'Knowledge-based' ITT for 1k teachers a year from DfE

Williamson says DfE's new Institute of Teaching will 'revolutionise teacher training' by adding innovation to the market.
2nd January 2021, 10:32am
William Stewart


'Knowledge-based' ITT for 1k teachers a year from DfE

'knowledge-based' Itt For 1k Teachers A Year From Dfe

A new Institute of Teaching being set up by the government will train 1,000 new teachers a year using a "knowledge-based" approach, the education secretary said today.

Gavin Williamson said the "cutting edge" model used by the Department for Education's new institute would "revolutionise teacher training" by adding diversity and innovation to the market.

Billed as "the first of its kind in the world", the institute will offer training through at least four regional campuses from September 2022.

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The DfE says it will also offer training to around 2,000 early career teachers and 2,000 mentors a year, together with 1,000 participants in NPQ (national professional qualification) leadership training. 

It says this "is likely" to be delivered through a blend of online, face-to-face and school-based training.

The new institute will become England's "flagship" teacher training  provider "showcasing exemplary delivery of the government's ambitious reforms through the new ITT Core Content Framework and Early Career Framework, and its changes to NPQs", according to the DfE.

But university-based teacher training providers are questioning whether the institute represents a good use of "scarce public money". 

Mr Williamson said: "When I visit schools around the country, it is clear that the very best combine high standards of pupil behaviour and discipline with a broad knowledge-based and ambitious curriculum, so that every child can learn and flourish.

"Our new Institute of Teaching will help equip all teachers to deliver an education like this, by training them in the best, evidence-based practices. The Institute's cutting-edge approach to teacher training will ensure a new generation of teachers have the expertise they need to level up school standards across the country.

"Through adding diversity and innovation to the existing teacher development market, the Institute will revolutionise teacher training and make England the best place in the world to train and become a great teacher."

But James Noble-Rogers, from the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers, said: "We do not see the case for investing a substantial amount of scarce public money in a new Institute for Teaching, especially in the current economic climate.

"The Institute will not lead to a net increase in new teachers as those recruited would simply be taken from existing high quality providers, potentially threatening their viability.

"Neither is there any evidence that it will improve the synergy between ITE and early and ongoing professional development, something which UCET has been arguing for years."

The DfE is also about to resume its review of the initial teacher training (ITT) market, following a pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The review will focus on "how the ITT sector can provide consistently high-quality training in line with the Core Content Framework in a more efficient and effective market". 

It will be led by Ian Bauckham, chief executive of the Tenax Schools Trust, acting chair of Ofqual and chair of Oak National Academy, with the support of officials and a small expert group.

Expert group members include:

  • Professor Sam Twiselton, director of Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Richard Gill, chair of the Teaching Schools Council, CEO of The Arthur Terry Learning Partnership and lead Ofsted inspector
  • Reuben Moore, executive director of programme development, Teach First
  • John Blake, head of public affairs and engagement, Ark


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