The government will run a public consultation on the proposals of its controversial teacher training market review before they are implemented.
Academies minister Baroness Berridge confirmed the consultation in the House of Lords today where she was told the review “appears to have alienated virtually every provider of teacher training in the country”.
Schools Week first revealed in November the Department for Education was rebooting its initial teacher training (ITT) market review to tackle the “overly complex” nature of the sector.
But providers have rebelled, fearing an introduction of short-term contracts is on the cards.
Berridge said today the government is “now going to conduct a public consultation on final proposals before they are implemented”.
Lord Knight, a former education minister, asked for assurances that the “evidence and principles upon which the review might proceed will be properly consulted on so that we can as a sector can properly debate how the service of teacher training might be revised in the future”.
Berridge said the review chair Ian Bauckham was a “man of great integrity” who they had “every confidence will engage widely with the sector”.
But Knight said the ITT market review so far appears to have “alienated virtually every provider of teacher training in the country”.
He said some “top universities [are] now questioning whether they will now continue with teacher training because of the potential infringement on their academic freedoms and issues of financial viability”.
Fears of short-term contracts
A poll from the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers found more than 30 training providers – training more than 10,000 teachers a year – would pull out of the market if the government was to introduce an “unviable” new system of short-term contracts.
UCET fears the introduction of a system where “selected organisations offer short-term contracts” to providers is on the cards after similar reforms were introduced for other teaching professional development programmes, such as the Early Career Framework.
Berridge said the review aims to ensure “every person who goes through ITT has that joined up experience through that academic part and in the classroom”.
She added they “want to build on the good quality [of the ITT Sector] and have specifically asked the review to look at the sufficiency of teacher supply which is an issue in some parts of the country”.
Berridge claimed that maintaining “good quality and an efficient market” was a “key part of the review”. She also said universities would retain their academic freedom under any proposals and that they would be “key” in the review’s progress.
Originally launched in 2019 as part of the teacher recruitment and retention strategy, the review was to be tasked with reducing duplication, weeding out poor-quality providers and creating a “more efficient and effective system”.
The review is expected to report in the summer.
The other review group members are Professor Sam Twiselton, director of Sheffield Institute of Education, Richard Gill, chair of the Teaching Schools Council, Reuben Moore, executive director of programme development at Teach First and John Blake, head of public affairs and engagement at Ark academy trust.