in our communities."

The meeting follows Mid Essex ITT receiving an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report in February.

The report said trainees benefit from an "ambitious, exceptionally well-planned" curriculum.

For more information, visit midessexteachertraining.com.