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National teaching schools

Teacher and pupils at a desk

Teaching schools give outstanding schools a leading role in the training and professional development of teachers, support staff and headteachers, as well as contributing to the raising of standards through school-to-school support.

Who can apply?

The designation of teaching school is open to all schools in England, regardless of type or phase. Schools and academies applying to become teaching schools will need to give evidence of successful partnerships as well as excellent leadership with a proven track record of school improvement. Both the headteacher and the school will need to meet stringent criteria. Find out more about the eligibility criteria, as well as options for schools that do not currently meet the criteria.

You can now apply to become both a National Leader of Education (NLE)/National Support School (NSS) and a designated teaching school using one application form.

What's involved?

Schools will work together within a teaching school alliance – a group of schools and other partners that is supported by the leadership of a teaching school. This will include all those schools that benefit by receiving support, as well as strategic partners that will lead on certain aspects of delivery. Alliances may be cross phase and cross sector, work across local authorities and may include different types of organisations.

Find out more about what's involved in being a teaching school.


Designation is likely to be for four years, subject to the school or academy continuing to meet the eligibility criteria.


There is no cost to apply. Teaching schools will receive some funding to enable them to undertake their core role. You can find out more about funding in the teaching schools prospectus.

Find out more


The application round is now closed. The next application round is scheduled to open in the autumn term 2012.