DfE to establish new ‘Institute of Teaching’ to train up to 1,000 teachers a year

Teacher training data

The government will establish a new Institute of Teaching to train up to 1,000 new teachers each year, with an emphasis on a knowledge-based curriculum and “high standards of pupil behaviour”.

The organisation, which will get some of the £22 million allocated for improving teacher quality at the last spending review, will begin offering initial teacher training courses from September 2022, and will also deliver the government’s early career framework for new teachers, as well as national professional qualifications for more experienced staff.

The Department for Education has also confirmed today that its review of the initial teacher training market will be rebooted, as reported by Schools Week last year.

According to the government, the new Institute of Teaching will provide “lifelong training and development for teachers” through “at least four regional campuses”.

The training is “likely to be delivered through a blend of online, face-to-face and school-based means”.

At its full capacity, the institute is expected to train around 1,000 ITT trainees, 2,000 early career teachers, 2,000 mentors and 1,000 national professional qualification participants each year, the government has said.

However, the rationale for the new Institute has been questioned by teacher trainers.

James Noble-Rogers, from the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers, said: “We do not see the case for investing a substantial amount of scarce public money in a new Institute for Teaching, especially in the current economic climate.

“The Institute will not lead to a net increase in new teachers as those recruited would simply be taken from existing high quality providers, potentially threatening their viability. Neither is there any evidence that it will improve the synergy between ITE and early and ongoing professional development, something which UCET has been arguing for years.”

The announcement comes during a period of large-scale upheaval in the initial teacher training sector.

The DfE published its recruitment and retention strategy in 2019, pledging a raft of measures including more off-timetable support for new teachers.

A new ITT framework was published later that year, which set out a minimum entitlement for trainee teachers and placed a duty on providers and their partner schools to meet this entitlement.

The strategy also pledged a review of the ITT market to address concerns over duplication and the complexity of the sector, but this was kicked into the long grass following the change of government in 2019.

However, Schools Week revealed in November last year that the government was to reboot the review, amid concerns over the quality of some provision.

The government confirmed this today, announcing an expert group led by Ian Bauckham, an academy trust leader who also currently serves as acting chair of exams regulator Ofqual, chair of the Oak National Academy online learning platform and an adviser to the government on a number of matters.

Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, today said the best schools “combine high standards of pupil behaviour and discipline with a broad knowledge-based and ambitious curriculum, so that every child can learn and flourish”.

“Our new Institute of Teaching will help equip all teachers to deliver an education like this, by training them in the best, evidence-based practices. The Institute’s cutting-edge approach to teacher training will ensure a new generation of teachers have the expertise they need to level up school standards across the country.

“Through adding diversity and innovation to the existing teacher development market, the Institute will revolutionise teacher training and make England the best place in the world to train and become a great teacher.”

The DfE has said it will seek bids from organisations wanting to run the new Institute in “early 2021”, with a contract expected to be awarded later in the year.

The Institute’s delivery of teacher training, early career framework reforms and NPQs will be funded “in the same way, and to the same level, as other providers in the market”. ITT delivery will be funded through tuition fees and bursaries, while ECF and NPQ delivery will be funded by the DfE on a “per-participant basis”.

The DfE has also said that schools not eligible for NPQ scholarship “may pay the Institute for their staff to attend its NPQ training courses”, and that additional programme funding will be provided by the government “to support the costs of building and sharing best practice in teacher development delivery”.

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  1. I am concerned to see the emphasis on a knowledge-based curriculum in this ITT initiative. I agree with comments from the CBI in a TES article* a couple of years ago about, ‘… the need for the school curriculum to reflect the breadth of knowledge and skills need by people in their lives and at work.’

    There has probably never been a more important time to think about how classroom learning prepares young people for life beyond school and answers the child’s question, ‘What’s the point of learning this?’


  2. Sally Harper

    I too, am concerned that a focus on an ever narrowing curriculum that university leavers have already experienced, in the last ten years of their own schooling, will further close down the possibility of educating questioning, creative and innovative future participants in the ever changing landscape of perceived democracy. There are whole areas of ITT that have been mashed into oblivion. Teachers please see the report from the APPG Oracy (Emma Hardy) to understand the appalling imbalance we now have in our literacy curriculum and how it is affecting equal life opportunities and mental health.

  3. They can build it, but will they come? ‘Tory teacher training’ not an easy sell you’d think.

    HEITT still the most popular route. Schools can train but can’t do that in the numbers required.

    Aspirations don’t make a success as other similar brainwaves have found out to their and taxpayer cost.

  4. Claire Parkman

    I left the teaching profession this year due to attitude of my independent school employer. The culture of bullying that began in my training year.
    Look at retention figures the picture is a grim one. It’s all very well training new teachers but if the culture of schools is unbalanced this recruitment drive will not stop either bullying, burnout and excessive paperwork associated with the profession. Papering over cracks and wrecking mental health.
    The culture of blame and the pointing of fingers when staff make a mistake or say something that doesn’t reflect the schools ethos are terrifying.
    I will never return despite holding an M.A degree as the toll on my otherwise robust mental health has unfit.
    Stop papering the cracks and look at doing a detailed study to find out why teachers are leaving. That way some of the deeper issues may be addressed and corrected before sending inexperienced trainee teachers into the mouth of a rabid lion, or in this case the jaws of an educational system which has been hiding the deleterious effects of abuse for too many years.
    I miss the young people but not the SLT’s

  5. Barbara Southam

    Rather than flinging yet more money into attracting people into teaching, the government need to look at why so many leave the profession or go to teach overseas. It’s cheaper to retain teachers than to train them. Same goes for police and nursing staff.

  6. Janet Downs

    When the government starts dictating what is the ‘best’ teaching, we should worry. Such interference is a feature of authoritarian governments pushing their world view. This government says it’s given ‘freedom’ to its favoured type of schools (academies) but the reality is different. Squealer from Animal Farm would put it like this:
    ‘We have given you freedom to decide what to teach your young animals. But we feel we must issue guidance about what must be taught so you do not fall into error.’