“We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves”
-Galileo Galilei

Our History - The Sanctuary

The Vision

The Sanctuary is the realisation of a vision for a Learning Centre, focused on the development of teaching pedagogy and coaching, sitting inside St. Chad’s CE Primary school. Today this creative space is where teachers undertake personal reflection, challenge themselves, engage in the learning process and push their practice to the next level. The name ‘Sanctuary’ has connotations of safety, harmony and mindfulness; the tag line “reflect and learn,” is the mantra that runs throughout.

In The Beginning

St Chads CE Primary School focussed on developing a child-centered learning environment and pursued its vision of a professional learning community.  Ofsted validated the school’s work in 2006 by grading it outstanding and subsequently in an HMI Ofsted Inspection Survey: Leadership Skills and Effectiveness, 2009.
In July 2007, St Chads was designated a National Support school, and its head teacher was made a National Leader In Education. This was the catalyst that led to St Chad’s providing support for other schools. This work grew extensively during 2008/9 when the school played a significant part in the Greater Manchester Challenge. In essence all resulting support for schools formed the embryonic stages of our teaching school. All development work was rooted and based on a servant leadership model.

Becoming A Teaching School

In 2008 St Chad’s became established as one of the four original schools who were trained to deliver the Improving Teacher Programme (ITP) and Outstanding Teacher Programme (OTP), OLEVI’s powerful professional development programmes, and were at the forefront of supporting schools across the region as part of the Greater Manchester Challenge.
During this period The Sanctuary team expanded and worked across the region supporting teachers and leaders using bespoke leadership support. Much of this work was undertaken across the Greater Manchester area, Bolton in particular. In 2009 Roy Bowers (HMI) recognised the impact of The Sanctuary as a vehicle for school improvement commenting:

  •  “The Sanctuary Learning Centre is making a significant contribution to the development of skills of the leaders in your school.”

And his main development point was to:

  • “Extend the work of the Sanctuary Learning Centre to develop even further the skills of leaders in your school and in other schools.”

In 2011 St Chad’s was designated as a Cohort 1 Teaching School.

St. Chad’s CE Primary School converted to a stand-alone Church of England Primary Academy in February 2014 and is currently moving forward to establish a multi-trust.

Development of Individual Programmes

Following the success of the OTP/ ITP, the Sanctuary was commissioned by Oldham LA to develop and run its provision for NQTs. As part of this holistic package the Sanctuary undertook: the care and running of the Oldham Primary Teaching Pool; the delegated role as Oldham LA’s Appropriate Body; and developed a high quality training programme based on teaching pedagogy which incorporated principles of OLEVI’s ITP/OTP. The Sanctuary continues to support NQTS, and NQT mentors. The Sanctuary team have developed an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of NQT Induction.

Wider Work

The Sanctuary’s impact goes beyond that of Oldham LA and the North West. In September 2013, the Central South Wales Consortium sought support in establishing and rolling out an extensive programme of OTP/ ITP. The Sanctuary ran CPD programmes for Welsh teachers; provided support for Challenge for Cymru at a strategy level; designated and developed a system similar to the Teaching School system in England. The Sanctuary represented OLEVI in the Welsh sector.

Designated OLEVI Doc

St Chad’s enjoys a close association with OLEVI. In 2014 the school was designated as an OLEVI Centre (DOC), the only primary school in the country, so far, to achieve this accolade. As an OLEVI Doc, St Chad’s have further opportunity to assist in developing innovative teaching and learning and support for schools.

Commitment and Quality

The ethos behind the Sanctuary is: to improve the life chances of all children regardless of context; raise educational standards; and to change the paradigm in education by shifting school cultures so that there is a coaching and learning centered focus, thus securing the best experiences for all children in all schools.

Book on a programme, or find out more about more Sanctuary events.

Upcoming events………..

Bespoke Programmes

The Sanctuary offers bespoke school based support. For more information please contact;


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