Revealed: the experts advising ministers on teacher training reforms review

Academy bosses and Oak chief sit on new panel to 'challenge' government over ECF and ITT reviews

Academy bosses and Oak chief sit on new panel to 'challenge' government over ECF and ITT reviews


Academy chief executives, training providers and the boss of Oak National Academy will advise ministers on their review of teacher training reforms.

The Department for Education has appointed an “external steering group” to review both the initial teacher training and early career frameworks, first launched in 2019.

The group is made up of seven experts (full list below) who are “closely familiar” with both reforms, as well as the “underpinning evidence”.

They will help “shape the work of the review, scrutinising, supporting and challenging our thinking”, the DfE said.

The experts will contribute “to specific review activity, including performing an editorial role following the drafting of revised framework content”.

Two of the seven members sat on both advisory bodies to actually draw up the ECF and ITT frameworks, while another two sat on one of those bodies. A fifth, Chris Paterson, was working for the Department for Education overseeing both reforms at the time they were rolled out.

Steering group member Professor Sam Twiselton, director of Sheffield Institute of Education who previously sat on the ITT framework advisor board, said the sector has “learned a lot about what is working well and what needs some adjustment and this is a great opportunity to address this”.

Implementation of the early career framework – a two-year induction rolled out nationwide in 2021 – has been a bumpy one, with major workload concerns.

Sam Twiselton teacher training

Schools Week revealed how some mentors were working weekends to complete their training. Some schools were also considering hiring fewer early career treachers because of the reforms.

The review could look at any potential overlap between both frameworks. Some also believe ITT core content needs more emphasis on special needs education training.

DfE’s SEND and AP improvement plan pledged to look at how both ITT and ECF can “equip new teachers to be more confident in meeting the needs” of children with SEND.

A separate external reference group has also been set up to support the review. It is made up of sector representatives “with an interest in the work and outcomes of the review”.

DfE said they will “maintain regular levels of engagement with other stakeholders, including trade unions, to seek their views and input as the review progresses”.

Reference group member Simon Knight, joint headteacher at Frank Wise special school in Oxfordshire, said aspiring specialist teachers “find it hard to get their training needs met as well as they could be”.

“I am hopeful that this review will provide a forum for those challenges to be discussed, and for us to collectively reflect on how we can better ensure that the system serves all those entering the profession successfully, irrespective of which part of it they are working in.”

DfE has not yet explained how it selected people for each group. Several members on both panels appeared on the DfE’s original expert advisory groups for the ITT and ECF.

Government is also seeking new research to improve and refresh both the frameworks.

External steering group members

  • Reuben Moore, programmes executive director at the National Institute of Teaching
  • Marie Hamer, executive director at Ambition Institute
  • Professor Sam Twiselton, director of Sheffield Institute of Education
  • Chris Paterson, director of impact at the Education Endowment Foundation
  • Richard Gill, chair of the Teaching School Hubs Council
  • Matt Hood, interim chief executive at Oak National Academy
  • Sir Ian Bauckham, chief executive at Tenax Schools Trust and Ofqual and Oak chair

External reference group members

  • Simon Knight, joint headteacher at Frank Wise special school
  • Stuart Lock, chief executive of Advantage Schools
  • Sonia Thompson, headteacher at St Matthew’s CofE teaching and research school
  • Lesley Powell, chief executive of North East Learning Trust
  • Professor Mark Winterbottom, from University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Education
  • Claire Harnden, deputy chief executive at South Farnham Educational Trust
  • Caroline Creaby, deputy headteacher at Sandringham School 
  • James Noble-Rogers, chief executive at the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers
  • Emma Hollis, executive director at the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers
  • Anna Trethewey, deputy director at Ofsted
  • Katie Gillam, principal at Paddington Academy
  • Sue Cronin, director of accreditation and quality assurance at Liverpool Hope University

More from this theme


Teach First offers £2k cost-of-living payment to trainees

Grant will be paid to 150 recruits who need to relocate under a pilot starting in September

Amy Walker

ITT partnerships to help ‘cold spots’ fall through

Two proposed plans involving four universities have collapsed

Amy Walker

Reject fewer teacher applicants, DfE tells trainers

Letter to providers seen by Schools Week flags 'significant rejection rates', even in shortage subjects

Samantha Booth

DfE calls for research to refresh flagship teacher training reforms

The government plans to review and revise the ITT core content and early careers framework so that they are...

Amy Walker

Snubbed ITT provider asked to stay open due to ‘black hole’

The case highlights ongoing concerns around the ITT market review, held against a backdrop of chronic teacher under-recruitment

Amy Walker


Cambridge university applies for teacher training approval after ‘freedom’ assurances

Top uni now has 'sufficient confidence' to seek reaccreditation under new reforms after refusing to apply in round one

Samantha Booth

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One comment