Members will have seen that updated guidance for schools during the national lockdown has now been published here.

ITT is covered on p. 36-37 of the ‘Restricting attendance during the national lockdown: schools’ document (section copied below).

Deployment of ITT trainees and engagement with schools

We strongly encourage schools to continue hosting initial teacher training (ITT) trainees throughout the national lockdown and beyond. While it is understandable that schools will have many priorities at this time, it is important that we protect the pipeline of future teachers. ITT trainees are included in the definition of a critical worker. This means that trainees can continue to go into their school or college on placement to support the teaching of vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers. Trainees who continue to go into their host school or college should be offered coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in the same way as the wider school staff. Trainees can also support schools in other ways, including supporting remote education, developing lesson materials and offering pastoral support. ITT providers may be able to provide schools with extra support to host trainees at this time. Schools should contact relevant ITT providers directly to discuss what support is available. Trainees will be expected to follow control measures put in place by schools. Schools should consider how they can host ITT trainees during this period, and discuss with relevant ITT providers how this can be done flexibly and innovatively to help meet both school and trainee needs. Deployment decisions will need to take into account the skills and capacity of the trainees in question.

Trainees could:

  • take responsibility, with the usual mentor oversight, for small groups of pupils in school across or within years, adapting resources for such groups, creating online education materials, re-planning sequences of lessons or delivering catch-up lessons
  • be engaged in wider professional activity, for instance tackling pupil, family and school needs by learning about, identifying and addressing challenges such as vulnerability, mental health problems or safeguarding issues
  • develop or engage in working groups to share best practice around resilience, commitment and team-working
  • work in pairs or groups to co-plan, co-teach and co-assess lessons with their mentors or other trainees. Paired and group placements, where these are possible, benefit trainees, mentors and teaching staff, promoting a greater sense of team collaboration, ongoing professional learning and reductions in workload

This is not intended to be exhaustive and ITT partnerships will need to ensure they have identified and comply with all legislation and guidance relevant to ITT.

Additionally, higher education guidance is published here.

ITT is mentioned on p. 3, and there is a paragraph on critical worker status on p. 4:

During the period of national lockdown, we are asking HE providers to restrict significantly the number of students returning to face-to-face teaching from January 2021, and to reduce the numbers needing to access university facilities wherever possible. We are now prioritising the return to face-to-face teaching only for courses which are most important to be delivered in-person in order to support the pipeline of future key workers. On this basis, face-to-face teaching should be restricted to those reading subjects in these areas, and only where face to face teaching or placements are needed to deliver learning outcomes. Wherever possible, teaching and learning should be provided online: 1. Medicine & dentistry 2. Subjects allied to medicine/Health 3. Veterinary science 4. Education (initial teacher training) 5. Social studies (social work) 6. exception only, a very limited number of courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and /or other PRSB mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled (although the presumption is that in the majority of cases, these will be rescheduled outside the period of national restrictions).

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