Government response to the Education Select Committee
report into Great teachers: attracting, training and retaining
1. The Government welcomes the Committee's report
published on 1 May 2012 endorsing its strategy to attract top
graduates into teaching.
2. Evidence from around the world illustrates that
the quality of teachers is the most important factor in determining
the effectiveness of a school system. The Government will continue
to ensure the right trainees in the right subject areas support
the high standard of teaching required in our schools.
3. In line with the best education systems in the
world, trainee teachers will be drawn from the most academically
able and selected carefully on aptitude by including the personal,
interpersonal and intellectual qualities necessary to become outstanding
teachers. Teachers should receive rigorous training, focusing
on the skills that they will need to be able to provide teaching
to the required standard in the classroom.
4. The White Paper: The Importance of Teaching,
in November 2010, spelt out the Government's strategy for improving
the quality of teaching. Significant progress in implementing
the strategy has been made. As set out in the initial teacher
training (ITT) strategy implementation plan, published in November
2011, the proposals are designed to improve the quality of teacher
trainees, reform teacher training and achieve better value for
money in ITT. From September 2012 new streamlined regulations
on performance management and a new model appraisal policy will
be introduced, backed up by new clearer teacher standards, against
which all classroom teachers will be appraised annually.
5. The independent Review of Teachers' Standards
chaired by Sally Coates set out recommendations for a new set
of standards setting the minimum requirement for teaching which
will come into force in September 2012. The Review also recommended
discontinuing the standards for Post -Threshold, Excellent Teacher(ET)
and Advanced Skills Teacher(AST), and the introduction of a
new Master Teacher Standard. Before making any arrangements
for the implementation of the Master Teacher Standard, the Secretary
of State committed to consult the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) about
the implications for pay of discontinuing the current standards
for Threshold, ET and AST. The STRB has also been asked to
make recommendations on introducing greater freedoms and flexibilities
in teachers' pay, including how to link it more effectively to
6. The Government is supporting the development of
a network of outstanding teaching school alliances where schools
come together to develop their own professional practice. So far
over 200 teaching schools have been designated. By the end of
the Parliament the Government expects to accredit a further 300
such schools. A new National Scholarship Fund for Teachers has
also been launched to provide opportunities for teachers to deepen
their subject knowledge.
7. These changes are designed to improve the quality
of the profession, enhance the status of teachers and ensure that
a new generation of top graduates provides outstanding teaching
in our schools.
Responses to the Committee's conclusions and recommendations
The Government's bursary scheme
1. We welcome the Government's bursary scheme,
trust that it will attract more people to consider the profession,
and acknowledge the need to skew incentives towards subjects in
which it is difficult to recruit. However, we caution that this
alone will not do the job. Whilst bursaries will help to attract
people with strong academic records, greater effort is also needed
to identify which subset of these also possess the additional
personal qualities that will make them well-suited to teaching.
This is a key theme of this report that we will return to later.
The Government welcomes the support for its bursary
scheme. Teaching is a career for the best graduates, with excellent
degree-level knowledge, particularly for secondary subjects, and
enthusiasm for their specialist subject. That is why the Government
is funding larger bursaries to trainees with 2.1 and first class
degrees. As noted in the Government's written submission to the
Committee, national and international evidence shows that teachers'
level of prior education is directly linked to the standards achieved
by their pupils. Degree class is also a good predictor of whether
a trainee will complete their course and achieve Qualified Teacher
The Government recognises that degree class is not
the sole indicator of how successful a trainee will be once they
start teaching. Initial Teacher Training providers continue to
operate their own rigorous recruitment and selection procedures
to ensure that only the most capable candidates are accepted onto
courses. Interviews, selection tests and classroom experience
programmes are part of the processes already used when assessing
candidates for training.
The Teaching Agency is also working with Ofsted to
improve the quality of selection of applicants by initial teacher
training providers. It is important that providers continue to
operate rigorous selection procedures so that only applicants
with excellent subject knowledge and an aptitude for teaching
enter training. The new Ofsted framework, which comes into effect
in September 2012, reinforces the need for rigorous selection
and evidence of the recruitment of high quality trainees. The
Teaching Agency is working to ensure that ITT providers use the
best methods to assess non-cognitive skills as part of selection
for entry onto ITT courses. An independent panel is also carrying
out a review of the skills tests to ensure that they are testing
candidates to meet rigorous standards of literacy and numeracy.
The reviewed skills tests will be introduced in September 2013
for trainees who are starting training from September 2014.
2. We do, however, question the use of degree
class as the determinant of bursary eligibility for primary school
teachers. For this phase of education, a redesign of the criteria
towards breadth of knowledge (at GCSE and A Level) may be more
appropriate. Again, this of course needs to be complemented by
a thorough testing of suitability as a teacher, as part of the
course admissions process. (Paragraph 40)
The Government accepts that breadth of knowledge
is important for primary teachers who teach across the curriculum.
This will be tested on entry and for the award of Qualified Teacher
Status (QTS) against the relevant teachers' standards, including
standard 3 on good subject and curriculum knowledge.
Bursary arrangements are designed to be transparent,
easy to operate by training providers and easy to understand by
applicants. Degree class is well understood by initial teacher
training providers, schools and candidates. It is also important
that trainees understand, as they consider a career in teaching,
the bursary that they are likely to attract if they are accepted
onto a teacher training course. For graduates beginning their
courses in September 2012 all primary trainees with a first or
2.1 degree will qualify for a bursary.
The Secretary of State has announced extra financial
incentives for trainee primary maths teachers and trainee teachers
who work in the most challenging schools. In addition trainees
with a grade B or above in A level maths would qualify for an
extra £2,000 where they train to become primary specialist
Research into effective teachers
3. We have been surprised by the lack of research
into the qualities found to make for effective teaching, including
any potential link between degree class and performance. Overall,
the research base in both directions is fairly scant and could
usefully be replenished with new methodologically-sound research
looking at UK teachers and schools, both primary and secondary,
which we recommend that the Government commission with some urgency.
The Government agrees with the Committee that defining
"teacher quality" is complex. There is a certain amount
of research (the Annex details evidence that is currently available)
on the qualities that make an effective teacher. Many different
factors contribute to a teacher's effectiveness and there is no
obvious consensus in the existing research on how teacher quality
should be measured.
The value of commissioning a further bank of research
at the national level is questioned by the Government. At a local
level, many schools already hold data to map individual teacher
performance against pupils' attainment and successful schools
make use of it in tracking pupil performance. This information
can be used by schools in performance management, professional
development and mentoring.
International evidence on top performing school systems
has been used by the Government to inform the policy on recruitment
of those entering teacher training. Finland and Singapore consistently
attract more able people into the teaching profession. They do
this by making entry to teacher training highly selective (for
example recruiting the highest performing graduates), developing
effective procedures for selecting applicants, and paying competitive
starting salaries. Further research will be commissioned as necessary.
4. We support the Government's introduction of
entry tests in literacy and numeracy skills: teachers must be
highly skilled in both. We also welcome the concept of a test
of interpersonal skills but, amidst concerns about the nature
of such a test, we recommendwhilst acknowledging the Government's
desire to give providers autonomy over test designthat
the Department for Education publish further details of what such
a test might include, and that it keep the test under close review.
The Government welcomes the Committee's support for
entry tests in literacy and numeracy skills to ensure that only
those candidates capable of making a significant impact on the
profession are admitted to teacher training.
The Department has asked for expressions of interest
from companies offering interpersonal tests. Information on these
tests will be made available to initial teacher training providers
and on its website when a final list of interested companies offering
these tests has been agreed. The contribution of these tests
will be monitored as part of the teacher selection process.
5. We recommend the Government engage with relevant
experts to assist in designing and refining the interpersonal
skills assessments, which we believe have potential to improve
the predictive capability of the application/acceptance system.
However, we remain to be convinced that a written test alone will
constitute the most effective device. The added effectiveness
that could come through deploying additional 'assessment centre'
techniques (such as group exercises and presentation) and a demonstration
lesson may well outweigh their cost and we recommend the Government
consider these too. Such techniques could form part of the second
of a two-round system, similar to that now used in Finland. As
a starting point, we believe there may be much to be learned from
the selection processes of Teach First. (Paragraph 45)
6. We agree that teacher quality, actual or potential,
cannot be fully established without observing a candidate teach.
We would like to see all providers, wherever possible, include
this as a key part of assessment before the offer of a training
place is made. Assessment panels, where they do not already, must
include the involvement of a high-quality practising headteacher
or teacher. (Paragraph 49)
The Government agrees with the
The written tests which the Department
will require applicants to ITT to take from this September, and
the more rigorous assessments from September 2013, are designed
to be a first stage in the selection process. They are not a substitute
for the assessments made by initial teacher training providers
which routinely involve interview, classroom simulation and other
exercises. Teacher training providers are best placed to design
and carry out these assessments.
It will be the responsibility of
Ofsted to inspect and report on the procedures used by providers
to select their trainees through its revised framework for the
inspection of initial teacher education, effective from September
7. All providers should develop strong partnerships
with local universities, colleges and schools which enable potential
teachers to 'taste' the profession, and experience first hand
its content, benefits and career potential, before entering training:
we believe this could have a strong and positive effect on both
trainee quality and drop-out rates. Alongside this, Government
should consider development of a more formalised system of internships
for school and college students, as exists in Singapore. We would
envisage extensive availability of 'Teaching Taster' sessions
for both sixth formers (for those considering undergraduate courses)
and undergraduates (considering postgraduate training). Regardless
of how long the taster session lasts, it must feature actual teaching,
alongside the classroom teacher, and not just 'observation' or
being a 'teaching assistant'. Feedback on the individual's performance
should be given to the individual only and the taster sessions
should be entirely separate from formal application/acceptance
processes. Applying to do teacher training is a 'high stakes'
decision and the purpose of these sessions is to give people a
chance to try out their own aptitude before committing. We believe
this approach could help both deter some people who are not best
suited to teaching and persuade others to consider it. (Paragraph
The Government agrees with the
Committee that strong relationships between schools and universities
are key to effective teacher training.
Early signs are that teaching schools
are welcoming the chance to take an active role in the recruitment
and selection of trainees, in partnership with the schools in
their alliance. Through the new School Direct initiative,
many more schools can become involved in leading ITT by recruiting
trainees whom they will later be expected to employ.
The Government also agrees with the Committee on
the importance of trainees having some school experience before
they begin their training. The Teaching Agency's new School Experience
Programme (SEP) offers undergraduates and graduates the chance
to experience classroom life.
Bursaries are paid to schools and participants to
ensure that finance is no barrier to participation in the SEP.
To date, over 1,000 people have participated in the programme
in the current academic year.
The SEP is currently offered to those trainees intending
to teach physics, mathematics, chemistry and modern foreign languages,
which are subjects which have traditionally had relatively low
volumes of applications in relation to demand. Those wishing to
teach at primary level or to teach other secondary subjects are
assisted in finding their own school placements through the Teaching
Agency's website and the Agency's helpline.
The Agency also offers individuals the opportunity
to speak to an existing teacher through its Teaching Advocate
programme. This programme enables individuals interested in a
career in teaching the opportunity to gain an insight into the
challenges and rewards of day-to-day life in a classroom.
8. Whilst marketing campaigns to date have had
some success in raising the possibility of a teaching career amongst
graduates, England is clearly lagging behind its international
peers with regard to the number of applications per place. We
recommend that the Government, through the new Teaching Agency,
commit to consistent marketing of teaching as a profession, with
the explicit aim of increasing the number of applicants for each
training position, and that marketing should communicate that
teaching is rewarding in all senses of the word. (Paragraph 55)
The Teaching Agency's new teacher
recruitment marketing campaign, introduced in January 2012, marks
a major change from previous campaigns in that its key objective
is to maximise the quality rather than the number of applicants.
This is consistent with the Department's wider aim of improving
the standard of new entrants to teaching. To do this, it focuses
on the many rewards which teaching in today's schools provides
at all levels to talented people, including career development
and competitive salaries. Early indications are that the campaign
is beginning to work, with sharply rising scores among the target
audience around the image of teaching. This is also reflected
in the Agency's monitoring of the degree class of applicants to
ITT in the current year which shows an improvement on the position
last year, while remaining on target to fill places.
9. We strongly support the Government's plans
to implement a central admissions system for initial teacher training,
which we consider could bring significant benefits for individuals
and institutions, and could have a positive impact on increasing
the number of applications for training which we consider must
be a priority for Government. (Paragraph 58)
The Government welcomes the endorsement of the Committee
for a single application system.
The Teaching Agency is working with the Universities
and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) to implement a single application
system for all entrants to ITT, including School Direct places.
UCAS has just completed a public consultation to inform the implementation
of these plans.
Applications to teacher training from 2013 for courses
that start in September 2014 will be through the new single system.
10. 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. (Paragraph
The Government welcomes the support given by the
Committee to the current range of different routes into teaching.
It is necessary to offer a range of routes to suit the different
personal circumstances of trainees and to attract a broad range
Different routes into teaching will continue to be
reviewed to ensure that they attract the best and brightest while
allowing schools to train and employ the teachers they need. The
Graduate Teacher programme will close at the end of the 2012/13
academic year. A new route for high quality career changers called
the School Direct Training Programme (salaried), allowing schools
to employ trainees while they train, will begin in September 2013.
This law has been changed to allow schools to employ,
as qualified teachers, holders of Qualified Teacher, Learning
and Skills status (QTLS) and qualified teachers from designated
countries (Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA) without
further training or assessment.
11. 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. (Paragraph 66)
Teach First plays a valuable role in recruiting high
performing graduates, who may not otherwise have considered teaching,
to work in some of the country's most challenging schools for
at least two years.
A high proportion of Teach First participants teach
priority subjects such as physics and mathematics, which are posts
that are traditionally hard to fill. The most recent statistics
show that over 90% of Teach First teachers stay for a minimum
of two years, over 50% stay for more than two years and 67% of
those placed since 2003 remain actively engaged with addressing
educational disadvantage through Teach First's ambassador community.
The 2010 Schools White Paper announced the Government
would double the size of Teach First by the end of this parliament.
After careful consideration, an acceleration of Teach First's
expansion to 1,250 in 2013/14 has been agreed. The organisation
has also announced its own plans to further increase the number
of places available in this programme to 1,500 in 2014/15 which
the Department believes will not compromise the effectiveness
of the scheme or the graduates it attracts.
12. 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.
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. (Paragraph 77)
The Government welcomes the Committee's support for
its policies for school-led teacher training.
The number of School Direct places will be determined
principally by demand from schools. Schools will be able to choose
an accredited training provider, negotiate how the training is
to be organised and which part of the programme the accredited
provider delivers. This will ensure that changes to the way in
which ITT is delivered are demand-led and in line with the needs
The Government has made clear that all School Direct
provision should be compliant with the Secretary of State's requirements
for ITT. This includes the requirement for school experience in
two schools. Many schools build on this to offer experiences across
multiple schools and utilise the schools' specialisms to ensure
trainees have access to expert practitioners and provide them
with a rich school experience.
13. 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. 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. (Paragraph 78)
Universities have, and will continue to have, an
important role in ITT provision. Many universities offer high
quality ITT and have considerable experience in doing so. Universities
also contain subject experts who can enhance trainees' subject
knowledge. The Government wishes to retain the expertise and experience
of universities that offer high quality ITT at the same time as
encouraging more schools to lead the way in which their teachers
are trained. Wherever possible, schools should also be involved
in the selection of trainees, to help ensure those beginning training
courses will be a success in the classroom.
In 2012, CfBT Education Trust published
a paper which aimed to analyse and describe the potential of the
teaching schools programme. The authors conducted a literature
review examining school-centred professional development, drawing
on international research. On increased involvement with ITT they
concluded: "Teaching schools, acting as centres for action
research, are well positioned to use first-hand evidence to shape
training courses and thus become providers of cutting edge ITT.
Co-operation between universities and schools as providers of
co-ordinated ITT has yielded strong results in places where it
has been implemented, such as Billericay Education Consortium
in the UK and the Boston Teacher Residency (a partnership between
the University of Massachusetts Boston and Boston Public Schools)."
14. 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. (Paragraph
The Government agrees with the Committee on the need
for universities to work more closely with schools and for schools
to receive funding to reflect their contribution to recruitment,
selection and training.
The School Direct system will do this. This system
allows a school or group of schools to shape the training their
new recruits receive. School Direct gives schools more control
over the content of teacher training and a greater say in how
training is delivered.
Schools are able to recruit trainees before they
begin initial teacher training, then work with the trainee and
training provider to determine the most appropriate training course.
This will ensure the training system is more responsive to the
changing needs and preferences of schools. Those schools with
School Direct training places will decide how funding is split
between the training provider and the school. This will ensure
the school receives sufficient funds to cover their contribution
to the training.
Ofsted has a specific framework for the inspection
of ITT for schools and further education. Ofsted has recently
finished consulting on a new framework which will come into operation
from September 2012. The new framework will have a clearer focus
on how well trainees teach as a result of their training and will
be aligned to the new Teachers' Standards. Ofsted will spend an
increased proportion of inspection time assessing the quality
of trainees' teaching in schools.
15. 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 mentor training". We further recommend
that Ofsted look specifically at the quality of mentoring when
inspecting providers of initial teacher training. (Paragraph 83)
The Government agrees with the Committee on the importance
of effective mentoring arrangements for teacher trainees.
ITT providers require all those working with trainee
teachers to have undergone mentor preparation and training. Many
providers offer academic accreditation for such training, and
in some areas of the country the training is agreed across providers
to ensure a consistent approach. The Teaching Agency works with
providers to share best practice and to determine baseline expectations
for the content and nature of mentor training.
Schools are responsible for identifying teachers
to undertake the role of mentor in the first instance. There is
often a high turnover of mentors, as the role is rightly seen
as one that requires expertise and high level skills, and in many
cases leads to opportunities for promotion. The growth of teaching
schools and their alliances should, however, provide more opportunities
for career progression as experienced staff work within and across
Providers can continue to encourage schools to expect
mentors to have three years' experience as a minimum, but would
be advised to continue to allow experienced career changers who
enter the profession with high level coaching skills but not necessarily
three years' teaching experience, to undertake the role, particularly
if their experience is complemented with working in educational
The inspection of mentoring is part of Ofsted's inspection
framework of ITT. The quality of mentoring, accuracy of assessments
and appropriate support given to trainee teachers in schools are
considered in Ofsted's judgement of providers.
16. We agree with research arguing that movement
and wastage must be distinguished from each other, and that in
light of that (and comparable figures from other professions)
retention rates amongst the profession as a whole perhaps present
less cause of concern than sometimes suggested. However, the retention
of the best teachers is clearly desirable, and we recommend that
the Department for Education commission detailed research on the
barriers to retention, better to inform the development of policy
on teacher training and supply. The research should also look
at the impact of, and potential to diminish (including through
incentivising staff), the loss of the best teachers, particularly
in the most challenged schools. Finally, it should examine the
quality of those teachers leaving the profession: whilst retention
of the best is clearly important, loss of the worst is not to
be regretted. (Paragraph 89)
The Government agrees with the Committee on the need
to improve completion rates in ITT and retention rates of teachers
already in service. Research undertaken by the Teaching Agency
suggests that graduates with higher degree classes have better
course completion rates.
The Teaching Agency takes the retention rates of
trainees, their employability at the end of the course, as well
as the quality of course provision into account when allocating
ITT places to providers. The Department also monitors teacher
movement and wastage rates in the workforce. These movements are
taken into account when we set recruitment targets for ITT.
The Government continues to support Teach First in
placing graduates in challenging schools. Over the past ten years
the charity has achieved significant success in improving the
perception of teaching among the very best graduates.
The Secretary of State has asked the School Teachers'
Review Body to consider as part of their current remit what reforms
should be made to teachers' pay and conditions in order to raise
the status of the profession and best support the recruitment
and retention of high quality teachers. Its recommendations are
due to be submitted to the Secretary of State in October.
17. We are clear that, for too long, CPD for teachers
has lacked coherence and focus. Despite financial constraints
which we acknowledge and appreciate, we are concerned that England
lags seriously behind its international competitors in this regard,
and recommend that the Government consult on the quality, range,
scope and content of a high-level strategy for teachers' CPD,
and with an aim of introducing an entitlement for all teaching
staff as soon as feasible. The consultation should include proposals
for a new system of accrediting CPD, to ensure that opportunities
are high-quality and consistent around the country. (Paragraph
The Government considers that continuing professional
development for teachers is important, and set out its strategy
for improving the quality of the teaching workforce in its White
Paper: The Importance of Teaching in November 2010. Decisions
about teachers' CPD should be taken locally. This approach is
based on research which shows that the best professional development
is not solely about attending courses, but involves high levels
of observation and feedback and sharing the practice of the best
teachers. It is therefore not clear that any nationally imposed
hours-based entitlement to CPD would be consistent with the Government's
focus either on the most effective CPD, or on local autonomy.
New teachers' standards have been agreed which will come into
effect in September, and these provide clarity about expectations
for teachers' practice, which will act as a guide to professional
development. Opportunities for CPD will increasingly be locally
determined by teaching schools working through their alliances.
18. We recommend that the Government develop and
implement a National Teacher Sabbatical Scholarship scheme to
allow outstanding teachers to undertake education related research,
teach in a different school, refresh themselves in their subjects,
or work in an educational organisation or Government department.
In addition to the likely positive impacts on individual teachers
and schools, we believe such an investment would help raise the
profession's status amongst existing and potential teachers. (Paragraph
In June 2011 the Government launched a National Scholarship
Fund for Teachers to help those wishing to deepen their subject
knowledge. The primary aim of the fund is intended
to underline the importance of scholarship and enhance the public's
perception that teachers, alongside university academics, are
seen as the guardians of the intellectual life of the nation.
Within this fund teachers are expected to bid for scholarships
with which to undertake research The Government recognises that working
with universities to undertake research can aid an individual
teacher's development and bring benefits to many more teachers
and their pupils.
The new cadre of teaching schools are already building
strong links between schools and universities. There is a range
of relatively short European funded schemes such as Comenius which
schools use to provide foreign experience both for teachers and
students, and a few privately funded fellowship schemes for teachers
wishing to spend time engaged in academic research.
The Government is keen to explore ways of giving
teachers the chance to do more research with universities. In
particular, we would like to provide more opportunities for
teachers with a proven record of success in closing the attainment
gap for disadvantaged pupils to undertake research. We are
currently looking at ways for teachers to test
their successful approaches more widely and share lessons learnt
across the school system.
19. We recommend that the Government introduce
a formal and flexible career structure for teachers, with different
pathways for those who wish to remain classroom teachers or become
teaching specialists, linked to pay and conditions and professional
development. We believe that the introduction of such a structure
would bring significant advantages to the recruitment and retention
of high-quality teachers, and bring teaching into line with other
graduate professions in this regard. (Paragraph 109)
The Government agrees with the Committee on the importance
of recruiting and retaining high quality teachers. The Government's
ITT strategy implementation plan published in November 2011 explains
plans for recruiting the best graduates into teaching. However
the Government does not believe the answer is to impose a uniform
career structure which might stifle innovation. The independent
Review of Teachers' Standards, chaired by Sally Coates, Principal
of Burlington Danes Academy recommended discontinuing the three
higher level standards which underpin the present career stages. In
particular the Review noted that an individual's ability to acquire
AST or ET status and be recognised as an accomplished practitioner
depended on there being a specific post available for them.
The current career structure has three specific
pay grades, linked to higher level standards that are designed
to keep the best teachers in the classroom. These are the Post
Threshold, Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) and Excellent Teacher
(ET) grades. Schools should be free to decide how to
reward classroom teachers according to the contribution they make.
Some schools and local authorities have found the existing AST
model does not always fit their requirements. They have innovated
and worked round this model or created new roles altogether such
as "consultant teacher" supported by a training programme
of their own design.
Schools, if freed to do so, can ensure that excellent
teaching is rewarded and recognised. Freeing up the system
will enable flexible career paths and rewards to be developed
according to the needs of the school, without the constraints
of a rigid structure. Some of the best Academies are already doing
College of Teaching
20. We acknowledge and support the case for a
new, member-driven College of Teaching, independent from but working
with Government, which could play important roles, inter alia,
in the accreditation of CPD and teacher standards. We are not
convinced that the model of 'Chartered Teacher' status proposed
by the existing College of Teachers will bring about the changes
required to teachers' CPD and career progression opportunities,
or that the existing College has the public profile or capacity
to implement such a scheme. We recommend that the Government work
with teachers and others to develop proposals for a new College
of Teaching, along the lines of the Royal Colleges and Chartered
Institutions in other professions. (Paragraph 114)
A member-driven independent professional body could
certainly help to support a culture of professional development
in teaching and enhance the prestige of the profession. To be
successful, the impetus for such a body must come from the profession
Any role for Government would clearly depend on how
such a body proposed to operate, and how it wished to work with
21. We support the Government's desire to reduce
bureaucratic burdens on teachers and school leaders, and therefore
welcome the simplification of the Teacher Standards. Following
our call for a radical improvement in career opportunities for
teachers, we would expect the Government to update the Standards
when implementing a new and better career structure. (Paragraph
The Government welcomes the Committee's recognition
of the new teachers' standards developed by the independent Review
of Teachers' Standards chaired by Sally Coates.
The Secretary of State has already committed to consult
the STRB about the implications for pay of discontinuing the current
standards for threshold, Excellent Teacher and Advanced Skills
Performance management and pay
22. We encourage school governors to be rigorous
in their scrutiny of performance management in schools, and recommend
that the Department for Education, with Ofsted, provide additional
information to governing bodies following inspections, aiding
them better to hold headteachers to account for performance management
arrangements. (Paragraph 119)
The governing body has a crucial role in overseeing
performance management arrangements in schools.
Governing bodies are responsible for adopting a policy
on performance management, for ensuring that it is implemented
and for carrying out the performance management of the head teacher. They
also have to appoint an external adviser to support and advise
them in respect of the head teacher's performance. Head
teachers' objectives, like those of other teachers, should
contribute to improving the progress of pupils at the school.
To assist them in their understanding of a school's
performance, governors have access to RAISEonline which helps
them to analyse performance data and provides information about
the performance of year groups, subjects and groups of pupils. When
setting objectives for the head teacher, the governing body could
decide to include objectives relating to school leadership and
management and pupil performance, taking into account information
The National Governors' Association (NGA), in conjunction
with RM Education, have produced two helpful guides for governors
on using and understanding RAISEonline entitled 'Knowing Your
School' It is available free of charge at http://www.nga.org.uk/Resources/Useful-Documents.aspx.
Advice for governors on performance management can be found in
the Governors' Guide To The Law available at www.nga.org.uk.
This will be revised to reflect the new appraisal regulations
that come into force in September 2012.
We understand that, under the current performance
management arrangements, governors have often been denied
access to information about the performance of individual teachers,
on the grounds of confidentiality. The new (optional) model appraisal
policy gives a clear steer about sharing information about
teachers' performance with school governors.
"The appraisal and capability processes will
be treated with confidentiality. However, the desire for
confidentiality does not override the need for the head teacher
and governing body to quality assure the operation and effectiveness
of the appraisal system."
Ofsted finds that many schools are keen to explain
the important role that head teachers and governors play
in holding the school, and members of staff, to account. From
September, Ofsted inspectors will evaluate the robustness of performance
management arrangements, and consider whether there is a correlation
between the quality of teaching in a school and the salary progression
of the school's teachers. This will inform their assessment of
the quality of leadership and management in the school.
23. We strongly recommend that the Department
for Education seek to quantify, in a UK context, what scale of
variation in teacher value-added equates to in terms of children's
We further recommend that the Department develop
proposals (based on consultation and a close study of systems
abroad) for a pay system which rewards those teachers who add
the greatest value to pupil performance. We acknowledge the potential
political and practical difficulties in introducing such a system,
but the comparative impact of an outstanding teacher is so great
that we believe such difficulties must be overcome. (Paragraph
While the Government agrees with the Committee that
it would be useful to quantify what scale of variation in teacher
effectiveness equates to children's later progress, it has significant
concerns about the feasibility and value of such research at a
national level. Head teachers are much better positioned to establish
the value added by their teachers.
It is true that there is limited UK research on the
effect on children's later prospects of variations in teacher
effectiveness. Technically, this is hampered by the lack of any
annual dataset of pupil progress. Independently assessed national
data is available only at age 11 and 16 (KS2 and GCSE): it would
clearly impose great burdens to introduce data collection to provide
data on all pupils for all year-groups.
The STRB has been asked to make recommendations on
introducing greater freedoms and flexibilities in teachers' pay,
including how to link it more effectively to performance. Their
recommendations, which are due to be submitted to the Secretary
of State in October, will be considered fully.
24. We urge the Government to consider how best
it might continue to engage non education sectors with the fantastic
and inspiring work which goes on in many classrooms around the
country. We similarly urge the Government to continue championing
the work done by teachers up and down the countrynot least
through shadowing some of them, which the Secretary of State has
committed to doing and to sell the many benefits and rewards
of the profession to the brightest and best candidates. (Paragraph
The Government agrees with the Committee and recognises
the need to champion the teaching profession and the work carried
out by teachers in schools.
There is no profession more vital or service more
important for children than teaching. The Government will endeavour
to seek appropriate opportunities to engage with education and
non-education sectors to help raise the status of the profession
and continue to promote teaching.
There is a variety of research that identifies the
qualities important for effective teaching,
with further studies concluding that teacher effectiveness is
not closely related to observable teacher characteristics.
The available research also widely acknowledges that quantifying
the effect of individual teachers on pupil performance is difficult,
principally because of the data requirements. Disentangling the
separate contributions of schools (including systems operated
and leadership culture), teachers, classes, peers and pupils (for
example ability and family background etc) requires extremely
rich and fully disaggregated data. A few papers have been able
to draw on datasets that match pupils to individual teachers
to make notable progress on this research question.
Research by Day et al (2006) quantified the extent
to which teachers influence pupils progress. They conducted a
four-year longitudinal study in seven LAs in England looking at
variations in teachers' work, lives and effectiveness. They found
that in Years 6 and 9, 15-30% of the variance in pupils' progress
in Mathematics and English was associated with the teacher, after
controlling for pupil background and prior attainment. This assessment
was conducted using baseline test results at the beginning of
the year matched with pupils' national curriculum results at the
end. This confirmed the importance of the teacher in achieving
better performance in pupils and corroborated the conclusions
of other research
suggesting that a broad range of factors influences the effectiveness
Burgess et al (2009) included information on teacher
age, gender, experience, whether the teacher has a degree and
the degree class and subject in their assessment of the variation
of teacher effectiveness in England. Here, they drew on a bespoke
dataset collected for a project evaluating the introduction of
performance-related pay covering 33 schools,
noting themselves that the data required to carry out this relatively
small-scale study were "very extensive, complex and difficult
to obtain". They tested whether the variables listed above
had any explanatory power of teacher effectiveness and found none
were statistically significant other than very low levels of experience
showing a negative effect. However, they found being taught by
a high quality
(75th percentile) rather than a low quality (25th
percentile) teacher added 0.425 of a GCSE point
per subject to a pupil's attainment. We believe the methodology
followed was robust and the study corroborates findings from the
Aaronson, D., Barrow, L. and Sander, W.
(2007) "Teachers and Student Achievement in the Chicago Public
High Schools". Journal of Labor Economics, vol. 25(1), pages
Barber, M. & Mourshed, M., (2007) "How the
world's best performing school systems came out on top",
McKinsey & Company, available at: http://mckinseyonsociety.com/how-the-worlds-best-performing-schools-come-out-on-top/
Day, C.W, Stobart, G., Sammons, P and.
Kington, A. (2006), "Variations in Teachers' Work, Lives
and Effectiveness". Department for Education and Skills,
Research report RR743, Available at: https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/RR743
Ellis, E.S., Worthington, L.A. & Larkin, M.J.
(January 13, 1994). Research Synthesis on Effective Teaching Principles
and the Design of Quality Tools for Educator, Technical Report.
Effective Teaching Principles
Ellis, E.S., Worthington., L. A. and Larkin, M.J.
(1996) Research synthesis on effective teaching principles
and the design of quality tools. Worthington National Center
to Improve the Tools of Educators.
ERIC (2003) Problem-based learning in mathematics.
ERIC Digest 482725.
Goldhaber, D.D & Brewer, D.J. (1997) Why don't
schools and teachers seem to matter? Assessing the impact of unobservables
on educational productivity, The Journal of Human Resources, 32(3),
Goldhaber, D.D. & Brewer, D.J. (2000) Does teacher
certification matter? High school teacher effects of teachers
on learners' achievement, Sociology of Education, 70 (October),
Marzano, R. (1998) A theory-based meta-analysis
of research on instruction. Colorado: Mid-continent Regional
Marzano, R., Gaddy, B. and Dean, C. (2000) What
Works in Classroom Instruction. Mid-continent Research for
Education and Learning.
OECD (2009) Creating Effective Teaching and Learning
FIRST RESULTS FROM TALIS Teaching and learning international
OECD (2011) Building a High-Quality Teaching Profession:
lessons from around the world
Ofsted (2009). English at the crossroads: an evaluation
of English in primary and secondary schools, 2005/08.
James, M., and Pollard, A., (2011) Research papers
in Education TLRP's ten principles for effective pedagogy: rationale,
development, evidence, argument and impact Vol. 26, No. 3, September
Rockoff, J. E. (2004) "The impact of individual
teachers on student achievement: evidence from panel data".
American Economic Review. vol.94, no 2. pp.247-252.
Slater, H., Davies, N. and Burgess, S. (2009), "Do
teachers matter? Measuring the variation in teacher effectiveness
in England", Working Paper No. 09/212, Centre for
Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol., Available
2 The quotation comes from the entry on confidentiality
in the "General Principles Underlying This Policy"
section of "Teacher Appraisal and Capability: a model policy
for schools" which can be found at: http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/m/model%20policy%20rev%2017%20may%20branded.pdf
This research identifies what teachers need to do to be effective.
For example this includes the need to set explicit goals, provide
direct instruction, targeted feedback and application of good
subject knowledge etc. Relevant research is available from Marzano
(1998 & 2000), Ellis et al (1994 &1996), OECD (2009),
James and Pollard (2011), ERIC (2003), Golhaber and Brauer (1997
& 2000), Ofsted (2009) Back
Burgess, Slater and Davies (2009), Aaronson, Barrow and Sander
For example, Burgess, Slater and Davies (2009), Aaronson, Barrow
and Sander (2007), Day, Stobart, Sammons and Kington (2006) and
Rockoff (2004). Back
For example, Aaronson et al. (2007), Hanushek, Kain and Rivkin
(1999), OECD (2011) Back
The study uses exam results for 7,305 pupils and 740 teachers
across 33 schools in England. For this, schools were asked to
provide their GCSE and KS3 results (for prior attainment) in maths,
English and science. The data linking pupils to teachers were
provided by schools and, although the achieved sample is not very
different to the overall set of schools, there is no presumption
that the sample is representative of English secondary schools. Back
Teacher 'quality' here relates to the impact on test scores. Back
To put this into context, at the time of the study, 1 point was
the difference between one GCSE grade in one subject i.e. the
difference between an A-grade and a B-grade in mathematics or
the difference between a D-grade and an E-grade in history. Back