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Published: 21st May 2019

From: Freddie Whittaker @ Schools Week

The government has announced the formation of another advisory group, this time to review the content of initial teacher training.

Professor Sam Twiselton, the director of the Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University, will lead a panel of seven academics, sector representatives and policy experts to recommend ways teacher training can align with the government’s plans for a new early career framework for teachers.

The advisory group will play an essential role in helping us to ensure that the training teachers receive is consistent, and of the highest quality

The advisory group is the sixth formed by the Department for Education since Damian Hinds became education secretary last January. Its formation comes just over four years after the Carter review of ITT recommended that teacher training courses be designed by an independent body in future.

Plans for a review of ITT were announced in January as part of the government’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy.

The strategy also fleshed out proposals first announced last year to give teachers more training and support during their first two years in the classroom, known as the early career framework.

The new advisory group will draft new guidance which will underpin the training programme for new teachers, starting with the “core content” for ITT and leading into the early career framework.

“The early career framework is a fundamental shift in the support available to teachers starting out in their careers, ensuring newly qualified teachers continue to be mentored to help them develop the key skills teachers need,” said Nick Gibb, the schools minister.

“The advisory group that convened today will play an essential role in helping us to ensure that the training teachers receive is consistent, and of the highest quality, as the full programme is rolled out.”

Sitting on the panel with Twiselton will be two ITT sector representatives; James Noble Rogers, executive director of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers and Emma Hollis, executive director of the National Association of School Based Teacher Training.

They will be joined by professor Becky Francis, director of the Institute of Education at University College London and Marie Hamer, executive director of learning design and teaching programmes at the Ambition Institute.

Reuben Moore, executive director of programme development at Teach First and John Blake, director of policy and strategy at NowTeach, will also be on the panel.

“The highest performing countries around the world share a focus on developing teachers, which will be at the heart of what this group is looking to achieve,” said Twiselton.

“Bringing initial teacher training and the early career framework into close alignment provides a unique opportunity to ensure all newly qualified teachers have access to a shared understanding of how best to develop in their careers.”

Hinds announced a workload advisory group last May, an early learning apps advisory group in January, and two groups in February – one on music education and another on character. He then announced an advisory group on teacher wellbeing at ASCL conference in March.

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