Initial teacher training (ITT) market review: recommendations

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Closes 22 Aug 2021

Foreword by Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for School Reform

Supporting our teachers with the highest quality training and professional development is the best way in which we can improve pupil outcomes, with evidence showing that expert teaching can have a disproportionately strong impact on those from disadvantaged backgrounds or those who have fallen behind. That is why the training, support and professional development we provide for our teachers is a key part of our plan to deal with the disruption that coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused to schools and is central to the government’s levelling up agenda.

We are creating a world-class teacher development system, building from initial teacher training (ITT) through to early career support, specialisation and onto school leadership. Our vision is that a golden thread of training, support and professional development, informed by high-quality evidence, will run through each phase of a teacher’s career.

All new entrants to the profession are already benefiting from ITT courses that incorporate the content of the new ITT core content framework (CCF), published in September 2020, which sets out an ambitious minimum entitlement that accredited ITT providers and their partnerships must draw upon when designing and delivering their courses. From this September, all schools offering statutory induction will be expected to offer a two-year induction to their early career teachers based on the early career framework (ECF). We want the ECF to be an extension of ITT, so that all new teachers receive at least three years of high-quality training at the start of their careers, providing them with a strong foundation.

There is, however, more work needed to make sure that the next generation of teachers have access to high-quality teacher training. This is why the government committed to a review of the ITT market to support its effective and efficient working, delivering on the commitment we made in the 2019 teacher recruitment and retention strategy. Last year, the government asked Ian Bauckham CBE, Chief Executive of the Tenax Schools Trust, to chair the review, supported by other sector experts. Ian was tasked with building on our reforms to date and producing a set of recommendations that would increase the quality, consistency and coherence of ITT for our trainee teachers, in line with the ITT CCF.

The ITT market review report sets out the expert group’s conclusions on the features and characteristics of world-class ITT, including curriculum content, course structure and delivery, and mentoring, which together form the basis of high-quality, evidence-based teacher training. Reflecting these findings, the report’s central recommendation is that a new set of Quality Requirements should be implemented by all ITT providers of courses that lead to Qualified Teacher Status, and that a robust accreditation process should take place to ensure that all providers have the capacity to meet the Quality Requirements in full, both at the point of accreditation and on an ongoing basis. Alongside this, the report makes recommendations on areas including the time spent training and the importance of all schools and trusts engaging in ITT.

The proposed changes would build upon the reforms the government has made in ITT since 2010, which have brought about greater school involvement in trainee recruitment and training delivery, either as an accredited provider as a school-centred ITT partnership or as a delivery partner of an accredited provider through a School Direct partnership. The rise in school-based ITT has allowed for greater integration between theory and practice, which underpins the ambitions set out in the Quality Requirements proposed as part of the report. In this way, the proposed changes would present a considered evolution, and provide the opportunity to accelerate the adoption of effective practices more widely.

The government intends to respond to the report and its recommendations this autumn. Before making any decisions, however, we want to ensure that those with an interest in ITT have an opportunity to make their views on the proposals heard so that, if we decide to make any changes to the ITT system, they can be implemented in a sustainable manner. That is why we are launching a public consultation and want your feedback so that our policies, and our ITT system, are the best that they can be.

Thank you for taking the time to engage with this consultation and helping to make sure our ITT system is everything that our trainee teachers and pupils deserve.