Ofsted's new focus on curriculum and behaviour in ITT

Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman outlines 'shift in focus' in consultation for new inspections of initial teacher training

John Roberts

Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman has outlined proposed changes to inspections of initial teacher training providers

Ofsted has revealed how its new teacher training inspections will focus on the curriculum and how to manage pupils’ behaviour.

The inspectorate is bringing its inspections of teacher training providers in line with its school inspections by creating a new quality of education and training judgement, which will focus on the curriculum of the training provided.

The watchdog has said its inspections will also assess how trainee teachers are taught to promote pupils’ positive behaviour and attitudes.

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Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman said: “The new framework reflects the shift in focus of our education inspections from outcomes to the substance of education.

"It removes aspects of inspection that do not genuinely assess the quality of teacher training. This will help to make sure ITE [initial teacher education] partnerships are focused on the things that have the greatest impact on trainees’ education and, ultimately, children and young people.”

Ofsted looks at teacher training inspections

Tes previously reported that the new inspections would have an increased emphasis on how trainees are taught to manage pupil behaviour.

The new draft handbook says that in order to be judged "good" training providers will have to ensure  that trainee teachers "practise communicating shared values that improve school culture and sustain excellent behaviour."

It also says that Ofsted inspectors should ensure that they consider trainees’ knowledge and practice in behaviour management, and how providers train them to meet the needs of pupils with SEND and those who speak English as an additional language.

Ofsted said its proposed new inspection framework for teacher training looks "less at outcomes data and focuses more on how effectively trainees are prepared to teach a well-sequenced curriculum”.

This is in line with its new curriculum-focused inspections of schools, which started in September last year.

A 10-week consultation on the proposed changes to teacher training inspection will finish on 3 April.  Ofsted will then begin inspecting teacher training providers from January 2021. 

Ofsted’s main proposals for its consultation on teacher training include:

  • Introducing a new "quality of education and training" judgement, with a focus on the ITE curriculum.
  • Applying a new methodology for gathering inspection evidence.
  • A single visit, four-day inspection, announced three days in advance.
  • Short and long telephone conversations as part of inspection preparation
  • Spring and summer term inspections only.

Ms Spielman said: “While no new teacher is completely ready when they first step into a classroom, high-quality teacher training gives them a solid grounding so that they can begin inspiring the next generation.

“We want to make sure our ITE inspections provide the best measure of the quality of education and training that trainees get. We’ve designed what we hope is a clear and user-friendly framework that assesses the things that matter most.”

The quality of education and training judgement is set to replace  the current “outcomes for trainees” and “quality of training across the partnership” judgements.

The handbook also says that in inspections of programmes for primary school teachers, inspectors should look at trainees' knowledge of systematic synthetic phonics.

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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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