teacher trainers fail new Ofsted test
Unveiling plans to create an international teacher training qualification that can be exported abroad, former Education Secretary Gavin Williamson had nothing but praise for the sector.
“Here in this country we are fortunate to have some of the best teachers in the world and that is due to the quality and thoroughness of our teacher training,” Williamson wrote. “I want as many people as possible to benefit from it. “
But that reputation is now very publicly shredded – a move some vendors believe the government is secretly encouraging. School week investigation…
Half of downgraded teacher trainers
Ofsted started inspecting suppliers in a new setting in May. As with the new school inspection regime, the focus has shifted from the results you get to what you teach.
Prior to May, every provider of initial teacher education in England was rated “good” or “excellent” by Ofsted. Just over a third were classified as “exceptional”.
But when Ofsted’s first 11 ITT inspections were published in July, two suppliers were deemed “insufficient”. Both were previously considered “good”.
Analysis of the reports published as of Monday shows that only one of the 20 reports published in the context of the new inspections is “exceptional”.
Today, eight providers are classified as “insufficient” or “in need of improvement”.
Analysis of School Week focusing only on primary and secondary-age trainers shows that seven out of 14 have been downgraded this year. Two have closed their doors and one has stopped his secondary education.
Perhaps not surprisingly, but the judgments annoyed industry executives.
James Noble-Rogers, executive director of the Universities Council for Teacher Education (UCET), said they “appear to aim to discredit the offer of FIE whenever possible, rather than arrive at a balanced judgment and enlightened quality “.
He asserted that the reports are “often poorly drafted and reflect a lack of knowledge about the ITE and the regulatory framework in which it operates.
“The behavior of individual Ofsted inspectors has been described as ‘belligerent’. The integrity and independence of Ofsted’s ITE inspection process are in question. We will be monitoring the situation very closely. “
But a spokesperson for Ofsted said it was “too early” in the inspection cycle to say whether “the initial judgments are representative of the sector as a whole – this is a small sample and we have prioritized new suppliers and those that have not been inspected for the longest time. “
The SCITT Solent, in Hampshire, was one of the first providers to be inspected and rated “unsatisfactory”, compared to “good” in 2015.
Ofsted reported that interns praised the provider as “warm and welcoming” and were “generally satisfied with the support and advice they received”.
But inspectors warned they had “no benchmark, so their satisfaction with the training is misplaced.”
Following the visit, The Solent closed its doors over the summer, relocating its interns to other providers.
“It was a painful and negative experience”
Chris Anders, Principal of Park Community School, who ran SCITT, said: “I had over 25 inspections in various forms in my time and only one was as negative as this one. -this. It was a completely different experience. We moved on, but it was painful and a very negative experience.
The government has previously favored training courses provided by schools. But these seem to be the suppliers hardest hit by the new Ofsted regime.
Consilium SCITT, in Salford, also closed. A spokesperson said: “It is increasingly difficult both to implement our school improvement program and to properly fund a small SCITT, which had a limited number of applicants in a significant number. of materials “.
However, Sutton SCITT retained its “exceptional” judgment. A total of nine primary and secondary providers remain “good”.
Ofsted said the inspections “would seek to understand the specific impact of covid-19 on the supplier and how the executives reacted to the situation.”
The pandemic was only mentioned once in The Solent report, which states that interns “appreciate the care that caregivers have shown for their well-being during the pandemic.”
Anders added: “We know it was a much more difficult setting, it wasn’t a surprise, but I was surprised at how the challenges of Covid and the preparation of the frame haven’t been. taken into account. ”
|Provider||From 2021||Previous Ofsted|
|Cumbria Teacher Training||Inadequate||Good|
|Inspirational teacher training||Good||Good|
|Leicester College||Good||N / A|
|Hope University of Liverpool||IR||Good|
|Middlesborough College||IR||N / A|
|New Durham College||IR||N / A|
|SCITT South Birmingham||Good||Good|
|South Essex College||Good||N / A|
|Teacher training in the South West||Good||Good|
|Partnership with St George’s Academy||Good||Good|
|The Havering Teacher Training Partnership||Good||Good|
|The National Mathematics and Physics SCITT||Good||N / A|
|The National SCITT for Modern Languages||Good||N / A|
|The Solent SCITT||Inadequate||Good|
|University of Gloucestershire||IR||Exceptional|
|University of Wolverhampton||Good||Good|
Cumbria Teacher Training was demoted to “inadequate” in May. It was rated “good” during its last inspection in 2014.
Inspectors found that the interns had been “missed” by the supplier and that the work of the partnership was underpinned by a “plethora of weaknesses”.
“No recognition of the Covid challenge”
Wendy Kendall, head of SCITT, said “there had been no recognition” of Covid. Since the inspection, he ended his secondary education because they did not have the ability to “rewrite the curriculum”.
“They kept saying I understand what you are saying, but we have to inspect the frame.
“I had to do things that I had never done for interns before during covid, to support them, and there was no recognition of that. We do not have pastoral workers, we are small.
Ofsted had introduced a “transitional declaration” to allow the disruption of Covid. This meant that a provider could be rated “good” as long as their program plans were “fully executed” in time for September.
Terry Russell and Julie Price Grimshaw, two former Ofsted inspectors, say Ofsted does not “adhere to its own procedures”, in a blog for #TeachBest, which was set up by UCET.
“Reports indicate that such a consideration has not been taken into account and indeed providers are being criticized for not having the new program ‘fully integrated’,” they added.
A spokesperson for Ofsted said they recognize that some “partnerships” may not have been able to fully deliver the program’s new plans due to the pandemic. “
“However, to be considered good, providers must demonstrate that they have designed an ambitious ITE program with the core content framework built in. “
Ofsted guidelines state that partnerships deemed “in need of improvement” or “insufficient” will be re-inspected within 12 months. According to the DfE, providers can have their accreditation withdrawn if their service is repeatedly rated lower than “good”.
Noble-Rogers said “without the way” universities and SCITTs have responded to the pandemic, “schools would have faced a serious shortage of teachers.”
Ministers consider postponing reforms
Negative judgments come at a delicate time for the relationship between ministers and teacher educators.
Suppliers are waiting for the government to respond to the controversial ITT market review. The proposed reforms would entail a “significant reconfiguration of the market”, with each supplier having to be re-accredited.
Universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, have both already threatened to withdraw from teacher education if reforms continue.
Sir Andrew Carter, who led a government-commissioned ITT review in 2015, warned on Friday that the proposals could also result in schools being withdrawn.
“It won’t take much for a number of schools under current funding models to” say we can’t get involved in what we’d like but we can’t, “Carter said, who runs the South Farnham School Education Trust.
“We have a large primary SCITT and we already have schools apologizing for not being able to do it now. “
With the exam coming in just as the tougher inspection results were released, vendors are concerned about a link between the two.
Ofsted said the ITE framework was not designed preemptively to align with the ITT market review.
But industry bodies have now written to new Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi urging him to “reconsider and maybe suspend” the exam.
It seems the government is ready to listen. School week understands that former Schools Minister Nick Gibb was set to delay the start date for teaching the new ITT courses by one year until 2024.
However, after his sacking last week, the decision now rests with the new ministerial team.