All appeals made by teacher trainers unsuccessful in the government’s ITT market review accreditation process have been rejected.
Just 179 providers made it through the Department for Education’s two reaccreditation rounds this year, well below the 240 providers operating in England last year.
Snubbed trainers were offered a last-ditch chance to appeal. But in a decision that could prompt legal action, DfE sources confirmed this week that none had been successful.
It comes as new analysis from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) suggested more than 4,000 places could be lost if non-accredited providers left the market.
James Noble-Rogers, from the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET), said the process was “seriously flawed”.
“We are both surprised and disappointed that none of the appeals were successful and that ITE providers…who have been supplying schools with excellent teachers for many years… will be forced out of the market.”
Noble-Rogers said the 500 word-limit for appeal applications had been “unduly restrictive”. Appeals could also only be submitted based on an administrative or processing error.
Emma Hollis, from the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT), said it was “extremely disappointed”.
She said the 500-word limit “did not allow room for extenuating circumstances, and there should have been an offer of an additional word count for providers appealing the decision on more than one question”.
Teacher trainers were also subjected to weeks of delays. Reaccreditation outcomes were known at the end of September, and appeals had to be submitted by October 20. The DfE did not set a formal date for its response, but providers were told to expect it in mid-November.
Providers that did not get reaccredited can continue until 2024, but sector leaders have warned some could drop out of the market early. The next opportunity to gain accreditation is not until 2025 at the earliest.
UCET said it would continue to support its members, either to partner with accredited providers, to diversify their provision, or through “further challenges”. It is understood the latter could mean legal action.
Hollis also said individual providers “may wish to take further action against their outcome”.
Durham University, a member of the elite Russell Group, was one of the trainers to appeal.
A spokesperson said it was “disappointed” at the outcome, but “anticipated” in would continue teacher training by partnering with an accredited provider.
The EPI said the 68 providers that either did not apply or were unsuccessful were responsible for 4,491 trainees, 16 per cent of those nationally, including 605 teachers in STEM subjects.
The government had predicted its review would lead to “significant market reconfiguration and the development of new capacity will be necessary”.
But James Zuccollo, the EPI’s director for school workforce, said removing accreditation from providers risked “exacerbating the existing teacher shortages that already plague schools”.
DfE figures published last week showed it missed its recruitment target for secondary trainee teachers this year by 41 per cent. It also failed to meet primary teacher targets.
During a House of Lords debate earlier this week, Labour peer Mike Watson said the culling of former providers could cause potential regional cold spots.
Cumbria Teacher Training was unsuccessful, as was the University of Cumbria, leaving a sole provider in the county that is a new entrant to the market.
But One Cumbria told Schools Week its provision would be countywide.
The number of places would be based on the level of need after appeal outcomes for existing providers were known.
The government’s flagship National Institute of Teaching (NIOT) is among the new providers that received accreditation.
REAch2 academy trust, which was also accredited to launch a training arm, said it would offer about 100 primary places in parts of London, the south east, east of England and the West Midlands.
“We will grow carefully, considering local need, said Cathie Paine, its chief executive. “The vision for REAch2 is for every one of our schools to be a great school, and that will only happen if we can ensure great teachers in the classroom.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said education was a “top priority” for government, adding that it had announced an extra £2 billion for schools in the next two years.
“Historically, the number of initial teacher training providers has not impacted the number of teachers recruited into our schools and our investment will enable school leaders to continue to invest in high quality teaching and tutoring for those who need it most.”