Westminster Education Forum

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Next steps for initial teacher training - the new curriculum, recruitment and early teaching careers, and changes to inspection

March 2021

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will examine the implementation of key changes to the initial teacher training (ITT) system in England.

Areas for discussion include:

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

The agenda

  • Implementing the ITT Core Content Framework and the Early Career Framework
  • ‘A slap in the face? The DfE’s plans for initial teacher education’
  • 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
    • Assessing behaviour management and high quality mentoring
    • ‘We need a review of ITE but not now’
  • 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, and initial impressions and experiences of the increased level of support, as well as 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 regarding recruiting new staff remotely
      • calls for more support - both 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 - looking at how shortfalls in key subject and geographic areas with greatest need 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 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:
      • assessing the impact of COVID-19 - plans to carry out a survey into how the pandemic has affected the provision of ITE, for a report to be published before the start of inspections
      • calls for further delay to the inspection framework - from the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers, seeking a delay of a full year
  • Remote delivery of ITE:
    • ensuring ITE reflects current needs in educational settings - possible ways forward and policy priorities:
      • following remote teacher training - with recent NQTs having completed their training partially remotely and having entered the labour market during a time of remote learning and increased use of EdTech
      • incorporating EdTech into teacher training - 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 primary and secondary schools
    • ITT exempted from new lockdown - students to resume face-to-face learning at universities, with testing or isolation upon arrival
  • the Skills for Jobs white paper - including plans for a new FE teacher recruitment campaign, supporting ITE reform, improving professional development and further data collection, with a new employer-led standard for FE teaching, due to be developed by September this year
  • 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; the National Audit Office; and Ofsted. Also due to attend are representatives from the Action for Children's Arts; Ark Teacher Training; Bangor University; Bath Spa University; Bedford High School; Benenden School; Birmingham City University; Brentwood School; Brighton & Hove City Council; Cambridge Assessment; Cambridgeshire County Council; Canterbury Christ Church University; Cognus; Dove House School Academy Trust; Durham University; Essex primary scitt; Essex Teacher Training; GlamSci; Green Light Teaching School Alliance; Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education; Hugh Baird College; IStip; Leeds Beckett University; Liverpool John Moores University; London East Teacher Training Alliance; Manchester City Council; McMillan School of Education, Bradford College; Mid Essex ITT/Notley High School; North Essex Teacher Training; Northumbria University; OCR; Parkside School; Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance; Primary Partnership Schools Direct; Prince Henry's High School; Prospero Group; Royal Society of Chemistry; Sheffield Hallam University; South Birmingham SCITT; St. John's CE Primary School; Suffolk County Council; TACTYC; TES Institute; The Bell Foundation; The Big Issue; The Brilliant Club; The Education and Training Foundation; The Education People; The Learning Institute; The Marches Academy Trust; The Prospect Trust; The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; Trent Valley Teaching School Alliance (TVTSA); Uganda Community Relief Association (UCRA); University College Birmingham; University of Cambridge; University of Cumbria; University of Derby; University of Roehampton; University of Southampton; University of Strathclyde; University of Suffolk; University of Sunderland; University of Sussex, School of Education and Social Work; University of Worcester, School of Education; University of York; UWE Bristol and Warrington Teaching School Alliance.
A press pass has been reserved by a representative from Tes.

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

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript 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

This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles