Published by: Department for Education

Published on: Thursday, 27th February 2020


In response to concerns regarding the potential disruption to delivery of ITE programmes in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), please see the following advice.

The ITT Criteria do not specify a minimum number of days that trainees must spend training in schools. ITT Criterion  C2.3 is (intentionally) a programme design requirement as follows:

All accredited ITT providers must ensure:

that training programmes are designed to provide trainee teachers with sufficient time being trained in schools (see note 5), early years and/or further education settings to enable them to demonstrate that they have met all the standards for QTS. This means they would typically be structured to include at least the following periods of time to be spent in training in schools, early years or further education settings (see note 6):

  • a four year undergraduate programme – 160 days (32 weeks)
  • a one, two or three year undergraduate programme – 120 days (24 weeks)
  • a secondary graduate (non-employment based) programme – 120 days (24 weeks)
  • a primary graduate (non-employment based) programme – 120 days (24 weeks)
  • employment-based programme – as determined by the training programme


So there would be no non-compliance if a trainee was to complete their programme without having spent a specific number of days training in schools. The assumption would be that the programme design would not change as a result of an outbreak of Covid-19 limiting school-based training. However, providers would want to ensure that no trainees are put at risk of not achieving the standards as a result of insufficient time being afforded to them in school and/or centre-based training. This might mean that the provider would need to find alternative school-based provision, and/or extend programmes for some trainees, particularly those on the pass/fail borderline. Trainees deemed to be meeting the standards irrespective of the number of days they have spent training in schools can and should be recommended for the award. In such circumstances, we would reasonably expect providers to manage such an event through their partnership arrangements, and quality assurance processes.

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