About Us

“Teaching schools are outstanding schools that work with others to provide high-quality training and development to new and experienced school staff. They are part of the government’s plan to give schools a central role in raising standards by developing a self-improving and sustainable school-led system”

The Pathfinder Teaching School Alliance was designated in April 2014. The alliance has and will retain a small strategic core allowing us to focus on the areas we consider priorities in our region. Our overarching ethos as a teaching school is to improve the educational provision for pupils and staff across the York, the East Riding and North Yorkshire. We are based at Archbishop Holgate’s School in York but our partnership stretches well into the East Riding and North Yorkshire. We do not have a formal membership structure and are actively seeking to widen our school partnerships and networks. If you would like to visit the teaching school or would like to know more about the work we do then please email Linsee Thompson who will arrange an appointment lthompson@archbishopholgates.org


Pathfinder has been successfully running a schools direct programme for the past two years with many of our trainees securing posts in our partnership schools. We continue to work with three HEI providers which helps ensure that we can provide the best training provision possible, by utilising the expertise of our different university partners we can offer a truly bespoke programme to each subject area or phase. School Direct provides the starting point for recruiting high quality people into the profession. If you would like to find out more about our School Direct Programme or would like to host one or more of our trainees in your school then please do get in touch.


In February 2015 Pathfinder began a collaborative venture with the Local Authority to become the preferred provider of CPD for the City of York. Since then our core team has grown substantially, we have developed a first class conference and training facility and have welcomed in excess of 4000 colleagues from York, North Yorkshire, Leeds, the East Riding and Hull. Our overarching ethos has always been to involve as many schools as possible in both the development and delivery of training, we will continue to apply this philosophy year on year as we gradually move away from central control towards a school-led system. If you or colleagues in your school are interested in delivering CPD or helping to contribute to our programme then please contact us.


Whilst ITT and CPD are our biggest areas of operation we are also working within the other areas of the governments “big six”

  • SLE – Specialist Leaders of Education: We have a small team of SLE’s who can provide bespoke CPD training or support packages for schools. Please contact us directly if you would like more details about this.

  • School to School Support – We are working in partnership with the Local Authority and the Ebor Teaching Schools Alliance to improve educational standards across the city. The Pathfinder Teaching School Alliance through our CPD provision is providing the first wave of school to school support. As well as providing CPD through our courses and programmes we do also have a small team of SLE’s and Consultants who can provide bespoke CPD to individual or clusters of school as required. If you would like to discuss you school or clusters need then please contact our administrator Linsee Thompson on lthompson@archbishopholgates.org or call 01904 411341. The Ebor Teaching Schools Alliance also have a large number of SLE’s available for deployment please visit their website for more details. www.ebor-tsa.org

  • R&D – We are a “treatment school” in part of Huntington’s RISE project and look forward to the results of their two year investigation into “Closing the Gap”, we are a Core Maths early adopter and are one of the pilot schools for the Technical Baccalaureate. Please see our R&D tab for more details.

  • Talent Management – through our various leadership programmes we hope to continue to increase the number of high quality leaders in school.

Please take the time to navigate through our website, we believe that developing relationships, networks and collaborative school partnerships is essential in helping all schools to improve in the challenging circumstances faced by the educational profession. We would be delighted to meet new schools and partners.

Jake Capper

Head of Teaching School


Values, Care & Achievement

Mission Statement

  • To work collaboratively in partnership, as a community of schools, to ensure all children are known and cared for as individuals.

  • To demonstrate a commitment to every child, to provide the very best education and to maximise achievement.

  • To share best practice and to provide an environment in which educational theory and practice can be observed, studied and practiced.

  • To recruit and inspire a new generation of colleagues and existing teachers by establishing the very best professional development to support fellow professionals in raising standards and aspirations.

  • To work collaboratively with other schools, the Church of England and educational institutions to establish an educational dialogue, to identify and implement change to continually improve practice at all schools.

  • To develop through partnership and shared values a vision for education.


Our Teaching School Alliances support schools in six key areas:


  • Initial Teacher Training – lead role in recruiting and training new teachers.

  • Continuing Professional Development – peer-to-peer professional & leadership development

  • Succession Planning & Talent Management – identifying & developing leadership potential

  • School to School Support – providing & coordinating support for other schools

  • Specialist Leaders of Education – SLE designate & broker specialist leaders

  • Research & Development – engaging & leading educational research


Our partnership of schools work collaboratively together to deliver a shared vision for education.


Our Strategic Partners are:

  • Clifton with Rawcliffe Primary School
  • Hempland Primary School
  • St Mary’s Church of England Primary School
  • Osbaldwick Primary School
  • Wilberfoss Church of England Primary School
  • Warter Church of England Primary School



  • The Diocese of York

  • York Local Authority

  • York University

  • Sheffield Hallam University

  • York St John University

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