School Standards Minister Nick Gibb

Trainee teachers could benefit from new, high-quality training courses as part of Government proposals to drive up standards of teacher training and make sure every young person can be taught by a brilliant teacher.

  • Proposals include new intensive school placements and high-quality mentoring for trainees
  • Proposals support Government ambition to provide excellent education for all and level up opportunity across the country

The Government has today launched (5 July) a seven-week consultation on recommendations from a review of the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) market, led by Ian Bauckham and an expert panel. 

The recommendations aim to strengthen quality standards for initial teacher training courses, including a new accreditation process, new intensive school placements and high-quality mentoring for trainees. 

The review and its recommendations are intended to support the Government’s commitment to providing a high-quality education for every young person, wherever they live.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:  

“Supporting our teachers with the highest quality training and professional development is the best way in which we can improve pupil outcomes and is central to the Government’s levelling up agenda.

“We want this country to be the best place to become a great teacher and that starts with high-quality initial teacher training.

“The proposed changes would build upon the ambitious reforms the Government has implemented to create a golden thread of training, support and professional development, informed by high quality evidence, which will run through each phase of a teacher’s career.”

The consultation seeks sector views on proposed changes to improve the quality of teacher training courses, such as: 

  • New intensive school placements;
  • New lead mentor role and specialist training for mentors so they can provide high-quality support to trainees; 
  • Rigorous quality assurance arrangements across ITT partnerships to ensure a high-quality experience for every trainee; 
  • Accrediting all ITT providers based on the new quality requirements; 
  • Utilising Teaching School Hubs to support training providers, especially locally and in disadvantaged communities. 

The proposed reforms to ITT would follow a wide range of measures already taken by the Government to create world-leading training and support for teachers at every stage of their career.

These include the launch of the Early Career Framework reforms this September, which will provide all new teachers with a funded entitlement to a structured 2-year package of high-quality professional development at the start of their careers as well as the launch of a reformed suite of National Professional Qualifications for teachers and leaders this Autumn.

NASBTT Executive Director Emma Hollis said:

“We acknowledge the ITT Market Review Final Report and welcome the group’s aspiration to ‘create a truly world-class system of initial teacher preparation’ and its broad principles around a new set of quality requirements. Quality has always been at the forefront of school-based ITT. These providers have consistently demonstrated their quality in every measurable way, including through Ofsted inspections, regardless of their size or scale, and it is absolutely right to seek to continually develop provision. We therefore fully support the broad aim of the review to seek to further build on the existing quality of provision.

"However, we simply cannot support the recommendation that a reaccreditation process is necessary to achieve the recommended adaptations to curriculum design and provision. The report presents no evidence to suggest that existing providers of ITT would be unable to deliver the new curriculum requirements in full. A wide-scale, expensive and disruptive reaccreditation process poses a huge risk to teacher supply. Introducing an unnecessary administrative burden to the sector, which, in turn, presents such clear risks to our teacher supply chain, with no clear rationale for the benefits it will bring, is simply indefensible.

"The risks associated with the recommendation for reaccreditation are exacerbated by the timescale recommended in the report. The development of truly high-quality partnerships and well-sequenced curricula takes significant time and resource. Forcing providers to submit applications for reaccreditation within just a five-month window risks the loss of exceptional providers from the system because they do not have sufficient time, resource and capacity to undertake the process effectively.

"We would also be interested to see the government’s plans for fairly and robustly assessing this unprecedented volume of applications in such a short timescale; and their evidence that a paper-based process will be a better determiner of provider quality than their current quality assurance processes, namely the Ofsted Inspection Framework. The costs to central government of an intensive accreditation process, and of increasing the frequency of Ofsted inspections, should also have been set out clearly in the report.

"The quality requirements themselves are, quite rightly, ambitious and do represent some practical, logistical barriers which will need to be worked through carefully and tested rigorously to ensure that there are no unintended negative consequences resulting from their introduction. We believe that these barriers could be overcome with sufficient time, resource, support and opportunities to test and learn key elements of the recommendations. In short, there would be much work for the sector to do if we are to deliver these recommendations ‘on the ground’ in the next two years; nevertheless we are confident that the sector can rise to the challenge, providing they are given the trust and space to do so without unnecessary interference.

"Right now, however, there is a potentially catastrophic risk to destablising the market. As the final report says, ‘it is important that existing strong SCITTs and School Direct lead schools become part of the shaped market’, alongside the valuable contribution of Teaching School Hubs, which remain in their infancy. This really is not the time to be reducing (either through design or as an unintended consequence of an unnecessary accreditation process) the number of accredited ITT providers, which have been extremely effective in supplying this country’s schools with around 30,000 new well-trained teachers every year.

"Separately, NASBTT has contributed to an All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Teaching Profession report by the Special Interest Group on ITT. The report makes 11 recommendationsmakes 11 recommendations around the ITT market review. It should be noted that none of the contributors (representatives of headteachers, teachers and schools) perceived there is a widespread or systemic issue around NQT quality.”

nick brook 100x100Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of NAHT, which represents leaders in the majority of schools, said:

“It is impossible to fathom why the government thinks that this is the right time to mess about with the teacher training system. As the recent report by the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Teaching Profession showed, there is no crisis in teacher training that needs fixing – far from it – initial teacher training providers routinely receive the highest marks from Ofsted of all the sectors it inspects. As schools focus on education recovery post-pandemic, this is the worst possible time to embark on an unnecessary shake-up of teacher training.

“Schools are reliant on the strong and varied network of training providers across the country, to ensure sufficient supply of teachers in the subjects and communities where they are needed most. At a time when more people than ever are looking to join the profession, these proposals take a sledgehammer to the existing model of teacher training and will only serve to significantly reduce the supply of teachers for years to come.

“It is extremely worrying that warnings have gone unheeded, that many well-respected universities could withdraw from teacher training as a consequence of these proposals. This consultation proposes radical, controversial and complex changes to the way in which teachers are trained and the part that schools play in that training. There has been no substantive engagement with the schools sector. Given the far-reaching implications for ITT providers and schools to consider, a six week consultation is insufficient and a deadline of 22 August is wholly inappropriate.

"The government needs to pause and take stock, by listening to the profession and considering the evidence, before determining a more proportionate approach to supporting continuous improvement in this sector."

mary boustedDr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

"It seems that the Government has decided it wants to shift the ITT market in a certain direction, and put those wheels in motion before consulting with stakeholders or exploring the case and need for change. In doing so, it misses out on crucial expertise in the sector and risks alienating key players ​as well as making a system for training teachers dysfunctional at a crucial time. 

"The NEU urges the Government to halt the ITT market review, take a pause for breath, and then really engage all stakeholders in a discussion about what the issues and solutions in ITT provision are. The whole sector has been battered by the Covid pandemic and further rushed upheaval risks the integrity of the system." 

Ian Bauckham, Chair of the ITT Market Review Expert Advisory Group, CEO of Tenax Schools trust and Chair of Oak National Academy, said:

“Teachers shape the life chances of children and young people in our schools.  It is also their expertise which will enable pupils to recover from the disruption to their progress caused by the pandemic.  It is therefore right that we continue to focus on investing in the training and development of the teaching profession.  I am delighted that this Report reflects the importance of giving all teachers initial training which is more than ever informed by evidence, and where all aspects of the training experience are brought into ever greater coherence. 

“Both teacher trainers and schools have gone more than the extra mile during the pandemic, and we recognise that commitment in this Report.  Building on this, and on the other investments in teacher development, in particular the Early Career Framework, I believe it is right that we articulate an ambitious vision for initial teacher training in this country, in the interests of future generations of teachers and young people in our schools. The Report sets out such a vision and recommendations for its implementation.   

“I am grateful for the expertise generously contributed by members of the Expert Advisory Group as we have worked on the Review, and to the many other stakeholders with whom we have consulted.” 

Sam Twiselton, Member of the ITT Market Review Expert Advisory Group, Director of Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University, said:

“The report reflects the focus of the expert group on many of the features of high quality ITE. The systematic focus on the alignment between centre and school-based experience and the priority given to mentors, lead mentors and time and training to support them is fundamentally important to high quality ITE. The need to ensure that carefully crafted and sequenced evidence based ITE curricula support new teachers to become critically reflective practitioners is also essential.

“It will be important to work through how both the system and the ITE and school sectors need to work together to maintain a supply of high-quality new teachers. Central to this will be thoroughly testing the recommendations set out in the review. As such, I welcome the consultation and I would encourage people with an interest in high quality ITE to respond in detail to the questions.  I have agreed to support DfE with working through these implementation considerations and know they intend to work closely with schools and ITE providers going forward.”

Richard Gill, Member of the ITT Market Review Expert Advisory Group, CEO of The Arthur Terry Learning Partnership, said:

“Every child deserves a great teacher. By investing in high quality, cutting-edge, initial teacher training and development in evidence-based practices, we can equip a new generation of teachers with an even greater, improved skillset and expertise to revolutionise teaching.

“I’m pleased this report recognises the valuable contribution teachers make to the lives of young people, along with the importance of initial teacher training across the teaching profession. 

“I’m delighted to have been part of this advisory group, who share a wealth of expertise and a passion for school improvement through innovation in education.”


Initial teacher training (ITT) market review report 

5th July 2021: A report from the ITT market review expert group.

Documents

Initial teacher training (ITT) market review report

PDF, 393KB, 55 pages

Details

The Department for Education appointed an expert group to undertake a review of the initial teacher training (ITT) market for courses that lead to qualified teacher status (QTS). The aim of the review is to enable the provision of consistently high-quality training, in line with the ITT core content framework (CCF), in an effective and efficient market.

Following publication of the report, the department is seeking views on the recommendations made in the report through a consultation.


Initial teacher training (ITT) market review Consultation 

2nd Jan 2021: Information for initial teacher training providers about the government's market review of initial teacher training (ITT).

Documents

Initial teacher training (ITT) market review: overview

HTML

Details

This document explains the focus of the ITT market review, including details of the expert advisory group supporting this work.

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