DfE ITT market review: the 9 things you need to know

The Department for Education has published its initial teacher training market review and consultation on the recommendations today. Schools Week has been through both documents so you don’t have to.

Here are the key things you need to know.


1. DfE wants ALL providers to apply for reaccreditation

The DfE is proposing to re-accredit all ITT providers based on new quality requirements (see annex B of the report).

The “new, rigorous” re-accreditation would run in “early 2022”, with successful providers announced “before the end of the 2021/22 academic year. Providers would then have a further year to recruit trainees and prepare for first teaching of the new ITT courses in September 2023.”

The review acknowledges the “raised standards” will mean some providers will need to form “different partnerships” to make the grade. The review predicts “significant market reconfiguration and the development of new capacity will be necessary”.

But this has not gone down well in the sector. Emma Hollis, from the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers, said:  “A wide-scale, expensive and disruptive re-accreditation process poses a huge risk to teacher supply.”

The review acknowledged that additional funding to “pump prime” the extra work needed to meet quality requirements may be required.


2. Ministers to broker trainee transfer of failing providers

So what happens when providers don’t make the grade?

The DfE is proposing that it would formally notify any providers that do not meet the new standards to “mandate support between providers to ensure improvement”.

If a provider is “unable or unwilling” to improve, government should “broker transfer of trainees to another provider”.


3. ITT ‘expectation’ for growing academy trusts

The consultation says as trusts grow, there should be an “expectation that they actively meet their responsibilities for ITT involvement in the areas they serve”.

To do this, the DfE proposes regional school commissioners “should consider involvement in ITT as a condition of growth for trusts”.

ITT involvement would also be an eligibility consideration for academy funding streams, such as the Trust Capacity Fund (TCaF) or sponsor grants.


4. Evidence-based training curriculum for all

The review proposes that ITT providers should “develop an evidence-based training curriculum”, as a condition of accreditation. “Specific requirements” stated in the review include a curriculum that “explicitly delivers the requirements and principles of the Core Content Framework in full”.

The review states this “allows trainees to understand and apply the principles of the CCF in a controlled, cumulative and logical manner, as set out in the Quality Requirements”.

The DfE consultation document states providers “would still have freedom to design their curriculum and programme as long as these requirements are met”.


5. New ‘intensive’ placements and minimum course duration

Providers will also have to “design and deliver an intensive placement experience” of at least four weeks (20 days) for single-year courses, and six weeks (30 days) for undergraduate courses as a condition of accreditation.

Schools identified as “intensive practice placement schools” must be “closely supported”, with placements organised as group activities.

The review adds: “The experiences should be intensive, suitably demanding and designed to be moments of step change in understanding, competence, and confidence.”

The intensive training can be distributed at “pivotal points” across the school year.

The review also recommends that single-year ITT courses leading to QTS should be required to be 38 weeks long, with at least 28 weeks spent in schools.


6. Requirement to find sufficient mentors

Providers should also identify “sufficient mentors” to ensure trainees receive support across placement schools. And providers should have a “detailed” training curriculum for mentors, with lead mentors expected take one of the relevant national professional qualifications.

Another recommendation in the review is that providers ensure every placement school has at least one member of staff who is undertaking or has completed such qualifications.


 7.  And providers must develop their own quality assurance

Providers must develop quality assurance processes to “ensure that all aspects of the delivery of the course meet the high expectations to which all trainees are entitled”. This would, again, be a condition of accreditation.

This would include setting out how any concerns would be addressed, and what range of interventions would be considered. It would also include monitoring and quality assuring the work of mentors.

Providers would also have to set out the “essential features of their structures and partnerships”.


8. Ofsted set for expanded ITT role

The review calls for “more frequent inspection of the quality of ITT provision”. It also says that inspectors should “continue to test the robustness of providers’ quality assurance arrangements”.

DfE and Ofsted should also “explore how involvement in ITT might be included in the education inspection framework (EIF)”, the review adds.

9. Teaching schools hubs to buddy up with provider

Teaching school hubs would be required to partner with an accredited provider to deliver ITT. The DfE would also “place a requirement on teaching school hubs to support local ITT delivery in specific strategic ways as required”.

This could include boosting capacity by building an active mentor network in the local area, providing specific support for schools serving disadvantaged communities to enable them to engage with ITT, or modelling high quality intensive practice placements for other schools.

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