Driving improved educational attainment through primary and secondary level

The Performance strand is led by Sue O’Brien, Sue is a senior member of the Sheffield Institute of Education Leadership Group at Sheffield Hallam University.

We know that high quality teachers are the key to driving improvements in attainment in our schools and that retaining teachers to the schools that need them the most enables schools to build success.

Across our region there are vibrant schools that nurture children and young people’s abilities to enable them to thrive and go on to lead successful lives. However this experience is not consistent for all young people, so that some children and young people in our region are missing out.

Where excellence happens teachers, who are supported, developed and valued are at the heart of that experience.

That is why all the Initial Teacher Education providers in South Yorkshire and their school direct partners have come together as Partnerships for Attainment (PfA) with a drive to improve the recruitment and retention of high quality teachers in South Yorkshire and the region. 

Collaboration between all schools in our region is at the heart of PfA.

We aim to celebrate the teaching profession and demonstrate the rewards of training and teaching in our region.  We want to ensure that our teacher workforce represents the communities they serve and meets the needs of those communities. We want to ensure that our schools have the teachers they need, in the subjects they need. We want our new teachers to know that they are entering a supportive, valued profession where their well-being and development matters.

Key to this success will be drawing on our expertise to work together, across all schools, universities and other settings to promote the profession, to be honest about the challenges but work together to put support in place where it is needed.

We are listening to our potential trainee teachers, trainee teachers and recently qualified teachers to harness what’s working well and where we can improve. We are listening to individual schools, MATs, TSAs and all our stakeholders to understand at a deeper level what is needed, and we’re looking at the data to help focus our work.

We are ambitious in our drive to ensure that training and teaching in our region meets all our needs to ensure that no young person is disadvantaged by their educational opportunities.

Partnerships for Attainment includes representation from the following initial teacher education providers and school direct partners in South Yorkshire:

Doncaster SCITT:
Keith Robinson,

National Modern Languages SCITT:
Gaynor Jones,

Sheffield SCITT:
John Coats,

Sheffield Hallam University:
David Owen,

Teach First: 
Spencer Hibbert,

University of Sheffield:
Bryony Black,

School Direct representatives:
Kath Turner,;
Theresa Di’Iasio,;
Gaynor Jones,;

Performance strand priorities:

  • A South Yorkshire Futures effectiveness and improvement data tool
  • Supporting Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) to generate effective collaboration
  • Working closely with Regional Schools Commissioner
  • A high quality offer for teachers in South Yorkshire, characterised by enhanced ITE and CPD and recognition, with a strong focus on early career development – based around career development placements and active career management
  • Ensuring high quality trainees are recruited to train in South Yorkshire and then stay in South Yorkshire to teach
  • Facilitating targeted leadership development support that complements the multiplicity of in-Multi-Academy Trust/Teaching School Alliance offers and raises the profile of South Yorkshire as a place to be a school leader
  • Stretch targets against historic school performance agreed within ‘families’ of schools of similar characteristics, with strong brokered peer support
  • Ensuring that no school is isolated from expertise and improvement

How to get involved

If you are interested in finding out more about this strand, or want to get involved in some of our projects please drop us an email: