Government still lags well behind NPQ take-up target

Just 63,484 NPQ courses have been started in two years, against a DfE target of 150,000 across three, new data shows

Just 63,484 NPQ courses have been started in two years, against a DfE target of 150,000 across three, new data shows

19 Jul 2023, 12:44

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The DfE is more than halfway off a target to offer 150,000 NPQ courses by 2024

The government is still more than halfway off its target for 150,000 teachers to take new national professional qualifications (NPQs) by 2024.

Data published by the Department for Education (DfE) this morning shows that across the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years, 63,484 courses were started.

To meet its target during the next academic year, government would need to recruit another 85,516 teachers to take up the free training.

Ministers pledged back in 2021 to offer NPQs to 150,000 teachers by the end of 2023-24, after launching a reformed suite of the qualifications to boost teacher and leader development.

But there was better news on new teacher training. Today statistic’s show the DfE met its own target to deliver the two-year Early Career Framework (ECF) to 50,000 teachers at “any one time”.

The ECF was launched in 2019 as part of the government’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy.

Last year, 26,648 early career teachers (ECTs) took up provider-led ECF training, while 26,291 started in 2022-23.

The proportion of ECTs this makes up has actually grown in the same timeframe, from 95.7 per cent to 96.1 per cent.

ECF teachers outnumber mentors

But the number of mentors trained for provider-led ECF inductions fell by more than a quarter between the two years.

In 2021-22, a total of 26,713 teachers were trained up as ECF mentors, versus 19,368 this year.

It means that in theory, for the second cohort, there are around 1.4 ECTs per mentor.

This compares with just over one mentor per ECT in the first cohort. However mentors can help multiple new teachers.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said: “Raising standards in our schools is a longstanding priority of this government.

“We know that good teachers deliver good outcomes. Providing the right training is critical to ensuring there is an excellent teacher for every child.”

New headteachers snub NPQ coaching

For teachers further along in their careers taking up NPQs, the most popular course across the two academic years was senior leadership – with more than 8,000 starts each year.

The early headship coaching offer – for heads in their first five years – was by far the least popular.

Last year, 242 heads undertook the coaching, compared with just 67 this year.

NPQs were most likely to be taken by deputy and assistant headteachers, as well as those aged between 30 to 39.

Meanwhile, teachers in the South-East were the least likely to enrol in the free placements this year.

Only 5.5 per cent of the teaching workforce in the region took-up NPQs in 2022-23, compared to 6.4 per cent nationally.

Figures published today are revised for the first cohort, and provisional for the second.

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  1. Richard Hardcastle

    We are too tired after teaching our classes, planning, marking, data entering, contacting parents and all the other admin to do anything else ! Give us a break and some family time.