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”.