OFSTED’s Changes to Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Inspection – 3 Areas That Schools Need to Consider 

Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in England is changing dramatically – we’ve written in previous blogs about the Initial Teacher Training Core Content Framework  and the Early Career Framework. As these blogs explain, a key part of these changes is to provide more support and mentoring for teachers in training and those in their first two years with full time teaching responsibilities. The aim is to reduce the high drop-out rate of early career teachers – with only two-thirds of new teachers staying for 5 years.  

One side-effect of these changes is that England’s educational inspectorate, OFSTED, is changing how it will inspect teacher training and development – at universities, at school-based training providers and in schools themselves. The Government is consulting on the changes (the consultation is open until April 3rd 2020, and can be viewed here. But based on the consultation questionsOFSTED research and interviews, here are some of the ways your school might be affected.

CPD teachers

1. Effective mentoring will be more important than ever 

Ofsted’s research highlighted inconsistencies in school mentors. For example, in some schools, mentors were seen to focus too much on ‘the next lesson’ rather than helping trainees gain a wider overview of teaching. Some trainees also reported that school mentors were under too much workload pressure to give them the support needed. Schools will need to properly resource and train their own mentors to ensure positive OFSTED feedback. 

2. What trainee teachers are taught will matter more than their career success 

As with OFSTED’s recent changes to school inspections, the curriculum will become more important. Previous inspections looked at success rates and the ability of teachers to find jobs post-training, but OFSTED argues that its research shows that these are poor indicators of quality given the growing shortage of teachers. Instead, they will look only at the ‘quality of education and training’ and ‘leadership and management’Three curriculum areas specifically mentioned by OFSTED are:

  • Subject-specific pedagogy (including foundation subjects for primary teachers)  
  • Behaviour management
  • The teaching of students with diverse needs (such as SEND) 

3. Communication between schools and Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers will be examined 

OFSTED identified this as an issue in its research, claiming that in some cases ‘curriculum focus in centre-based training and expectations in placements were out of kilter’. Once the Early Career Framework (ECF) rolls out from its 2020 pilot areas there may be further problems with teachers moving between different roles and support providers. Schools would be well advised to create and develop links with ECF providers  details of the pilot providers and areas can be found here. 

How can ONVU Learning help schools and Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers prepare for these changes?

ONVU Learning is working with a number of our partner schools and exploring opportunities with universities to support newly qualified teachers (NQTs) by helping them reflect on and share their lessons with mentors. At the Hereford Academy, NQT Nathan Price, was able to share real lesson footage with ONVU Learning’s Teacher Development Lead Dr Sean Warren. Nathan told us:

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To read Nathan’s full story, visit our dedicated page for The Hereford Academy and download Nathan’s case study.

To find out more about how ONVU Learning can help your school improve its teaching and learning using our innovative teacher training and development solution called Lessonvu, please get in touch with our team now