Plans to award qualified teacher status (QTS) after three years of training could have a “disastrous” impact on recruitment, school-based teacher trainers have warned.
The National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT) also said that moving to a three-year QTS could “devalue” the status of current teachers.
The Department for Education is currently consulting on proposals for “strengthening QTS”.
In December it suggested that rather than being awarded QTS after completing a year of initial teacher training as is currently the case, teachers could instead receive QTS after three years of training, including a two-year induction period working within a school.
'We may lose applicants'
In its response to the consultation, the NASBTT said it supported a longer induction period for new teachers, but added: “The language used around these proposals needs to be carefully considered so that unintended consequences are avoided.
“If prospective entrants to the profession see what was a one-year process suddenly appearing to be a three-year ‘marathon’, we may lose applicants which would be disastrous.”
The response goes on: “It is for this reason that we are so strongly advocating for QTS to remain where it is.
“It is well understood and widely recognised – and moving this may well result in confusion and discomfort.
“It may also devalue those that already hold QTS and lead to greater negative messages about and within the profession at a time where, more than ever, we need positive messages to be disseminated.”
NASBTT’s response follows a similar warning from the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers yesterday.
While it was also supportive of extending the induction period for new teachers, the UCET warned that a perception that the “final” award of QTS is being delayed could dissuade people from entering the profession.
The government has suggested that the completion of initial teacher training could be marked with a new term, such as “Provisional QTS”.
However, NASBTT said this could cause “confusion” which “may lead to a devaluing of our provision in international circles”.
Instead, it suggests QTS should remain where it is but “Endorsed QTS” should be awarded at the end of an extended induction period.
NASBTT also said that the government’s plans to improve the quality of continuing professional development relied on central funding.
“What is absolutely clear is that schools do not currently have the finances to support additional CPD for staff nor the reduction in timetables proposed for the extended induction period,” the response states.
“For any of these proposals to be successful, funding must be committed which allows schools to commit time and resource into developing their staff.
“If left unfunded, the strain on schools would be too great and these proposals will have no chance of success."