Teacher training

DfE reveals its targets for £377m NPQ and ECF reforms

Documents show how the DfE will mark its own homework on flagship teacher training reforms

Documents show how the DfE will mark its own homework on flagship teacher training reforms

6 Dec 2021, 16:27

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The DfE has announced a 'targeted support package' of training for new heads as part of the NPQH.

The Department for Education has revealed its targets for flagship teacher training reforms, and given senior civil servants “personal accountability” for their rollout.

Newly published official documents give the most detailed insight yet into how the DfE will measure the success of the Early Career Framework and reformed National Professional Qualifications.

The ECF is a package of development and support for teachers at the start of their careers, which began in September.

A new suite of six NPQs for staff at all levels – including in executive leadership and leading behaviour and culture – have also been made available this academic year.

The government has said it hopes they will improve teaching quality and retention, but the exact metrics used have now been made public.

Documents outlining senior appointments who will be held accountable for the reforms state they will cost £377 million up until 2025.

On the NPQs and a coaching support package they include called the new headteacher programme, the published goals are to:

  • Improve “quality and consistency of leadership”, monitored via Ofsted leadership and management ratings, and “drawing on school workforce census data on head and associated staff retention rates”. No date is set for progress, however.
  • Increase “pipelines for leaders and better teachers” by 2024, monitored via school workforce census data on promotions and career progression
  • Increase “average teaching workforce quality” by June 2024, monitored via Ofsted TLA measures, GCSE and KS2 performance. “These will need to be measured at school level as we cannot currently match teachers to pupils at an individual level.”
  • Reduce leader and teacher wastage by June 2024, monitored via workforce data, and improved teacher retention in schools where staff have taken NPQs and heads have taken the new headteacher programme.

On the ECF, the DfE aims to:

  • Improve quality and consistency of induction, measured by achieving 50 per cent take-up of the full induction programme in 2021-22, and 80 per cent in subsequent years.
  • Reduce teacher “wastage” by June 2024 among teachers at the end of the second year, with retention monitored via school workforce census data.
  • Increase “average teaching workforce quality” by June 2024. This is defined as the proportion of teachers with qualified teacher status, the proportion with more than five years’ experience, and the percentage of hours that are specialist hours taught.

The documents outline the responsibilities of two “senior responsible officers” overseeing both the ECF and NPQ reforms since last September. They are named as Heather McNaughton and Caroline Pusey, joint directors of the teacher workforce directorate.

The pair were featured in a “Power Part Time Top 50” list of outstanding job-share leaders in 2017, having worked together since 2011 in the DfE and previously Ministry of Defence.

A letter to both states they have “personal accountability for the delivery of the ECF/NPQ programmes”, including setting its long-term vision, delivering agreed objectives, securing necessary investment, and handling risks.

“You will be responsible for delivering the ECF/NPQ programmes to the scheduled full term, currently forecasted as 2025.”

It also states they will be held “personally accountable to” parliamentary select committees. But their responsibility “relates only to implementation: it will remain for the minister to account for the relevant policy decisions and development.”

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