24 May 2021
By Mark Richards,
The new Initial Teacher Training ITT Core Content Framework and other changes to the teacher training curriculum have been introduced with three clear aims in mind: to help newly qualified teachers to be better teachers, to help them thrive in the profession, and – perhaps most importantly – to ensure that teachers stay in the profession for longer.
These aims are well-intentioned and welcomed, although they do rely on change being embraced by universities and other training providers, as well as the support of schools. For example, there are some new challenges that schools will now face. Schools will now need to answer deeper questioning from trainees about how schools deal with issues beyond the classroom. There is also a greater emphasis placed on the role of mentors and ‘expert colleagues.’
There is also now an expectation that trainees should be able to observe different school systems in practices. There is a general consensus that trainees should be exposed to schools that displaying the various different approaches to areas such as assessment, behaviour and curriculum. Many experts feel quite strongly that there is a need for trainees to explore and analyse different approaches rather than being ‘schooled’ or ‘apprenticed’ in one particular way.
The increased use of technology in training programmes also has the power to revolutionise the experience for the trainee. Remote coaching and the videoing of lessons has some clear advantages for both the trainer and the trainee. It means that lessons taught can be revisited again and again. Similarly, video evidence can now be used to provide evidence against the Teaching Standards. Video lessons can become ongoing resources that are useful in several ways.
New Institute of Teaching to be established
Other new developments include a new Institute of Teaching. The government will establish the new institute to train as many as 1,000 new teachers every year. Initial teacher training programmes are expected to commence from September 2022. The focus will be on promoting high standards of behaviour and will have an emphasis on a knowledge-based curriculum.
Will the changes impact on recruitment?
Here comes the key question: Will the new teacher training curriculum hit recruitment? With the DfE consistently missing its recruitment targets year on year, it is obviously hoped that the changes to the teacher training curriculum will have the opposite effect – and increase recruitment.
The changes are certainly well-intentioned but they are unlikely to result in any sort of increase in recruitment figures. In fact, they are more likely to have a negative impact. The new curriculum includes several aspects that might make the experience of teacher training seem more onerous. There are also real challenges that schools and training providers now face. It’s unclear how successfully they will ve able to meet these challenges.
In all honesty, changes to the workload burden faced by teachers and the consistent monitoring they face that are far more likely to have the desired impact and keep teachers in the profession for longer.
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