29 Jul 2020
Amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, and the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT) have today (29 July) come together to call on the Department for Education to convene a sector-wide advisory group to formulate a national Initial Teaching Education recovery response.
The latest policy briefing, The future of Initial Teacher Education: Living in the age of Covid-19 and beyond, co-authored by the MillionPlus Deans of Education Network, NASBTT and with the support of UCET, recommends:
Dr Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:
“If the Covid-19 crisis has taught us anything it is that we rely on our key public service workers more than we could have ever previously appreciated. As well as doing invaluable work in their own right, by keeping schools open for the children of key workers, teachers have indirectly kept doctors and nurses in hospitals, ensured that supermarket shelves were stocked and enabled other vital staff to stay in post.
“Among other organisations, MillionPlus has long argued that more needs to be done to boost a teaching profession that has long been dogged by under-recruitment and has seen large numbers leave the profession. The Early Career Framework and Recruitment and Retention Strategy were warmly welcome reforms but they were not created with the impact of a global health crisis in mind. Teacher educators and future teachers themselves need guidance and a plan that is relevant to this moment.
“At a time of unprecedented uncertainty, now is the time to come together and put in place a framework to guarantee a sustainable future of first class ITE.”
Emma Hollis, Executive Director of NASBTT, said:
“The ITE sector has successfully responded to the challenges brought about by Covid-19 by placing even greater emphasis on collaboration – and this must continue as we now move forward into the 2020-21 academic year and beyond. We are pleased to be working with MillionPlus and UCET on this policy paper and look forward to the opportunities brought about by the proposed National ITE Response Plan, supporting the Department for Education and the wider sector as we move forward.
“NASBTT has already declared its priority issues in 2020-21, including tackling the shortage of teacher training placements, engaging more schools in ITE, championing high-quality mentoring, subject knowledge enhancement, mental health and wellbeing, and tuition fees. A co-ordinated approach can only support our own organisational objectives in delivering positive change for the sector.”
James Noble-Rogers, Executive Director of UCET, said:
“It is essential that during this pandemic everyone involved in ITE works together. ITE providers are well placed to meet the needs of student teachers, schools and pupils through academically robust and practical teacher education. As the paper makes clear, ITE providers must be given the professional autonomy to deliver teacher education programmes that meet the needs of their students and the schools they work with. Normal regulatory requirements, such as OFSTED inspections, must for the time being take a back seat.”
Notes to editors