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.

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.

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.

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