Westminster Education Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
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Next steps for initial teacher training - the new curriculum, recruitment and early teaching careers, and changes to inspection

Morning, Tuesday, 23rd February 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference is examining the implementation of key changes to initial teacher training (ITT) system in England.

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with a range of key policy officials who are due to attend from the DfE, as well as representatives from the House of Commons and the Government Legal Department.

The discussion at a glance:

  • the ITT core content framework - stakeholder views, and the impact on providers so far
  • the Early Career Framework and the teacher pay increases - their likely impact on teacher retention moving forward
  • the Initial Teacher Education inspection framework - how providers have prepared to adapt to the new framework, with:
    • the conference looking forward to the first inspections expected to be introduced by Ofsted in April 2021
    • a survey to be carried out into how COVID-19 has affected the provision of ITE
  • COVID-19 - possible alternative arrangements by providers for ITT needed due to the pandemic - and options for developments in remote delivery of training

The agenda:

  • Implementing the ITT Core Content Framework and the Early Career Framework
  • ‘The changing teacher education landscape’
  • Adapting to the revised Core Content Framework - developing the curriculum, provision of placements following the pandemic, and support for providers
  • Teacher recruitment and retention post-pandemic - supporting NQTs into employment, transition to full-time teaching, the outlook for shortage subjects, and the likely impact of the Early Career Framework
  • Implementing the new ITE inspection framework
  • Adapting to the new ITE inspection framework - preparing teachers for a well-sequenced curriculum, the new quality of education and training judgement, and assessing behaviour management and high quality mentoring
  • ITE in remote settings
    • Ensuring ITE reflects current needs in educational settings - and the challenges of moving on from the pandemic
    • Completing teacher training remotely - challenges and opportunities
    • Incorporating training on EdTech and remote learning practices into teacher training

Areas for discussion:

  • the revised ITT core content framework (CCF) and Early career framework (ECF):
    • implementation - looking at the CCF, which sets out core essentials for training providers across: behaviour management, pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, and professional behaviour
    • alignment - how to ensure the revised CCF dovetails with the ECF to establish three or more years of structured support for teacher trainees
    • impact - the ECF and retention rates for NQTs - initial impressions and experiences of the increased level of support, and options for improvement ahead of the full roll-out in 2021
    • COVID-19 - the provision of placements in the wake of the pandemic and priorities for supporting providers at this time 
  • teacher recruitment and retention:
    • teacher training applications - the reported surge coinciding with the pandemic
      • potential impact and underlying factors - including the rise of youth unemployment and the recent pay increase for new teachers
      • long-term implications - previous trends suggesting that the teachers recruited during economic uncertainty can be less likely to stay in the profession once the economy recovers
    • employability - ensuring it continues for new teachers
      • the teacher labour market - possible strategies for achieving a better balance of supply and demand in the future - and what can be learned from the experience of the pandemic
      • challenges - a reported drop in teaching vacancies, NQTs struggling to find employment, and some schools having concerns over recruiting new staff remotely
      • calls for more support for NQTs and for schools to continue recruiting staff remotely
    • the teacher recruitment and retention strategy - assessing progress in the priority areas of:
      • support - for early career teachers through the introduction of the ECF and in developing school cultures
      • working life - reducing teacher workload, and improving opportunities for flexible working patterns and career journeys in the teaching profession
      • applications - simplifying the process for ITT, and increasing opportunities for those interested in the profession to gain insights and some experience of teaching as a career
    • recruitment shortfalls - in key subject areas and geographic areas with greatest need - looking at how the issues can be addressed by providers and schools
    • retention:
      • keeping NQTs within the profession - including the role of providers with concerns regarding the mental health support available to trainee teachers
      • prior experience - its removal of within a school as an entry requirement for trainee teachers
  • the new ITE inspection framework
    • implementation - full, graded inspections now expected to take place from April 2021, in the face of significant interruptions to the cycle of Ofsted inspections due to the pandemic, and:
      • plans to carry out a survey into how Covid-19 has affected the provision of ITE, for a report to be published before the start of inspections
      • calls from the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers for the inspection framework to be delayed for a full year
  • Remote delivery of ITE
    • ensuring ITE reflects current needs in educational settings - possible ways forward and policy priorities:
      • it follows recent NQTs having completed their teacher training partially remotely and have entered the labour market during a time of remote learning and increased use of EdTech
      • options for remote teaching to be incorporated in teacher training moving forward

A scan of developments:

  • Initial teacher training (ITT): core content framework - which sets out the core skills that teachers should have a grounding in at the start of their career - which was introduced from September 2020
  • national lockdown:
    • school closures - affecting all primaries and secondaries and expected to continue until February half term, apart from in the case of vulnerable children and children of critical workers
    • ITT exempted from new lockdown - students to resume face-to-face learning at universities, with testing or isolating upon arrival
  • New Institute of Teaching set to be established - in September 2022 for ITT trainees, Early Career Teachers, mentors, and NPQ participants, and providing CPD for teachers and school leaders
  • Initial teacher training market review - being resumed by DfE focusing on how best to consistently deliver high-quality training in line with the core content framework
  • Early career framework reforms - aiming to ensure that all teachers can access high quality professional development, which started in selected schools in September with 2021 national roll out
  • Initial teacher education (ITE) inspection framework and handbook - being introduced by Ofsted, which:
    • aims to bring ITT inspection in line with the recently introduced Education Inspection Framework
    • introduces a new quality of education and training judgement, with a focus on the ITT curriculum
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): initial teacher training (ITT) - the impact of COVID-19 on ITT provision and recent DfE guidance for providers
  • MillionPlus leads cross-sector call for a national recovery plan in Initial Teacher Education - stakeholders calling for a formal cross-sector government advisory group to formulate a plan
  • Analysis: the teacher recruitment gap could close for the first time since 2012 - increased applications for teacher training programmes reported by the Education Policy Institute and coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons Library, and officials from the Department of Education; the Government Legal Department; and the National Audit Office.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Professor Samantha Twiselton

Chair, Expert Advisory Panel, ITT, Department for Education; Director, Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University and Vice President, Chartered College of Teaching

Helen Matthews HMI

Specialist advisor for ITE, Ofsted

James Noble-Rogers

Executive Director, Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET)


Lord Knight of Weymouth

Chief Education and External Officer, Tes Global; and Minister of State (Schools) 2006-2009


Emma Hollis

Executive Director, National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers

Professor Anna Lise Gordon

Director, Institute of Education, Faculty of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, St Mary’s University

Joshua Fullard

Senior Researcher, School Workforce, Education Policy Institute

Nansi Ellis

Assistant General Secretary, National Education Union

Reuben Moore

Executive Director of Programme Development, Teach First

Dr Greg Walker

Chief Executive Officer, MillionPlus

Andy Duffy

Assistant Headteacher, SCITT Director, Prince Henry’s High School

Anna Fielding

Head of ITT, Hall Cross Academy, Doncaster

Professor David Spendlove

Director of Teaching, Learning and Students, School of Environment, Education and Development, Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester

Michael Tonge

Executive Headteacher, Prestolee Academy Trust, Greater Manchester