Great teachers: attracting, training and retaining the best: Government Response to the Committee's Ninth Report of Session 2010-12 - Education Committee Contents


Government response

Government response to the Education Select Committee report into Great teachers: attracting, training and retaining the best.


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 performance.

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. (Paragraph 39)

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 Status.

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 maths teachers.

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. (Paragraph 42)

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.

Entry tests

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 recommend—whilst acknowledging the Government's desire to give providers autonomy over test design—that the Department for Education publish further details of what such a test might include, and that it keep the test under close review. (Paragraph 45)

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 Committee.

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 2012.

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 50)

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.

Different routes

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 65)

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 of applicants.

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.


School-based training

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 of schools.

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)."

School placements

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 80)

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 more schools.

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 settings.

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.

Retention rates

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 99)

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 100)

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.

Career structure

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 this.


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 itself.

Any role for Government would clearly depend on how such a body proposed to operate, and how it wished to work with Government.

Teachers' standards

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 118)

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 Teacher.

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 from RAISEonline.   


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 Advice for governors on performance management can be found in the Governors' Guide To The Law available at  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."[2]   

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 later prospects.

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 121)

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 country—not 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 123)

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.


Research-Effective Teaching

There is a variety of research that identifies the qualities important for effective teaching[3], with further studies concluding that teacher effectiveness is not closely related to observable teacher characteristics[4]. 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[5] 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[6] suggesting that a broad range of factors influences the effectiveness of teachers.

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[7], 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[8] (75th percentile) rather than a low quality (25th percentile) teacher added 0.425 of a GCSE point[9] per subject to a pupil's attainment. We believe the methodology followed was robust and the study corroborates findings from the United States.


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 95-136

Barber, M. & Mourshed, M., (2007) "How the world's best performing school systems came out on top", McKinsey & Company, available at:

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:

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), 505-523

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), 256-284

Marzano, R. (1998) A theory-based meta-analysis of research on instruction. Colorado: Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory.

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 Environments

FIRST RESULTS FROM TALIS Teaching and learning international survey

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 2011, 275-328

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 at:

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:


3   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

4   Burgess, Slater and Davies (2009), Aaronson, Barrow and Sander (2007), Back

5   For example, Burgess, Slater and Davies (2009), Aaronson, Barrow and Sander (2007), Day, Stobart, Sammons and Kington (2006) and Rockoff (2004). Back

6   For example, Aaronson et al. (2007), Hanushek, Kain and Rivkin (1999), OECD (2011) Back

7   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

8   Teacher 'quality' here relates to the impact on test scores. Back

9   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

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