DfE lifts SCITT fee cap to put on par with universities

The government has raised the cap on fees set by school-centred teacher training providers to put them on a par with what university-based providers charge.

Until now, school-centred initial teacher training providers (SCITT) could only charge up to £9,000 per trainee, but university or higher education courses could charge £9,250.

Now the Department for Education has updated its initial teacher training criteria for 2019-20 to say both routes will now be capped at £9,250.

Emma Hollis, executive director of the National Association of School Based Teacher-Trainers, said having the additional couple of hundred pounds per trainee will “make a massive difference”, particularly for smaller SCITTs which may struggle for finances.

She said the extra funding will allow a teacher training leader who is currently doing the role part-time to go full-time if they wish.

More staff can also be employed, and more training, mentoring, resources and technology can be invested in, Hollis added.

She said: “For our members, this move will signify that there is equity between between SCITT and and HEI teacher training providers, and that SCITTS are equally valuable.”

The move comes after Schools Week revealed a new undergraduate teacher training route has opened in which trainees qualify and get a degree without leaving the school site.

At the NASBTT conference today, Hollis also warned the government’s new early career framework for initial teacher training needs proper funding.

The government has announced new teachers will now spend two years in an induction period, rather than just one, as a way of ensuring they get a longer period of support and guidance.

But ministers have remained silent on how the longer induction will be funded, saying it is a matter for the 2019 spending review. The early career framework itself is expected to be published before Christmas, said a NASBTT spokesperson.

Hollis said the costs of “such an ambitious programme” need clarifying as soon as possible.

Government figures show teacher training targets have been missed  in all EBacc subjects except history this year. Non-Ebacc subjects were hit too.