School-led ITT may not prepare trainees to teach in a variety of schools
School-led teacher training provision could lead to new teachers being less well-equipped to teach in a variety of schools, according to a new report published by the House of Commons Education Committee.
The report, Great Teachers: Attracting, Training and Retaining the Best, describes concerns voiced by the Institute of Education (IoE) about School Direct, a new initiative to encourage school-led teacher training in which schools recruit the trainees they want with the expectation that they will go on to employ them. Citing IoE evidence, the report said:
'It is unlikely that schools will be able to predict where their staff shortages will be to facilitate such a system; the exception could be secondary schools with large departments in the core subjects, but even here the evidence would be that this is a risky assumption. Furthermore, the ITT system should be training teachers for the system as a whole, not for specific schools. However the training infrastructure is configured, trainees must continue to have access to placements in different and, ideally, contrasting schools. This enables trainees to learn from a range of practice to challenge their expectations about, for example, pupil behaviour. It also helps them to develop as versatile teachers who feel confident about teaching in different schools.'
Although the government's current focus is on school-led teacher training, higher education institutions still have an important role to play in the delivery of ITT. Click here to learn how a Teaching Schools network in the north-east of England enhanced their ITT provision in partnership with Newcastle University.