In response to calls for a statement regarding the Department for Education (DfE) Initial Teacher Training (ITT) market review, NASBTT Executive Director Emma Hollis said:

“The nature and timing of the review, in the midst of a global pandemic and all the uncertainties that it brings, has, perhaps unsurprisingly, sent ripples of concern through a sector which has been working tirelessly to support the DfE’s aim to ensure a continued supply of highly trained professionals for our schools and the children they teach. We are not disputing the opportunity to evolve the ITT market, and are very keen to be part of that discussion. However, we would urge that the expert advisory group start this process by undertaking an open, collaborative, formal consultation with the education sector before making any recommendations for reform.

In a statement issued on 2nd January 2021, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/initial-teacher-training-itt-market-review/initial-teacher-training-itt-market-review-overview, the DfE outlined the objectives of the review as “how the ITT sector can provide consistently high quality training…in a more efficient and effective market.”

On its first aim, regarding quality, NASBTT would encourage the advisory group to recognise the already evident high quality training offered by the sector. As a charity organisation which has 96% of current school-based ITT providers as members, we know and understand, through our regular networking and training engagement, the quality and dedication of programme leaders and their teams. This is backed up by the available evidence: Ofsted inspections
have rated 99% of providers as good or better.

On the second aim, seeking to create a more ‘efficient’ market, we are unaware of any evidence which indicates that there are widespread inefficiencies to be overcome, and to our knowledge no work is being undertaken by the DfE to provide such evidence. We would also point to the unique provision that some of our smallest members are able to offer. Many of these providers serve ‘cold spot’ or hard to reach communities, such as coastal towns and more remote rural areas, providing a rigorous ITT curriculum that is tailored carefully to local contexts.

Whilst the expert advisory group has said it would plan to work closely with the sector in developing and testing thinking as the review progresses, there is a fundamental need to fact-check any assumptions it might be making, through a rigorous formal consultation process, before coming to conclusions that may lead to irreversible damage, not least to teacher supply. There is significant and rapidly increasing nervousness in the sector, with more and more leaders, from a range of different organisations, coming to their own conclusions about the likely direction of travel that this review might take. We would encourage the ITT market review group to alleviate these concerns as a matter of urgency.”

1 Comment

  1. Phil Daniels on February 1, 2021 at 2:41 pm

    I agree fully with your views.
    Indeed, though Merseyside, Cheshire and Greater Manchester ITT Consortium is ceasing its training programme for a number of reasons, one is the view that the ITT Market Review will reach the conclusion that we are just too small to exist as a discrete ITT Provider. Hence carrying out a great deal of development work for a short term result would have been impractical.

    As a Charity we are remaining active in supporting schools to enhance ITT in their organisation.

    I am sure the Trustees will be happy to offer their support in any any of your future deliberations with the REview Group.

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