From education to employment

National Professional Qualifications for teachers: Panel of experts will help teachers progress their career and excel in the classroom

Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb

New qualifications to help teachers progress their careers to be introduced during the 2020/2021 academic year

A team of experts will develop new qualifications for teachers to help them develop and progress their careers.

The new advisory group, which met for the first time yesterday (Tuesday 16 July), will support the development of new, specialist qualifications for experienced teachers that build on the core areas of the Early Career Framework – the biggest teaching reform in a generation – such as assessment and teaching practices.

In the first-ever integrated Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy launched in January, the Department outlined its ambition to develop new, specialist qualifications to support teachers wishing to progress their careers in non-leadership roles.

Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb said:

“These new qualifications, backed by education experts, will provide recognition for those teachers who want to develop their skills and progress their careers.

“Our ambition is for teachers to be able to do so without having to pursue traditional leadership routes, instead expanding their expertise in vital areas such as curriculum or behaviour management.”

The expert panel draws on a range of experience from across the school system, including curriculum experts, current school leaders and leading academics. The group will play an essential role in helping to ensure all the qualifications are aligned in order to maximise the benefits for teachers.

The professional qualifications will build on the landmark Early Career Framework, which is set to be backed by at least £130 million a year when fully rolled out. The framework is a two-year package of training and support at the start of a teachers’ career will include a reduced timetable to allow teachers to make the most of their training.

Richard Gill, Chair of the Teaching Schools Council said:

“Effective professional development is proven to benefit teaching and, therefore, impacts on students in many ways.

“There is a need to ensure that the current programme of qualifications meet the needs of the current educational landscape. These new bespoke qualifications will provide practitioners with an excellent opportunity to develop and progress their careers, building stronger and more effective classroom practice without the need for them to follow traditional leadership roles.”

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

“Once again, the Government has missed the opportunity to take the profession with them in the development of new qualifications.

“The advisory group is a snub, not just to organisations who represent teachers, but also to the many university departments that have so much expertise in teacher training. There is a serious lack of transparency in how these panels are generated.

“The National Education Union agrees that there must be a route for teachers who do not wish to pursue the traditional leadership pathways.  Surely, therefore, we cannot afford to let the opportunity offered by the National Professional Qualifications be undermined by a lack of professional confidence.”

The first specialist programme to be rolled-out for teachers will be a Teacher Developer qualification, creating a coherent career path from classroom teacher through to mentor, helping to train young teachers at the start of their career.

The new qualifications are expected to be in place during the 2020/21 academic year.

The full list of those on the advisory group is below:

  • Richard Gill, Chair of the Teaching Schools Council
  • Matthew Hood, Chief Education Officer at Ambition Institute
  • Cat Scutt, Director of Education and Research at Chartered College of Teaching
  • Reuben Moore, Executive Director for Programme Development at Teach First
  • Samantha Twiselton, Director of Sheffield Institute of Education
  • David Weston, CEO of Teacher Development Trust
  • Lesley Powell, Executive Headteacher at Shotton Hall
  • Emma Rennison, Executive Director of the Outwood Institute of Education
  • John Blake, Curriculum Research and Design Lead at Ark, and Director of Strategy and Policy at NowTeach
  • Emma Lennard, Primary Curriculum Consultant
  • Hamid Patel, Chief Executive of Star Academies
  • Anne Heavey, National Director at Whole School SEND

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