Ofsted sets the bar higher for teacher training partnerships

11 Feb 2014 11:59 AM

Plans to revise the ways in which initial teacher education partnerships are inspected will help to raise standards further, Ofsted said today.

In a speech in January, HM Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said that Ofsted had not been as demanding in the past as it should have been in inspecting initial teacher education. He said that Ofsted would be much tougher on partnerships, as well as with schools and colleges, that do not adequately support those who are new to the profession.

The key change Ofsted proposes today is to introduce a two-staged approach to inspecting partnerships. The first stage will focus on the impact of the training on trainees’ teaching at the end of their course, and how well they meet the relevant professional standards. The second stage will focus on how well new teachers are prepared for the rigours of the classroom when they start work as qualified teachers. There will be a specific focus on how partnerships prepare trainees to manage behaviour and discipline.

Ofsted is also asking for views on:

  • ensuring the partnership includes schools and colleges which need good teachers, especially those in challenging circumstances, or which require improvement
  • changing the way in which overall effectiveness is judged to place a greater emphasis on the quality of trainees, newly qualified teachers and former trainees, obtained from direct observations of their teaching
  • placing greater emphasis on trainees’ professional dress and conduct
  • enhancing inspection guidance to include the quality and effectiveness of training when it comes to managing pupils’ and students’ behaviour.

Sean Harford, Ofsted National Director for Initial Teacher Training, said:

'Parents know that it is really important that trainee teachers get the best quality training before they face a classroom of pupils or students. That’s why from June Ofsted will raise standards for teacher training partnerships to make sure that all new teachers are as ready as they can possibly be to excel in the classroom.

We will also make sure that training partnerships are working with all types of schools to ensure that even those that are not yet good benefit from the stimulus of working with the best trainees and have fair access to the best newly qualified teachers.

'Too often newly qualified teachers enter the classroom ill-prepared for the challenges of teaching pupils. If they are to succeed then they need the continued support of middle and senior managers after their training. Our more rigorous way of inspecting will help make sure that teachers are better prepared when they enter the teaching profession.'

Ofsted inspects training which leads to qualified teacher status for maintained schools, and further education teacher training that has been validated by higher education institutions. This helps to make sure that teachers in schools, and teachers and trainers in further education, are classroom-ready when the school and college term begins each September.

Once Ofsted has considered consultation responses carefully, a revised inspection framework will take effect from June 2014.

Notes to editors

1. The consultation, Proposed revisions to the framework for inspecting initial teacher education, ends on 6 May. It is on the Ofsted website.
2. An Initial Teacher Education partnership for the maintained schools sector is an accredited provider of Qualified Teacher Status and the settings and schools it works with to train teachers. For Initial Teacher Education in Further Education it is a partnership of Further Education colleges working with a higher education institution which validates their teacher training qualification.
3. HM Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw spoke about teacher training at the North of England Education conference in January 2014. His speech is online.
4. The current initial teacher education inspection framework is online.

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