Schools

Flagship teacher training reforms provider told to improve by Ofsted

Education Development Trust 'not taking effective action' to ensure high standards in early career framework training

Education Development Trust 'not taking effective action' to ensure high standards in early career framework training

22 Aug 2022, 16:44

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Ofsted has ordered one of the government’s flagship teacher development providers to improve its new early career framework and national professional qualification programmes.

The Education Development Trust, a charity also recently handed contracts for the National Tutoring Programme and National Careers Service, is “not taking effective action” to ensure high teacher training standards, a monitoring inspection found.

It marks the first time an ECF or NPQ lead provider has been given such a rating, with the majority now inspected. Other inspected providers have been rated “effective” so far.

The UK and global charity said in a statement it recognised “improvements are required”, but noted it was not a full Ofsted inspection.

It is “confident” required improvements can be delivered ahead of a full inspection, with some changes underway as a “highest priority” even before Ofsted visited.

All early career teachers, previously called newly-qualified teachers, have had to undergo a two-year statutory induction since September, as a follow-up to their initial teacher training.

Ministers have promised to make England the “best place in the world to become a great teacher” through reforms including the new ECF, which underpins the induction, and voluntary NPQs for current and aspiring leaders.

Schools can use one of six ECF lead providers or run training themselves, and choose from 10 NPQ lead providers.

Ofsted warns of ‘glitches’ and ‘flaws’ with systems

At EDT, Ofsted praised the content of its ECF and NPQ curriculums as”effective”. Inspectors noted EDT encouraged its delivery partners to adapt its content to their needs.

But they criticised a lack of “clear oversight” of these adaptations, and of quality assurance visits. “Leaders cannot be assured of the quality or consistency of the programme contents.”

Ofsted also highlighted “numerous glitches” and “flaws” with training systems, problems with quality assurance and “splintered” self-evaluation processes.

Its report said systems used for managing day-to-day delivery of the programmes had “significant weaknesses”, with leaders not responding swiftly enough to concerns. “Many stakeholders and participants still do not have access to the information they need.”

Some mentors are “concerned about their workload”, an issue that has been flagged across ECF provision nationally.

A significant number of its delivery partners also “highlighted poor communication and organisation” by EDT, with many “frustrated with the online platforms” and concerned about access to information about participants.

Others had a “much more positive view” and relationship, however. ECF and NPQ participants themselves were “generally happy with their experience of training and believe that it helps them to improve in their roles”.

Several other lead providers were told to improve in specific areas in recent Ofsted reports, but unlike EDT, all were dubbed to be taking “effective action” overall to ensure high standards.

Provider trains 16% of ECTs nationally

EDT had 4,138 participants on ECF programmes when it was inspected this May, and another 2,367 NPQ participants.

Their ECF participants make up around 16.5 per cent of the total nationally, with the EDT delivering its programmes through 37 delivery partners, such as trusts, universities or teaching school hubs.

Ofsted acknowledged leaders were “in the process of addressing” IT issues to make the system “fit for purpose”, and that a quality assurance lead was appointed earlier this year.

Patrick Brazier, chief executive of EDT, said participants valued the “flexibility” of its programmes, but further investment in resources, technology and interfaces would improve users’ experience.

“EDT’s focus and investment will allow us to keep ahead of changing requirements and quality expectations.  New leadership on the programmes will ensure this happens effectively, quickly and seamlessly for partners and participants.” 

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