Teacher Training

Initial teacher training in the East of England

Initial teacher training providers in the East of England find recruitment extremely difficult and that feeds into teacher supply. There are two routes into initial training currently and each has their own network so that in the eastern region there are Regional Initial Teacher Training (ITT) provider networks and School-Led ITT networks.

The regional ITT provider networks consist of accredited teacher training providers from across the regions, including both higher education and school centered ITT providers. Each network has an elected chair who attends the national ITT advisory group meetings. You can find out more and who your local Chair is by contacting school.ittnetworks@education.gov.uk.

The school led ITT networks are a forum for schools to get together and discuss ITT issues in their local area/region; this may include School Direct and lead School Direct representatives. There are currently 36 networks nationally. Schools can discuss recruitment initiatives, challenges and share best practice.  Regional Delivery Division (RDD) recently shared the Department’s representatives for each network. The chairs of the networks in each region meet regularly to discuss common themes and share feedback with their RDD contact person. You can find out about your local school led networks and who your RDD contact person is by contacting the same email address. ITT is organised regionally across the East of England through a range of providers, both university and SCITT based and a number of School Direct centres.

Provision for ITT is only likely to change in the next few years if the recruitment problems become critical. The government view is that ITT, along with CPD and school to school support, is one of the major responsibilities for teaching school alliances. There is little appetite for new SCITTs but an apprenticeship model of teaching using school led approaches and School Direct may be developed.

A problem for School Direct is getting its message across to potential trainees in spite of Open Evenings, Taster and School Experience programmes and advertising. The East of England needs more teachers, the schools are expanding and that means promotion and career prospects are first-class.

Find out more about School Direct here.

Recruitment & Retention Group

There is a clear link between initial teacher training, teacher recruitment and teacher retention and currently there are problems for schools related to all three. The Eastern region trains fewer teachers than most and faces severe problems of recruitment in rural areas facing significant economic disadvantage and those areas perceived as remote like the Norfolk and Suffolk coastal strip.

Retaining teachers in these areas even if they can be recruited presents its own unique challenges particularly for young teachers who are drawn back to the cities, the towns where they trained and their home areas and this especially so when the teaching profession is associated with static salaries, heavy workloads, challenging classes and few opportunities for promotion. Addressing these linked issues is a key challenge for the regional TSC.

To support activity there is a Regional Recruitment and Retention Group which is hosted by the RSC Office. If you are interested in finding out more about this group please contact Janine Wynne here.

Women Leading in Education

Women Leading in Education regional networks were set up in 2016 to support women with career progression, help overcome unconscious discrimination, share effective practice and provide coaching and mentoring. The networks are set up as school-led partnerships and membership is open to all women teachers in each region.

Those TSAs which have made the coaching pledge need to carry out a minimum of one event per sub region for this term. This would imply that there were up to 5 events across the region and ensure a good spread of events that are accessible and open to coaches and participants.

By now you should have contacted the WiL team with the dates of your intended events for the summer term. If you are having any problems in setting these up, please contact the WiL team at women.leaders@education.gov.uk.

ITT Financial Incentives Package

The financial incentives for would-be teachers in 2018-19 have now been published. The details are available on the Get Into Teaching website so direct potential trainees to this page.

The new DfE job Listing Service

This initiative will be quite familiar to some people in this region because it was piloted in Cambridgeshire. However, it is now planned to expand the programme which will be available to all schools in this region. There are more details here.

Invitations will go out to schools in the next few weeks and it is important that schools set up an account even if they do not have current vacancies. This service is dependent  for its success on the number of schools participating and TSAs can do their bit to make it effective. It will be clear to anyone that this could save schools a considerable amount of money.

Encourage colleagues to become involved as well. Of course, this is not a panacea for recruitment issues but teachers have been asking for a national listing service for a generation and if this works it can only be of benefit to any school’s finances.

If you have questions or your email invitation does not seem to have arrived feel free to contact Yvonne Ridley at the DfE.

Reducing Workload

The DFE has published a new workload reduction kit. Below you can find links to the various sections. OFSTED now expects schools to have a policy on workload reduction and this is a handy starting point.

  • Communications reducing teacher workload
  • Managing change
  • Curriculum planning and resources workshop
  • Using technology to help with school planning
  • Feedback and marking: reducing teacher workload
  • Replacing written feedback in schools
  • Measuring pupil progress and managing data
  • Supporting early career teachers: reducing teacher workload
  • Reviewing feedback and marking in schools
  • Supporting NQTs and teachers with work-life balance
  • Data management: reducing teacher workload
  • Ways to reduce workload in your school: tips from school leaders
  • Reducing teacher workload: evaluating the impact

You can find direct links to these sections from here.

Post-Graduate Apprenticeships

Here’s an interesting new initiative from the Teacher Apprentice Trailblazer / Employers’ Group using an existing mechanism to encourage postgraduates into teaching. The Post-Graduate Teacher Apprenticeship is a salaried route into ITT that allows employers to draw down training costs (not the salary) from their digital apprenticeship levy accounts. The first cohort started their training in September 2018 and this route will run alongside the existing School Direct Salaried Route for the year 2018-19.

The Trailblazer Group is currently reviewing the Post-Graduate Teacher Apprenticeship Standard and Assessment Plan. As part of the process, the Group wishes to explore if there is national demand for a new Teacher Apprenticeship Standard which would have two points of entry: under-graduate and post-graduate.  An under-graduate entry point would involve trainees without a degree, being employed and working in a school whilst studying for a degree and QTS.  A new Teacher Apprenticeship with two such entry points would replace the current Standard as only one Standard is permissible per profession.

To some extent this looks like a formal version of the internships which many schools have been offering for some years. The postgraduate internship would allow a subject specialist to be salaried in a school while training. Of course, the devil will be in the detail particularly the salary arrangements and negotiations with the unions but if it helps schools to recruit more teachers it will undoubtedly be welcome.

The group would like people to complete the Teacher Apprentice Survey so that your views will, working in conjunction with the IfA and the DfE, be used to inform the Trailblazer/Employers’ Group’s strategy in the review of the Post-Graduate Teacher Apprenticeship and/or the development of a new Teacher Apprenticeship Standard.

If you have any questions please contact: sshoveller@sfet.org.uk.

The Teacher Recruitment Bulletin

The monthly Teacher Recruitment Bulletin (TRB) is the DfE’s main communication channel to Initial Teaching Training (ITT) providers, which aims to support recruitment to ITT. It is circulated to all ITT providers, including SCITTs and School Direct lead schools, and typical content includes updates on funding initiatives, ITT policy, marketing events, tools to help recruitment and opportunities to have your say on developing policy.

You can view the last 3 copies online at GOV.UK. To subscribe, please emailteacher.recruitmentbulletin@education.gov.uk.