Cambridge university applies for teacher training approval after ‘freedom’ assurances

Top uni now has 'sufficient confidence' to seek reaccreditation under new reforms after refusing to apply in round one

Top uni now has 'sufficient confidence' to seek reaccreditation under new reforms after refusing to apply in round one

The University of Cambridge has reapplied for approval to continue providing teacher training after refusing in the first round earlier this year.

As Schools Week revealed, the university failed to apply to the February round of reaccreditation saying there were “important inconsistencies” in the government’s teacher training reforms.

The university confirmed that it has now applied in round two, which closed today.

In a statement, they said following clarifications on the reforms, published by the Department for Education last month, they have “sufficient confidence” to submit an application and “hope to be able to pursue this to completion”.

They said the decision was taken in consultation with partner schools and that they are “aware of nationwide shortfalls in teacher recruitment and are keen to help alleviate the recruitment crisis”.

They added: “Broadly, the clarifications refer to operational details which we were concerned would constrain high-quality ITE at the University of Cambridge.

“For example, they confirm that there will be additional flexibility around the requirements for ‘Intensive Training and Practice’ and mentoring.

“We have also been assured that providers will retain the freedom to use their own expertise and evidence base as the cornerstone of their curricula, while integrating the requirements of the Core Content Framework.”

However, it is concerned that the next stage of reaccreditation will “constrain providers and therefore restrict quality”.

“We understand that the government is already consulting more widely, in light of cross-sector concerns, with a view to revising the process described in the stage 2 guidance, and we await the outcome of that process.”

The university said it will “continue to monitor whether the reforms remain compatible with” their standards, which includes “personalised programmes that continually evolve on an evidence-informed basis”.

In the first round, only 80 out of 216 providers that applied were successful. The University of Nottingham – rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted – said it was “disappointed and perplexed” that it did not get through.

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