All teacher training providers would need to be re-accredited in order to continue recruiting from September 2022, under proposals set out today.
The long-awaited recommendations from the initial teacher training (ITT) market review, published by the Department for Education's advisory working group this afternoon, outline how the sector could be radically reshaped over the course of the next academic year.
The DfE's expert group is chaired by Ian Bauckham, chief executive officer of Tenax Schools.
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Its recommendations fall into two main strands:
- to set out criteria for features of high-quality ITT; and
- to require all providers to go through a process of re-accreditation.
The DfE says in the accompanying consultation document that the re-accreditation process could be completed by September 2022.
The review group's report says: "The quality requirements set out in this report mark a step-change in the delivery of initial teacher training.
"...providers will have to consider very carefully how they are going to successfully deliver these requirements, and we anticipate that significant market reconfiguration and the development of new capacity will be necessary.
"DfE will need to be assured that prospective accredited providers and their partnerships are capable of delivering the quality requirements in full, and so the expert advisory group recommends that all ITT providers should be required to go through a new accreditation process, regardless of whether they are currently offering initial teacher training or are new to ITT provision."
The consultation document sets out more details about the timeframe for the changes.
It says: "Given the importance of ITT, and with each ITT recruitment round resulting in around 30,000 qualified teachers, we would like to implement any recommendations that are agreed following consideration of the consultation responses as quickly as possible.
"We think that implementation may be possible for the 2022-23 postgraduate recruitment round, with DfE running an accreditation process early in 2022 and successful providers being announced before the end of the 2021-22 academic year.
"Providers would then have a further year to recruit trainees and prepare for first teaching of the new ITT courses in September 2023."
The government intends to respond to the report and its recommendations this autumn.
There will also be a public consultation on the proposals.
Sam Twiselton, a member of the review group and director of the Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University, said she welcomed this engagement with the sector, and encouraged people with an "interest in high quality ITE [initial teacher education]" to respond "in detail" to the questions.
"The systematic focus on the alignment between centre and school-based experience and the priority given to mentors, lead mentors and time and training to support them is fundamentally important to high-quality ITE," she said.
"The need to ensure that carefully crafted and sequenced evidence based ITE curricula support new teachers to become critically reflective practitioners is also essential.
"It will be important to work through how both the system and the ITE and school sectors need to work together to maintain a supply of high-quality new teachers. Central to this will be thoroughly testing the recommendations set out in the review."
In May, Tes revealed that the ITT review could lead to the number of providers allowed to operate being slashed.
Universities subsequently warned that such a move could risk "damaging" the "pipeline" of new recruits.
Launching the consultation, schools minister Nick Gibb said: "Supporting our teachers with the highest quality training and professional development is the best way in which we can improve pupil outcomes and is central to the government's levelling up agenda.
"We want this country to be the best place to become a great teacher and that starts with high-quality initial teacher training.
"The proposed changes would build upon the ambitious reforms the government has implemented to create a golden thread of training, support and professional development, informed by high quality evidence, which will run through each phase of a teacher's career."