4 The provision of initial teacher
The routes into teaching
59. As set out in the introduction, there are currently
three main routes into teaching which lead to the award of qualified
teacher status, and the subsequent potential for employment in
the maintained school sector: provision led by higher education
institutions (HEIs), SCITTs, and EBITTs.
60. In 2009-10, HEI-led provision accounted for 78.7%
of trainees, SCITTs for 5.6%, and EBITTs for 16.7%. The majority
of trainees79.4%were on postgraduate training programmes,
and slightly over half (51.7%) were training for secondary teaching.
In terms of number of providers, however, the picture is different:
there were 75 HEIs offering training courses, which tend to accept
more trainees, compared with 59 SCITTs and 100 EBITTs, some of
which have as few as one or two trainees.
61. Ofsted, which has responsibility for inspecting
teacher training, found that between September 2008 and August
2011 there was "more outstanding provision in primary and
secondary partnerships led by higher education institutions than
in school-centred partnerships or employment-based routes".
Amongst the HEI-led provision, Smithers and Robinson found that
the best programmes are consistently run by "the old established
Smithers and Robinson also note, however, that the highest-performing
SCITT (the Billericay Educational Consortium, from which we took
evidence) outranks the highest-performing HEI partnership, and
thatwhen all routes are comparedthe best ten providers
"comprise four SCITTs, four universities and two EBITTs",
proving that there is high quality provision in all the teacher
62. Whilst finding that HEI-led provision is best
overall, Ofsted noted in its evidence to our inquiry that "the
introduction of more routes into teaching" is "one of
the success stories of recent years".
This message was echoed by numerous other witnesses, including
trainee and practising teachers with whom we met, and who had
themselves pursued a variety of routes into teaching. Headteachers
giving evidence in York, for example, had trained on a variety
of programmes but
did not, in the words of one, "favour one [route] over another"
when appointing teachers to their schools.
63. Moreover, we found during our investigations
that different routes appear to suit different candidates better,
for a variety of reasons. The 2011 Good Teacher Training Guide
- SCITTs and EBITTs attract proportionately more
male trainees than HEI-led provision;
- people identifying as from ethnic minorities
are slightly less likely to train in SCITTs than via other routes;
- trainees aged twenty-five years or over are
most likely to train in EBITTs, where they account for 84.9% of
primary trainees and 71.3% of secondary trainees, and least likely
to train at university. 
Teachers at the various discussion groups we held
agreed with our predecessor Committee, which wrote in its 2010
that "distance-learning, school-centred, and employment-based
[routes] have removed many of the barriers to entry to the teaching
profession, most notably for career-changers."
The Government has announced proposals for an additional EBITT
scheme, Teach Next, "to attract high-fliers from other professions."
64. The organisation Teach First was also praised
by a number of witnesses for its impact on the status of the
for its recruitment of bright graduates who might not have considered
and particularly for its selection process, which Keele University
said represented "excellent" practice
and which Ofsted suggested "certainly could" be utilised
by other providers.
The Government announced, in its 2010 White Paper, that it would
"provide funding to more than double the size of Teach First
[...] by the end of this Parliament", including "extending
it across the country, and into primary schools."
The Minister of Schools explained to us that potential dilution
of Teach First's brand and quality were "always a factor
that we took into account when discussing [...] expansion",
but that Teach First was "confident that doubling the numbers
will not do that"; however, the Minister said that that "is
certainly why we are not going beyond the doubling initially".
65. We agree
with Ofsted that a diversity of routes into teaching is a welcome
feature of the system, and note that all routes have outstanding
provision within them.
66. We support
the announced expansion and development of Teach First, which
continues to provide a number of excellent teachers, including
those who would not otherwise have considered the profession.
We also agree with the cautious approach towards any further expansion,
beyond the announced doubling, adopted by the Schools Minister.
The roles of universities and
schools in teacher training
67. Whilst witnesses had a range of views on the
merits and demerits of particular routes into teaching, there
was almost unanimous consensus that school-based training was
valuable, as part of any programme. James Noble-Rogers, of the
Universities' Council for the Education of Teachers, argued that
"close school engagement with ITT", whoever the provider,
is needed, and that that engagement brings "real benefits"
to all partners, including the schools themselves.
We note the Institute of Education's assessment that "no
other country in the world has training which is as school-based
indeed, international comparison studies have hailed England's
reputation in this regard.
68. Trainee teachers explained that the partnership
between schools and universities was often the recipe for
successful provision, with a balance of theoretical and practical
training vital for any teacher: the TDA's chief executive told
us that "however we develop, the school/university partnership
[...] needs to remain a key part" of the training system.
As Jacquie Nunn pointed out to us, some of the very best EBITT
providers, like Teach First, deliver significant portions of their
training through other partners, including universities.
69. Witnesses were clear that both practical and
theoretical training played an important part in the development
of teachers, and the National Union of Teachers argued that trying
to divide the two was "an absurd dichotomy".
Professor Peter Tymms argued that without integration of both,
teachers would find themselves in a weaker position:
There is a kind of artificial divide operating between
theory and practice [...] We need to get the ideas in the backpack
of the teacher so that they are able to deal with very diverse
populations [...] [if] you build up the backpack [...] you have
a real integration between the theory and practice [...] That
is to do with the strong partnerships that you have between the
universities and the schools, and that is the way to go.
Dr John Moss agreed, arguing that teachers needed
a "foundation" which was "more than a technician's
toolkit to get them through their first year or two".
70. Moreover, the best systems internationallysuch
as Singapore and Finland, both of which the Committee has visitedhave
universities heavily involved in or leading the training of teachers.
As one teacher union reminded us, trainees in Finland "are
not only expected to become familiar with the knowledge base in
education and human development, but they are required to write
a research-based dissertation as the final requirement for the
71. The Government has proposed the creation of University
Training Schools, modelled on Finnish training schools, better
to integrate university- and school-based training:
University Training Schools [...] will be run by
some of our best providers of ITT and will deliver three core
functions: teaching children, training teachers and undertaking
research. Universities will be responsible for running UTSs and
will operate outside the maintained sector as academies/free schools,
so that a governance model can be put in place to give the university
the appropriate level of control.
THE EXPANSION OF SCHOOL-LED TEACHER
72. Although the Government is intending to support
the development of University Training Schools, it has also announced
a desire to see "a significant increase in school-led teacher
training" over the current Parliament.
The Schools Minister, however, said he did "not really have
for the desired "significant increase"
in school-led training. The Children, Schools and Families Committee,
in 2010, saw potential for expanding SCITT and EBITT provision
(combined) to account for around 30% of training places, compared
to 15% at the time of publication.
The 2011 Good Teacher Training Guide suggests that, already,
there has been an increase to over 20% of places.
73. Despite strong support for schools' involvement
in ITT, we heard a number of concerns about the impact this could
potentially have on the training landscape. Keele University argued
that "there is little or no evidence that schools have either
the appetite or the capacity to take over the responsibility for
the recruitment and training of teachers to meet the national
labour supply needs";
as one witness reminded us, those labour needs are by no means
small, with "the number of training places available this
year [...] about a third of the size of the British land Army."
Keele's rationale was supported by a number of the school leaders
with whom we met. Anna Cornhill, head of an outstanding primary
school, said she "certainly would not want the responsibility
of taking [teacher training] on completely", but emphasised
enthusiasm for providing training in partnership with universitiesas
her school already does.
Mrs Cornhill was supported by Trevor Burton, a secondary head,
who was "frightened of losing the expertise that is within
the universities", arguing that in his experience "the
balance is fairly good at the moment".
Mr Burton opined that if the landscape "swung all the way
to school-based training, I think a lot would be lost."
Martin Thompson, president of the National Association of School
Based Teacher Trainers, argued that his sector was not "looking
for a great change" and that there were "dangers in
74. Some witnesses raised specific concerns about
a reduced role for universities in the new school-led training
landscape. The TDA argued that universities provide "quality
in terms of [...] subject knowledge",
perhaps of particular importance in undergraduate provision where
trainees are unlikely to have a prior degree in their subject.
As well as concerns around schools' capacity to lead training,
John Moss voiced opinion that there are "economies of scale"
provided by university-led provision, not least around library
and electronic resources for trainees.
Although a number of serving teachers praised the practical nature
of school-led training, several student teachers suggested that
school-led training struggled to provide the sense of both camaraderie
and professional networking offered by university courses, which
invariably take on more trainees. They also suggested that school-led
provision might, in some cases, equip candidates less well for
teaching in a variety of schools, particularly if they were likely
to be employed by the training provider post-qualification.
75. Such a scenario might prove more common with
the creation of 'School Direct', a new system to encourage school-led
teacher training. Under this scheme, schools will be able to advertise
for and select a trainee, and select an accredited ITT provider
"to work with to provide the training"; the school will
then "be expected to employ the trainee" post-qualification.
In his evidence, the Schools Minister said the policy had met
with such demand that nearly double as many places as envisaged
will be offered initially.
However, the Institute for Education, in its evidence, raised
concerns about the proposed system:
It is unlikely that schools will be able to predict
where their staff shortages will be to facilitate such a system;
the exception could be secondary schools with large departments
in the core subjects, but even here the evidence would be that
this is a risky assumption. Furthermore, the ITT system should
be training teachers for the system as a whole, not for specific
schools. However the training infrastructure is configured, trainees
must continue to have access to placements in different and, ideally,
contrasting schools. This enables trainees to learn from a range
of practice to challenge their expectations about, for example,
pupil behaviour. It also helps them to develop as versatile teachers
who feel confident about teaching in different schools.
76. A further innovation from the Coalition Government
is the creation of Teaching Schools, outstanding schools which
"will take a leading responsibility for providing and quality
assuring initial teacher training in their area".
As part of that, they will work as part of an alliance which is
expected to include university partners, and will be expected
to train new teachers, lead peer-to-peer training, support other
schools, and "spot and nurture leadership potential".
The first hundred Teaching Schools were designated in July 2011,
and the first year of the programme is a "development year".
The creation of Teaching Schools was welcomed by school leader
unions and by the Universities' Council for the Education of Teachers.
77. It is clear
that school-based training is vital in preparing a teacher for
their future career, and should continue to form a significant
part of any training programme. As we
suggested in our report on behaviour earlier this Parliament,
we welcome policies which encourage, or enable new, school-centred
and employment-based providers, expansion of which should be demand-led,
and which will ensure good balance between schools and universities
in teacher training. Specifically, we believe that School Direct
could provide a valuable opportunity for those schools which do
have the capacity and appetite to offer teacher training, and
support its creation. However, we recommend that, as a condition
of the programme, trainees must undertake a placement in at least
two schools, to ensure they are not trained specifically for one
school where they will begin, but are unlikely to remain for the
entirety of, their career.
78. We welcome
the creation of Teaching Schools, and note that they will be expected
to work with universities, which we strongly support: we believe
that a diminution of universities' role in teacher training could
bring considerable demerits, and would caution against it. Indeed,
we have seen substantial evidence in favour of universities' continuing
role in ITT, and recommend that school-centred and employment-based
providers continue to work closely with universities, just as
universities should make real efforts to involve schools in the
design and content of their own courses. The evidence has left
us in little doubt that partnership between schools and universities
is likely to provide the highest-quality initial teacher education,
the content of which will involve significant school experience
but include theoretical and research elements as well, as in the
best systems internationally and in much provision here.
THE QUALITY OF PLACEMENTS
79. Some teachers raised particular concerns about
variation across the country regarding placements, which constitute
a vital part of training in providing school-based experience,
and explained that some training providers find it difficult to
arrange suitable placements for trainees, including because of
schools' reluctance to provide placements. As long as funding
is directed towards the training provider, there is a disincentive
for schools to offer placements, which involve considerable work
and result in little devolved funding: our predecessor Committee
noted, in 2010, that the typical daily funding passed on from
providers to placement schools was significantly below that for
hosting social work trainees in both statutory and voluntary sectors.
80. We recommend that the Government
develop preliminary proposals to provide more adequate funding
to schools which provide placements to trainee teachers. We believe
that a better level of funding, passed from lead providers to
placement schools, might incentivise better partnership working
between institutions. Ofsted should look carefully at the quality
of placements when inspecting providers, including the ease with
which they are arranged.
THE QUALITY OF MENTORS
81. Our predecessor Committee noted that mentoring
is "still not seen as a central requirement of all teachers,
as it is, for example, for the medical profession."
The Children, Schools and Families Committee further noted concerns
around both the quality of mentoring, and the time available to
teachers to undertake or train for mentoring roles.
These concerns were similarly aired during our own inquiry, with
particularly striking feedback from trainees on the variability
in mentoring quality even within one training course. Mentors
during school placements can, in the words of one, "make
or break" a trainee's experience.
82. The consultation on new teacher training inspection
measures has a proposal for an online questionnaire to gain trainees'
views, which may provide evidence on the quality of mentoring
available. The framework consultation does not, however, appear
to make any express reference to the quality of mentoring during
teacher training placements.
83. We support
the recommendation of our predecessor Committee that "those
who mentor trainees on school placement should have at least three
years' teaching experience and should have completed specific
We further recommend that Ofsted look specifically at the quality
of mentoring when inspecting providers of initial teacher training.
87 See paragraph 15 of this report for more information
about each route. Back
Smithers, A., and Robinson, P., The Good Teacher Training Guide
2011 (University of Buckingham), hereafter 'Good Teacher
Training Guide 2011', p. 16 Back
Ibid., p. 4 Back
Annual Report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's
Services and Skills 2010-11, p. 75 Back
Good Teacher Training Guide 2011, p. 5. Back
Ibid., pp. 6 and 7 Back
Ev 292 Back
See Qq. 611- 612 (Steve Smith, Anna Cornhill, Trevor Burton and
Richard Ludlow) Back
Q 611 (Steve Smith) Back
See Good Teacher Training Guide 2011, p. 17 Back
Training of Teachers, p. 24. Because trainees on the GTP,
the biggest EBITT programme, receive a salary, it is particular
popular with those who are changing career and by necessity need
to continue earning. (See Martin Thompson, Q 77.) Back
Schools White Paper, p. 21 Back
For example, see Q 139 (Sir Peter Lampl) Back
For example, see Q 49 (Stephen Hillier) and Q 168 (Professor John
Ev 165 Back
Q 545 (Jean Humphrys) Back
Schools White Paper, p. 21 Back
Q 709 (Nick Gibb MP) Back
Qq. 197-198 Back
Ev 199 Back
See Barber and Mourshed 2007, p. 28 Back
Q 23 (Stephen Hillier) Back
See Q 189 Back
Ev 178 Back
Q 174 Back
Q 68 Back
Ev 178 Back
DfE Implementation plan, p. 13 Back
Q 724 (Nick Gibb MP) Back
DfE Implementation plan, p. 13 Back
See Training of Teachers, p. 25 Back
See Good Teacher Training Guide 2011, p. 16 Back
Ev 165 Back
Oral evidence on Ev 28 (Professor John Howson) Back
Q 582 Back
Q 580 Back
Q 57 Back
Q 55 (Stephen Hillier) Back
Q 73 Back
DfE Implementation plan, p. 12 Back
See Q 721 (Nick Gibb MP). The teacher training implementation
plan announced 500 places in 2012-13, which the Minister explained
will be over 900, with 103 schools taking part. Back
Ev 199 Back
Schools White Paper, p. 23 Back
where a list of the first hundred schools is also offered. Back
Behaviour and Discipline in Schools: First Report of the
Education Committee, Session 2010-12, HC 516-I, p. 36 Back
See Training of Teachers, p. 30 Back
Training of Teachers, p. 33 Back
The consultation period closed on 31 January 2012, but the consultation
document can be viewed at http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/framework-for-inspection-of-initial-teacher-education-2012.