One in four trainee teachers not prepared for poor student behaviour, survey reveals

A quarter of teachers say their initial teacher training (ITT) failed to prepare them for the management of poorly behaved students.

A YouGov survey, commissioned by education charity ‘Teacher Support Network Group’, revealed that 24 per cent of teachers say their ITT prepared them ‘not very well’ or ‘not at all well’ for real life teaching.

A quarter said their training did not equip them for managing or disciplining disruptive pupils and 16 per cent were not prepared for workload and administrative duties.

A health and social care teacher from Yorkshire who contacted the Teacher Support Network Group about workload concerns said: “I did a PGCE in secondary teaching in 2009. It no way prepared me.

“When you’re on your placement you’re protected in a lot of ways. It’s not a realistic experience of what it’s actually like to be a full time teacher with the responsibilities of a class.”

The figures contrast with those presented by the Universities’ Council of Education for Teachers in an evidence submission to the government. In the submission, they showed that Ofsted most recently rated 90% of ITT programmes as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’. Surveys carried out by the Teacher Development Agency also showed that more than 90% of newly qualified teachers rated their training as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.

Beyond teacher training, the YouGov survey revealed that 42 per cent of teachers said they could not take all the additional training they wanted to help them improve in the last four years.

The YouGov figures have led to the Teacher Support Network calling for a reform of ITT.

Julian Stanley, Chief Executive, said: “In the lead up to the election we will be campaigning to alert politicians to the importance not only of initial training for teachers but the need for ongoing development opportunities.

“Although many teachers are provided with in-house and peer-to-peer training on the job, they are often denied ongoing and wider ranging external development opportunities to improve their practice. Many would like to learn more about behavioural psychology, managing challenging behaviour effectively and meeting special needs.

“If our teachers are not well trained and supported in the classroom, is it any wonder that 40% are quitting the profession in their first five years?”

A government review into ITT is already underway. Andrew Carter, headteacher of South Farnham School, was appointed in May to head an independent review of teacher training and is supported by a five-person advisory panel.

The review’s public consultation closed in September. A final report is expected to be delivered to the Secretary of State before the end of the year.

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