This week, the government released a new framework of core content for initial teacher training. Here’s a quick summary of the key points and recommendations you need to know.
The 8 key points from the new ITT framework:
A new framework of core content for ITT is necessary - there is room for ITT providers to improve the quality of programmes for trainee teachers.
The teachers’ standards remain the core of all levels of effective teaching - the framework of core content must therefore elaborate the standards in a beneficial way to both providers and trainees.
There must be room for innovation in the design and delivery of ITT - it would be unhelpful to develop an exhaustive list of content that gives little scope for providers to develop their own programmes. The design and deliverance of core content must be succinct, not over-prescriptive and leave room for providers to use their professional judgement and expertise.
Initial teacher training is precisely that: INITIAL - the trainee qualifying from ITT is far from a fully-fledged and proficient teacher: “ITT should provide firm foundations on which new teachers can build, forming the start of their professional journey.”
High quality professional development is of the utmost importance - if we are to retain teachers who consistently deliver teaching of the highest possible calibre, then it is essential that high quality professional development is seen as an integral part of a teacher’s professional life.
The government have also this week published a new standard for teachers’ professional development. It echoes recommendations made in this year’s #ShapingCPD report, following the conference sponsored by the University of Cambridge in April.
There needs to be greater clarity about QTS and NQT year - the current qualified teacher status (QTS) should be replaced with a stronger, more challenging accreditation based on a teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom (to be judged by “great schools”).
The moral purpose of education should be emphasised in high quality ITT - a clear statement of the ethical and professional duties of teachers is embodied in the teachers’ standards. These should be fully and properly emphasised during ITT and good teaching should be firmly located within the moral and ethical framework of education.
The framework should be used as one of the key determinants of the quality of ITT - the framework should be mandatory if it’s going to have a real and lasting impact. From the 2018/19 training year onwards, government aim to develop a set of quality criteria to be applied when training places are allocated to providers.
New ITT framework key recommendations
The report is broken into 2 parts:
- Personal and professional conduct
Each have recommendations for ITT providers and trainees. Some of the key ones are as follows.
Overview of recommendations for ITT providers
- Give trainees advice on maintaining a sustainable work/life balance
- Design programmes that focus on how effective teaching ensures good pupil outcomes
- Ensure trainees understand the obligation to set high standards which inspire, motivate and challenge all pupils
- Ensure trainees are familiar with a range of techniques, including modelling and scaffolding tasks
- Ensure trainees are familiar with a range of resources, including textbooks and digital resources
- Audit trainee’s subject knowledge early in their training and encourage trainees to read widely around their subjects
Overview of recommendations for trainees
Following ITT, all trainees should:
- Have good subject knowledge
- Be able to plan, teach and assess lessons
- Be able to use technology effectively in lessons
- Recognise students with special educational needs and disabilities
- Demonstrate a knowledge of different research methods, their benefits and limitations
- Know where to find evidence-supported resources
Response from the unions
In response to the new framework, Russell Hobby, General Secretary of NAHT, has said: “NAHT is particularly glad to see that there will be a strong focus on assessment skills for trainee teachers.
We are also pleased to see that the reports feature our recommendations that ITT includes a good grounding in childhood psychology and development, and that training regarding teaching children with special needs should be a key component of initial teacher training.
We would urge the government to consider our proposal for a two year qualification period for new teachers, to allow sufficient time for all these essential components to be delivered effectively. One year may not be sufficient.”
New national standards for school-based ITT mentors
Another report released this week by the government claims that school-based ITT mentors should be able to:
- Empathise with the challenges a trainee faces
- Support trainees in developing their teaching practice
- Induct the trainee into professional norms
- Continue to develop their own professional knowledge
What do you think of the new framework? Do you agree with the 8 main points?