Solving the Puzzle by Finding the Pieces: New quality criteria for ITE

Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence. ~Lin Yutang

This is the second in a hopeful series of posts about things I can envisage happening in ITE following on from the Schools White Paper 2016. All depends on the quality of implementation and the DfE don’t have a great track record so this may represent a triumph of hope over experience but you never know…

2.29. New quality criteria will focus on areas such as the quality of training programmes, the effectiveness of providers in recruiting high quality trainees, and the impact of those trainees on standards of teaching in schools. We will assess providers’ ability to meet these criteria and will, in future, factor this into the allocation of training places.

This one is a bit of a puzzle. At the moment ITE providers are held accountable by Ofsted and, until this year, the inspection grade has strongly affected HEI allocations. Ofsted have already had several goes at adjusting the framework for inspection; there is no reason to think another version will be of benefit. I guess high quality trainees might imply further pressure to only take 2:1 and above but that’s silly at a time of teacher shortages, when the link between academic qualifications and teacher effectiveness is marginal at best. We’re actually sorely lacking in hard evidence about how selection criteria and training experiences relate to teacher effectiveness and/or retention. An excellent outcome from this White Paper would be funding for research to fill the knowledge gap on effective selection; there is plenty of appetite for this work and expertise in the Russell Group universities and other education research organisations like Education Datalab.

Imagine a longitudinal study that tracks teachers from their UCAS application, through their training, and on into their teaching career. If this was big and good enough, it would be possible to not only clearly show how degree classification relates to effectiveness and retention, but also to examine lots of other aspects of selection and training, and their impact down the line. There is potential here for a genuinely world-leading, evidence-based approach to ITE. That would be amazing.

2 thoughts on “Solving the Puzzle by Finding the Pieces: New quality criteria for ITE

  1. I agree that the kind of longitudinal study you are suggesting would be good. I did a small scale one with about 20 teachers over 2 years and the findings were interesting but inconclusive. What is worth studying is the Finnish approach to teacher selection as they do tend to have very good retention – of course there are many other reasons why they have good retention but this might be part of it.

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