Teach First and the University of Worcester have been handed government contracts that will see them “support the anticipated closure” of initial teacher training providers.
Tender documents show the two organisations have each been handed £75,000 contracts to become ITT market quality associates, part of the government’s review of the ITT market.
It follows similar contracts being awarded to Saffron Walden County High School and Wildern Academy Trust in July.
The ITT review, launched last year, aims to slim down the teacher training market. All ITT providers have had to re-apply for accreditation in a process that has caused huge upset, and seen even top-rated providers turned down in the first round.
The Department for Education said last year that it expected “raised standards” for ITT would mean some providers would need to form “different partnerships” to make the grade.
They predicted “significant market reconfiguration and the development of new capacity will be necessary”, and said providers that failed to improve would have their trainees transferred to other providers.
15 ‘associates’ will report on providers’ curriculum
The government’s “new and flexible pool” of up to 15 associates will support the ITT market “as we progress through this re-shaping of the ITT market”.
“They will also support the anticipated closure of a number of providers, ensuring smooth market exit and transfer of trainees to other providers.”
But a Teach First spokesperson told Schools Week its role “is not to close providers”.
“We want to do what we can to support the sector and so we are making our expertise available to any that choose to access it.”
The associates will also play a “key role in delivering DfE’s ITT policy ambition, providing expertise”.
They will also provide assurance the new ITT market has “high-quality design, content, and delivery in line with the ITT core content framework and new quality requirements”.
According to the documents, the DfE will also task the associates with reviewing curriculum content to “ensure incorporation of the ITT core content framework and new quality requirements; and ensuring compliance with the secretary of state’s published ITT criteria”.
They may also be asked to provide coaching support to providers, assess the quality of provision, monitor and intervene in non-compliant provision and, and tasked with “facilitating ITT provider closures in line with published guidance”.
Catriona Robinson, head of the school of education at the University of Worcester, said the organisation was “determined to make every contribution we can, working with the DfE and our colleagues in schools, early years’ settings, further and higher Education to tackling the acute shortage of education professionals”.
“We are deeply committed to working ceaselessly, imaginatively and professionally to expand and further improve teacher training, continuing professional development and education generally. That is why we are participating in this improvement and advisory programme