Press release

Teacher training reform must be paused, says MillionPlus

20 Aug 2021

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, is urgently calling for the government’s reform of the initial teacher training sector to be paused, or else risk serious jeopardy to the current teacher supply model.

In its response to the ITT Market Review consultation, published today (20 August), MillionPlus and its Deans of Education Network add their voices to those across the sector raising serious concerns at the proposed changes and their likely consequences.

Rachel Hewitt, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:

“The reforms as currently outlined represent little short of an experiment with the teacher education ecosystem at a time of unprecedented strain on schools. Very simply, the case for change on this scale and at this speed has not been convincingly made and to avert clear and present danger to the teacher supply model these proposed reforms should be paused and rethought.

“If change is forced through in spite of a near-unanimous sector backlash, it is likely that numerous modern universities, currently the backbone of initial teacher training, will re-consider their provision in this area. This could critically damage the pipeline of new teachers into the profession, potentially hitting hardest the very regions and communities the government has pledged to level up.

“Coming on the heels of an extraordinarily challenging 18 months, and with recent policy initiatives such as the Core Content Framework and Early Career Framework still in their infancy, the time calls for support and stability for all parts of the ITT model.

“MillionPlus will always work with the government to bring about change that is truly in the interest of schools, ITT providers and trainee teachers, but that is not the case here. That the current system has endured Covid and maintained such high standards should be lauded by the government. Instead, if these changes are enacted, the resilience of the system will be diminished and the risks to teacher supply will be clear.”


Notes to editors

  1. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 3927 2916 or email
  2. The MillionPlus response to the ITT Market Review is available here
  3. The main focus of the MillionPlus Deans of Education (DoE) Network is on teacher education policy in England, and the crucial role of modern universities in delivering Initial Teacher Education. The network meets with Department for Education officials regularly, with a formal all-member meeting every three months. The network also shares good practice and formulates policy through regular topical workshops and has formed strong working relationships with key stakeholders in the sector such as UCET, NASBTT and Ofsted
  4. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities in the UK, and the voice of 21st century higher education. We champion, promote and raise awareness of the essential role and impact of modern universities in the UK’s world-leading higher education sector. More information can be found at
  5. What are modern universities? Modern universities are long established centres of higher education in their communities with roots that stretch back decades, if not centuries. Many gained university title following legislation agreed by parliament in 1992. They make up almost half of the UK university sector with over a million students studying at modern universities every year.
  6. Modern universities: facts and stats