1.According to the Department for Education (DfE), this instrument makes temporary changes to support newly qualified teachers (NQTs) undergoing statutory induction and those undergoing initial teacher training (ITT) during the pandemic. DfE says that the instrument allows accredited providers of ITT to recommend that those trainee teachers whose training has been interrupted because of the pandemic and who as a result have not been assessed as meeting the required standards should still be recognised as having achieved qualified teacher status (QTS). The instrument requires that the ITT provider is satisfied that the trainee teachers were demonstrating “adequate progress” towards meeting the teachers’ standards, and that they would have met them, were it not for the interruption in their training. DfE says that this temporary measure will protect NQT supply to schools in September 2020. The instrument also allows a small number of trainee teachers whose practical teaching experience up to the date of interruption has taken place wholly or mainly outside England to be similarly assessed as qualified. Asked about the actual number of trainee teachers that fall into this category, the Department told the Committee that it does not routinely collect data on the location and length of individual trainee placement experiences, but that the overall figure was likely to be a very small proportion of the total number of trainees of around 34,500. DfE added that while the practical teaching experience may have taken place anywhere outside England, the measure only applies to trainee teachers who are training with an accredited ITT provider in England and whose English language proficiency has been assessed. We are publishing the Department’s full response at Appendix 1. The instrument also makes changes so that NQTs undertaking statutory induction who are absent from work as a result of the pandemic will not have their induction periods extended automatically. According to DfE, this will allow NQTs who meet the teachers’ standards to complete their induction periods as planned. The amendments are time limited: the changes in relation to ITT will cease to have effect on 1 September 2020 and the changes in relation to NQT induction will only apply to absences related to the pandemic which occur before 1 September 2020.
2.Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 10 May, these Regulations further amend the original “lockdown” Regulations in England. They follow the made affirmative procedure and came into effect at 00.01 a.m. on 13 May 2020. They add further reasons why a person may be legitimately outside of their house:
3.These Regulations also allow garden centres and outdoor sports courts to re-open. The Explanatory Memorandum states that these measures have been considered by scientific advisors who agree that they are likely to have a negligible impact on transmission rates.
4.The Regulations also significantly increase the amount of the fixed penalty notices (FPNs) which may be issued to a person over 18 for breaching the lockdown restrictions. The amount of the FPN for a first offence will be increased from £60 to £100 (halved to £50 if paid within 14 days). For a second offence the FPN will be £200, and thereafter doubled until a maximum value of £3,200 is reached for a sixth and subsequent offence.
1 Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 ().