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 co-ordinate expertise from their alliance, using the best leaders and teachers to focus on what is known as the big 6:


  • Initial Teacher Training (ITT)

  • CPD (Continuous Professional Development)

  • School to School Support

  • Succession Planning

  • Research and Development

  • SLEs (Specialist Leaders of Education)


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.

A Brief History

The CHA originated as a group of secondary schools in the old Cheshire Borough of Congleton. The Headteachers had been meeting to discuss matters of mutual interest for a number of years.


When it became apparent that the influence and capacity of the Local Authority was rapidly and irreversibly diminishing, the group 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.

The Alliance's first strategic plan addressed its needs as it became more and more autonomous.


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.


It is within the latter intent that the Teaching School activities lie and CPD and Teaching and Learning activities increased exponentially.


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

© 2019 by CHIMNEY HOUSE ALLIANCE.  Created by HCCS

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Tel: 01477 410500 / 01477 410489 / getintoteaching@hccs.info