Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Teaching School Big 3 or Big 6?

    Teaching Schools are designated in cohorts with Cohort 1 in 2011 and Cohort 12 in 2018.  Initially, teaching schools were required to deliver against the 'Big Six' areas: 

    - Initial Teacher Training.
    - Continuing Professional Development. 
    - Leadership & Succession Planning.
    - School-to-School Support.
    - Specialist Leaders of Education. 
    - Research & Development. 

    In more recent cohorts, teaching schools are required to taking a more focused role, within which the Big Six can be tracked, that priorities: 

    - Co-coordinating and providing high-quality school-led initial teacher training (ITT).
    - Providing high-quality school-to-school support to spread excellent practice, particularly to schools that need it most. 
    - Providing evidence-based professional and leadership development for teachers and leaders across their network.

  • What is EMSYH?

    In September 2017 the Teaching School Council (TSC) realigned its areas to match those of the Department for Education, to enable a closer alignment of its work, forming the East Midlands South Yorkshire and Humber Region (EMSYH). The EMSYH region consists of 17 mini region/Local Authority areas (Illustrated opposite).


             - Mini region/Local Authority areas 1 – 9, referred to as South Yorkshire and Humber (SYH).

             - Mini region/Local Authority areas 10-17, referred to as East Midlands (EM).

  • What is a Sub-region?

    Prior to September 2017 the geography of EMSYH fell into two different ‘Government Office Regions’. Areas 1-9 above were part of Yorkshire and Humber and 10-17 were part of the East Midlands. In 2017/18, to enable the new region to operate most effectively, learning from the previous practices and approaches developed EMSYH has operated largely in two sub regions, SYH and



  • What is a Mini-Region?

    A mini region is another name for a geographical Local Authority Area. 

  • What is the TSC?



    The self-improving school-led system is at the heart of the government's vision for education in England. Simply put, this means that schools are being empowered to make decisions about how to improve and to work collaboratively to support each other to do so. The Teaching Schools Council (TSC) is a national body made up of 20 members (with either a national or regional remit), who lead and shape the work of over 800 Teaching Schools (outstanding schools which have been nationally recognised for their capacity to support and help other schools to improve outcomes).

    The TSC uses its professional expertise and knowledge of how schools operate to work closely with government ministers and senior officials towards our goal of ensuring that every child goes to a great school.

  • Who are the EMSYH TSC regional representatives?

    TSC regional representatives work with regional school’s commissioners to help deliver school improvement on the ground, and with other agencies such as Ofsted, local authorities and dioceses. TSC regional representatives, are serving school leaders of designated teaching schools, elected by teaching schools in their region. The EMSYH region has two representatives,

    - Chris Wheatley, from Flying High Teaching School in Nottinghamshire, with a remit for EMSYH and a lead for the EM sub region.

    - Chris Abbott, from The Wolds Teaching School Alliance in East Riding, who supports Chris Wheatley in his regional role and is the lead for the SYH sub region.

    TSC regional representatives are supported by the TSC regional team.

  • Who is the TSC Regional Team?

    The TSC regional team provides additional capacity to support the school led system at regional and local levels.

    The team is led by a Regional Strategic Co-ordinator, currently Kate Mckenna, who’s role is to:

    - Provide the EMSYH TSC representatives with additional strategic leadership capacity including oversight of the Business Support Partner.

    - Facilitate, develop and support relationships with senior stakeholders including the DfE (The Regional Schools Commissioner and Regional Delivery Division), Ofsted, Local Authority Colleagues and Diocesan Boards.

    - Support the delivery of Strategic School Improvement activity including support for any regional infrastructure.

    - Challenge and support the maturity of regional infrastructure, holding the team to account for local delivery of TSC commissions and representation of their constituency.

    - Serve as representative for the region as required.

    The region is supported by the EMSYH Business Support Partner (BSP). SDSA is currently the commissioned organisation that provides the region’s Business Support Partner function led by Becky Smith and primarily supported by Emma Sheasby. SDSA has a team of other colleagues who can be deployed to support the region where needed. The role of the BSP is to support EMSYH teaching schools by:

    - Establishing, maintaining and developing an EMSYH regional knowledge hub to support the region and its network of sub regions in planning, decision making and securing of sustainability funding.

    - Supporting the infrastructure.

    - Supporting delivery (including, but not exclusively, TSC commissions).

    The EMSYH strategy for supporting Governance is currently led by Tammy Elward, the EMSYH NLG Broker and Support, who’s role is to:

    - Promote and lead the NLG regional approach including the development, support of regional NLGs.

    - Mobilise and support the brokerage of NLGs.

    - Lead the mapping and growth strategy for NLGs across the region.

  • What is a Research School?

    Research Schools aim to lead the way in the use of evidence-based practice and bring research closer to schools. They work with the other schools in their network to help them to make better use of evidence to inform their teaching and learning. Research schools have three key aims: communication, training and innovation.

    Communication – They keep in regular contact with schools in their network, for example by sending out monthly newsletters, supported by content provided by Institute for Effective Education (IEE) and Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), detailing interventions that have been proven to work.

    Training – They run conferences and provide training and professional development to teachers and senior leaders in their local areas.

    Innovation – They support schools in developing new ways of improving teaching and learning, in evaluating the impact of these innovations – and in applying for research grants, such as the IEE innovation evaluation grants, which are awarded three times a year.

    Schools have to apply to become a research school, with successful applicants shortlisted and interviewed. Applicants need to have the capacity and reach to connect with up to 200 schools in their respective regions. Research schools are constantly looking to grow their networks through conferences and events, and actively encourage schools in their area to get in touch.

    There are four Research Schools in EMSYH;

    - Kyra Research School in Lincolnshire.

    - Huntington Research School in York.

    - Doncaster Research School.

    - Derby Research School.

  • How do Partners link into the Region's Work?

    The EMSYH Regional Education Summit Group brings together key leaders within the current education system. They meet on a voluntary basis 3-4 times per year, recognising that the education landscape is subject to on-going significant change and that greater coherence is more likely if the significant partners and their organisations communicate and collaborate effectively.

    The Education Summit aims to:

    - Create greater coherence and connectivity between different elements and policies within the education system to influence its development.

    - Exercise shared accountability and joint watch-care over the performance of the system.

    - Identify problem issues and blockages to improvement and act upon them.

    - Create expectations for the working arrangements of sub-regional and local education partnerships.

    - Take issues and key messages ‘up’ and ‘down’ the system, e.g. both to national organisations and to local and sub-regional partnerships.

    At the time of publication, members of the summit were:


  • How do I Get Connected?

    The region believes that connectivity is key to securing improvement for all our learners. A mainstay of our ambition is that, all our schools are givers and receivers of support, every school having something to gain and something to share. Connectivity can be to a range of partners, Teaching Schools, NLEs/NSS, MATs, LAs, DBEs and a range of other networks and clusters. We believe that what is important is that we develop our collective and individual capacity to identify those most in need and provide support by those most equipped to give it.

    You can get connected via your Sub Regional Lead or via email at

    Follow on twitter - the TSC @TeachSchCouncil and the EMSYH region @TSCEMids_Humber.  Set up your own Twitter feed and follow colleagues.


    Look at colleagues landing pages on the portal to see what they are doing.

  • What is the portal and the e-bulletin?

    The portal is a regionally developed, open access, website that provides a ‘window to the world’ to the important work that we are undertaking. The portal is managed by the region’s BSP and provides a wealth of invaluable information and data to support planning and delivery purposes. Each designated teaching school has an individual ‘landing page’ that can be used to spring board to your local website.

    The e-bulletin is an attempt to coordinate our communications with the region and to ensure that you do not miss important information, actions and opportunities that could otherwise get lost in all the ‘traffic’. This e-bulletin includes information that we are asked to share, by national colleagues including the DfE and TSC, and often includes opportunities to get involved in activity, sometimes accompanied by funding. Where at all possible we try to avoid contact outside of this weekly publication which is also posted on the portal, so you can easily access back copies.

    We understand that it is sometimes difficult to find time to read the e-bulletin, but we would urge you to try and do so as otherwise you may miss opportunities for engagement in regional or local activities. We are also happy for you to forward the e-bulletin to all those who you think will find it useful and interesting.

    To assist in this process, we commit to publishing the e-bulletin weekly, so you know to look out for it. If we have no content, we will still let you know so you don’t have to worry that you have missed it.

    We are trying to categorise articles and provide hyperlinks where possible to make it more streamlined and accessible. To ensure you are on the mailing list and to provide any feedback and suggestions, please email



  • How is the Region Funded and Reported?

    EMSYH receives Regional Delivery Grant (RDG) for the TSC to carry out the TSC commissions. Delivery against TSC commissions is currently shared between the regional TSC team and Sub Regions, with 50% of the regions funding passported into the system.

    The RDG is separate to individual teaching school core grant.

  • What is a TSC Commission?

    The TSC commissions the region to deliver centrally identified activity, using the RDG.

    Commissions generally fall into several main areas:

    - Regional strategy and delivery - developing the school led system.

    - Supporting growth and development of system leadership.

    - Delivering School Improvement activity 

    The funding passported to Sub Regional Leads to deliver these commissions.  Sub Regional Leads report to the region who in turn report quarterly to the DfE.