Press release

MillionPlus parliamentary roundtable – Teacher Education, Educational Excellence Everywhere?

06 Jul 2016

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (6 July) published its response to the Department for Education’s White Paper Educational Excellence Everywhere. The response focuses on the White Paper’s proposals to further accelerate the role of schools in delivering initial teacher training (ITT), allow Ministers to designate ‘centres of excellence’ of teacher education and give headteachers responsibility for awarding qualified teaching status (QTS).

The MillionPlus response to the White Paper points out that:

  • The delivery of more teacher training in schools is being proposed in spite of the fact that the National Audit Office (NAO) and the Public Accounts Committee have criticised the Department of Education’s failure to conduct an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of transferring training places to schools
  • There is no evidence that reforms to teacher education since 2011 have helped alleviate the problems of teacher shortage

In addition, MillionPlus calls for:

  • the deferral of the designation of centres of excellence in teacher education by Ministers to provide for a formal consultation about the criteria and the process of designation
  • any new accreditation routes to demonstrate rigorous quality assurance, be nationally moderated and awarded by universities in partnership with schools
  • teachers to have a national entitlement to continuous professional development, as the time that trainee teachers spend away from the classroom while they are training has been reduced by Ministers
  • recognition of the role of expert teacher educators and university education departments in working with schools on the delivery of academic and professional qualifications, initial teacher education and professional development and that they are a key part of any future plans

The response is to be discussed at a parliamentary roundtable today hosted by Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the House of Commons Education Select Committee.

Speakers at the roundtable include Richard Wilson, Deputy Headteacher at Burton Morewood Primary Academy, Sonette Schwartz, Principal at Brockhill Park Performing Arts College in Kent, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, representing MillionPlus.

Professor Thirunamachandran said:

“Much of the initial debate about the White Paper focused on the proposal to set a timetable by which all schools in England would become academies. However, the White Paper includes radical proposals for teacher education and qualifications which have received too little attention.

"MPs and Peers will have the opportunity to consider whether the White Paper is likely to live up to its promise of delivering educational excellence everywhere and in particular whether the problems of teacher shortage that are being experienced by schools throughout the country, are likely to be addressed.”


Notes to editors

  1. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities. More information can be found at
  2. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 7717 1658 or email
  3. The consultation response itself is available here
  4. ‘The Future of Teacher Education - Educational Excellence Everywhere?’ roundtable will take place in the House of Commons on Wednesday, 6 July, 1pm–2.30pm, Committee Room  15, invite only. For more information contact Adam Haxell at