Teachers and pupil support staff come together across South Tyneside Secondary Schools to develop cross curricular themes in borough wide training
Over 700 teachers and a number of classroom based support staff from seven South Tyneside secondary schools took part in a joint training day on Friday 18th October.  Due to the success of the last four yearly events, Head Teachers decided to continue the sharing of good practice and to pool resources to offer specific training, for their staff, which proved to be successful and good value for money in this collaborative approach.
Formally known as LIG (Leadership Incentive Grant), the training initiative has been renamed as STEP (South Tyneside Excellent Practice) and is a welcomed addition to professional development of educationalists by the South Tyneside Local Authority. As well as the Inset day, each Subject Collaborative group meets every term and invites representatives from each secondary school to work together to share best practice and develop new ideas for teaching and learning. 
This year’s STEP Inset day incorporated a theme based focus and training sessions which were held in seven different secondary schools in the borough.  Each session was designed to inspire and motivate the teachers attending, and to generate ideas which will have a direct impact on teaching and learning across South Tyneside. Some of the training events had inspirational keynote speakers and involved teachers learning and developing new skills in generic, cross curricular themes including: Differentiation & Autism, Co-operative Learning, Leadership and Management, Literacy and Numeracy, Project Based learning and Tree of Knowledge – ‘Putting the Fun Back into the Staffroom’, to generate staff motivation and is intended to promote the delivery of engaging and outstanding lessons for pupils. The purpose of the day was to share best practice across schools, within the themes on offer, in order to raise achievement in the borough.
Each of the participating schools opted for one of the themes and the event was organised by one of the team of Senior Staff school links from each school under the guidance of Whitburn Church of England Academy, which has developed and promoted this initiative since 2005, in collaboration with other secondary schools across South Tyneside.  A number of well-known educationalists were keynote speakers and led training including Sir Tim Brighouse on Leadership and David Didau on Literacy across the Curriculum. Most of the training was led by teachers, who volunteered to deliver theme focused workshops and to share their considerable expertise with colleagues to promote outstanding teaching and learning.