Teacher training

DfE delays ITT market review reforms for a year

Providers will now have to comply with new requirements from 2024-25

Providers will now have to comply with new requirements from 2024-25

teacher training

The government has delayed its reforms to the initial teacher training market, and will now give providers until the 2024 academic year to comply with new requirements.

The government confirmed it will give the sector an extra year before the reforms kick in today, alongside £35.7 million funding to help implement the changes.

However teacher trainers say concerns over obtaining reaccreditation have been ignored, with providers needing to apply by June next year at the latest.

The first round for providers to become accreditated closes in just nine weeks, which includes the Christmas break.

Responding to its own consultation, published today, the government said it “understands that for these reforms to be successful, we need to give schools and ITT providers enough time to prepare for their implementation.

“Having listened to the feedback from the sector, we have decided to extend the implementation timeline by one year, meaning that all ITT programmes leading to QTS will need to comply with the requirements set out in this document starting from the 2024/25 academic year.”

The extra cash includes £25 million for mentor training, with another £5.7 million to help providers with administrative costs of new training requirements. Grants of £25,000 will also be available for approved providers to “implement the review’s recommendations”.

The government has also relaxed proposed strict criteria on how long single-year ITT courses should last, and the number of hours lead mentors need to train for.

Other changes include Ofsted moving from six-year to a three-year inspection cycle from September 2024, as part of a new approach to “external quality assurance”.

But government has ruled out, for now, requiring schools to participate in ITT, or requiring Ofsted to judge a school based on its involvement. The DfE said this was because it “needs more evidence on how involvement in ITT improves the education outcomes of pupils”.

The government will also consider placing an expectation on academy trusts to support teacher training.

Robin Walker
Schools minister Robin Walker

Leading universities threatened to end their teacher training courses after fears of a “highly prescribed curriculum” when plans were announced.

Now DfE say it will not “define an evidence base” beyond that set out in the core content framework, instead using the quality assurance process to make sure all evidence is “coherent with the framework”.

But sector organisations warned the reaccreditation process could impact teacher supply. The first application round for reaccreditation closes on February 7, with the second closing on June 27.

Emma Hollis, executive director at the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT), said concerns about accreditation were “ignored” with the government “intent on pursuing a risky, expensive and entirely unnecessary process”.

She added: “We remain convinced that this process poses an unnecessary risk to supply and will unfairly discriminate against smaller providers in particular.”

However schools minister Robin Walker said the reforms are the “next step in our ambition to create a golden thread of evidence-based training, support and professional development” for teachers.

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