Coronavirus: QTS extension for trainees who haven’t made ‘adequate progress’

A “small minority” of trainee teachers who have fallen behind due to the coronavirus pandemic will have until December to earn their qualified teacher status (QTS).

New government guidance states as some trainees “will not have been making adequate progress”, provider funding is being made available to facilitate necessary course extensions. 

Schools Week  previously revealed the government had given ITT providers the green light to recommend trainees for QTS based on their completed assessments and progress towards the teachers’ standards. 

However, in April it warned such allowances “do not, under any circumstances, give trainees a ‘free pass’” and ITT providers “should not make any recommendation for QTS without giving full consideration to a trainee’s progress and available evidence”.

Those not on track to qualify – estimated to be around five per cent – will now be able to pick up from where they left off in the autumn term, with their training to conclude by December. 

The guidance states: “It is for the ITT provider to determine the duration and content of training that takes place in this period.”

ITT providers are able to apply for two separate funding streams to cover the costs of this additional training.

The first, ‘trainee funding of £1,300 per trainee per month’, supports trainees during the extension period of their courses, up to a maximum of 5 months and £6,500.

While the second, ‘provider funding of £750 per trainee per month’, addresses the costs of course extensions, up to a maximum of 4 months and £3,000 

The funding is available for all ITT trainees except those on Teach First, and is not differentiated by phase, route or subject. 

The guidance adds: “Trainees must only remain on their extended ITT course until they can be recommended for QTS and may not remain on the course after successful completion.”

Last week, a survey from the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT) found a “worryingly high” number of schools have pulled out of offering teacher training placements for the next academic year due to the pandemic.

And in a bid to ease potential disruption certain ITT rules will be relaxed next year, including the expectation that trainees teach in at least two schools and meet the standards across the full age and ability range of training.