Our Alliance

What are Teaching Schools?

Teaching schools are outstanding schools with a strong track record of supporting other schools.  Teaching schools are part of the government’s drive to give schools more freedom and to take increasing responsibility for managing the schools’ system. As well as offering training and support for their alliance themselves, teaching schools will identify and coordinate expertise from their alliance, using the best leaders and teachers to focus on.

  • coordinating and delivering high quality, school-based Initial Teacher Training (ITT)

  • spreading excellent practice by supporting other schools, 

  • providing professional and leadership development for teachers and leaders across their network

Chimney House Alliance (CHA)

Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School is the lead school on behalf of the Chimney House Teaching School Alliance which is a well-established National Teaching School, one of the first in the country, and has a national reputation for highly successful collaborative working in the fields of CPD and ITT.  

When it became apparent that the influence and capacity of the Local Authority was rapidly and irreversibly diminishing, the local schools decided to adopt a more formal partnership approach and formed an Alliance. The Alliance grew rapidly, as did its reputation for effective collaborative work and high quality CPD, across Cheshire and beyond.

As the Alliances range of activities quickly increased and developed a clear purpose for the future, and Governance and Management arrangements were agreed, the Chimney House Agreement was written with the mission “Raising Achievement through Collaboration”. The following strategic intents were developed:

  • Adding capacity and support efficiently by seeking economies of scale

  • Developing the professional expertise of the adult members

  • Developing collaborative strategies for identified groups of students

In 2012 The Chimney House Alliance was established as a limited company to provide Governance for the Teaching School Activity.

Who is in the alliance?

Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School (lead school), Alsager School, Malbank School, Sandbach High School, Sandbach School, Brine Leas High School, Middlewich High School, Sir William Stanier Academy, The Oaks Academy, Congleton High School, Eaton Bank Academy, Ruskin Community High, Shavington Academy and St Thomas More Catholic High School.  We also foster close links with Oaklands School, Great Sankey High School and several primary schools who partake in our School Direct teacher training programme.