I am pleased to confirm that the first formal announcement from the DfE for the ITT sector has now been released. As you may have expected, and in line with other policy announcements from government, the advice is high level in the first instance. In many ways, it is bound to raise as many questions as it resolves but it is the first step in being able to reassure our trainees that their progress towards QTS is protected and their programmes will continue (albeit in very different ways from the norm).

The DfE has additionally allowed us to pass on the following lines to you:

1. ITE requirements in respect of time spent in school and number and location of placements are suspended. ITE programmes can continue through on-line learning, the setting of assignments to be completed at home and in other ways that providers think appropriate.

2. Where, at the end of the programme, students are judged by the provider to be on a trajectory towards meeting the teacher standards they can, on normal timescales, be recommended for the award of QTS, subject to the will of parliament (as revised legislation is required).

3. Arrangements for students who could clearly not be judged to be on a trajectory towards QTS at the end of their programmes will be announced in due course, along with details of any financial provision.

4. Additional support for next year’s NQTs who are awarded QTS will also be announced in due course.

5. ITE providers can, and should, continue to recruit students for 2020/21, using on- line mechanisms for the conducting of interviews, and the checking of documents.

6. Normal timescales for Rejection by Default and Declined by Default have been suspended

7. More detailed guidance from DfE will follow.

I suspect that one of your first questions will be regarding finances as this is not addressed directly in the guidance. It remains our understanding from conversations we have had with policy and finance teams that as long as trainees remain on programme, financial arrangements will continue in the usual way.

You may also notice that the ITT Criteria referred to in the statement has not yet been updated. The Policy Team anticipate that the updated version of the document will be uploaded by the digital team tomorrow, so don’t be surprised that it is not yet there.

I would like to thank all our members for your continued patience and goodwill. The many messages of thanks and support we have received have been hugely appreciated. We are all dealing with incredibly challenging times and it is only by continuing to work together, and support one another, that we will come through it. I hope you are all taking the time to look after yourselves as well as your staff and trainees. Self-care has never been more important than it is right now.

We will continue over the coming days and weeks to work hard to get answers to the many questions which still remain and are on hand to support you in any way we can.

DfE policy statement regarding COVID-19 for all ITT partnerships

Kind regards,


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