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Teachers: Training

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL12945, tabled on 3 February 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to maintain the stability of the teacher supply in the Initial Teacher Training system, and (2) to uphold the quality of teacher education.

Answered on

17 February 2021

The department has been working hard to increase the number of teachers entering the profession. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, teachers have been celebrated for their role in continuing to support children. Measures have been taken to maintain the stability of teacher supply throughout the COVID-19 outbreak by working closely with the sector to support teacher training providers to place trainee teachers in schools as part of their training. The department has relaxed some of the criteria relating to the provision of initial teacher training (ITT) in the 2020/21 academic year, confirmed that trainee teachers are critical workers, and strongly encouraged schools to continue hosting trainees on placement during periods of national or local COVID-19 restrictions.

The department has seen a surge in the number of new trainee teachers this year – over 7,000 more than in 2019 – which shows that teaching continues to be an attractive career option.

The department is aware that certain subjects continue to be a challenge, so has put in place a range of measures, which include bursaries worth up to £24,000 and scholarships worth up to £26,000, to attract talented trainees to some subjects like chemistry, computing, mathematics, and physics.

The department offers subject knowledge enhancement courses to applicants who have the potential to become outstanding teachers but who need to increase their subject knowledge before the Teachers' Standards can be met. The department also continues to run a range of marketing events to attract new trainees; these have all been adapted to run online in response to the outbreak and continue to see high attendance figures.

The department is committed to ensuring trainees and early career teachers receive the best training possible. From September 2020, all ITT will incorporate the ITT Core Content Framework (CCF) into well sequenced curricula. The CCF sets out a minimum entitlement of experiences and opportunities that trainees need, so they can enter the profession in the best position possible to teach and support children. This will be followed by a new two year induction from September 2021, supported by the Early Career Framework.

On 2 January 2021, the department announced that we are resuming a review of the ITT market, with a focus on how the ITT sector can provide consistently high quality training, in line with the CCF, in a more efficient and effective market.

This review will aim to make well informed, evidence based recommendations on how to ensure all trainees are receiving consistent, high quality training, in a way that will maintain capacity to deliver enough trainees, be accessible to candidates, and benefit all schools.