Teacher trainers will be allowed to ask the government to relax requirements for trainees to have taught in at least two schools and for courses to cover four consecutive school years if Covid has got in the way.
The Department for Education has published details of “support” for providers to meet initial teacher training (ITT) criteria in the 2021-22 academic year.
It follows disruption to teacher training as a result of Covid, which has so far impacted three academic years in a row.
Various rules have been relaxed over the period, including a change which allowed trainees to get qualified teacher status based on progress in 2019-20 and 2020-21.
Requirements that all ITT providers must ensure each trainee has taught in at least two schools and that no training programme should cover fewer than four consecutive school years were brought back in this year, having been relaxed last year.
However, the DfE has said today that providers can “ask for additional support” if Covid-19 disruption meant they could not meet the two elements.
First, providers should contact the DfE for help finding school placements needed to meet the criteria.
But if they are unsuccessful, providers can apply to the DfE to relax “one or both elements” of the criteria for a specified number of trainees.
Providers would need to show evidence they took steps to find the placements needed, and that Covid disruption was the main reason for not meeting the criteria.
“If there is enough evidence, DfE will confirm which relaxations it approves for a specified number of trainees,” new advice states. “DfE will inform Ofsted of these relaxations so that any future inspections take them into account.”