All initial teacher training providers would have to be re-accredited under proposals put forward by the government which it acknowledges will cause “significant market reconfiguration”.
The government said it anticipated “significant market reconfiguration and the development of new capacity will be necessary”.
If implemented, the proposals could see providers having to apply for re-accreditation by next spring.
The report recommended new quality requirements for ITT, which it said would “mark a step-change in the delivery of initial teacher training”.
It also recommended that “all ITT providers should be required to go through a new accreditation process, regardless of whether they are currently offering initial teacher training or are new to ITT provision”.
According to the DfE’s consultation document, the government first delivery of the quality requirements could take place in the autumn of 2023 “at the earliest”.
This would involve launching the accreditation process in autumn 2021 and “potential providers establishing partnerships, gathering evidence against the quality requirements and applying for accreditation or re-accreditation by spring 2022”.
Providers would then be assessed before accreditation is recommended “before the end of the 2021-22 academic year”.
They would then have a “further year to recruit trainees and prepare for first teaching of the new ITT courses by September
2023”, the DfE said.
‘Many’ providers will need to create partnerships
The review report said it “consider[ed] it likely that many providers will wish or need to create formal partnerships, either with organisations of similar type to themselves, or with different kinds of organisations or existing providers, in order to create the wide range of capacity which will be needed”.
Emma Hollis, from the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers, said her organisation “cannot support the recommendation that a reaccreditation process is necessary to achieve the recommended adaptations to curriculum design and provision”.
“The report presents no evidence to suggest that existing providers of ITT would be unable to deliver the new curriculum requirements in full. A wide-scale, expensive and disruptive reaccreditation process poses a huge risk to teacher supply.”
She also said the risks associated with the recommendation for re-accreditation were “exacerbated by the timescale recommended in the report”.
“Forcing providers to submit applications for reaccreditation within just a five-month window risks the loss of exceptional providers from the system because they do not have sufficient time, resource and capacity to undertake the process effectively.”
The ITT market review was originally proposed in 2019 as part of the DfE’s recruitment and retention strategy, but fell by the wayside following the change of government later that year.
But Schools Week revealed last autumn that it had been rebooted to tackle the “overly complex” nature of the sector.
The review found issues such as consistency across partnerships and between providers in the content and quality of the training curriculum.
Other “important features” that were “often challenging to achieve” included the alignment between the taught curriculum and training environments and high-quality mentoring. Another problem was the supply of enough high-quality placements and clarity about how the market operations for potential trainees.
The DfE has also published draft quality requirements which all providers would have to implement.
These cover the design of the training curriculum, the identification of placement schools, the identification and training of mentors, the design and use of a “detailed assessment framework”, a quality assurance requirement for all accredited providers and structures and partnerships “which will need the capacity to deliver the quality of training we believe is required”.
Funding may be needed to ‘pump prime’ extra work
The report acknowledged that ITT providers and partnerships ” may incur additional costs as they seek to implement the quality requirements, including in the form of staff time to work on the new curriculum and training requirements and in the arrangements for the intensive placements”.
“As a result, it would seem to us that some additional grant funding may be needed to ‘pump prime’ the extra work that will need to be undertaken to meet the quality requirements.”