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Towards the initial teacher training reform in the UK

The UK Department for Education conducted a consultation on the recommendations made by the expert advisory group in their initial teacher training market report presented in July 2021.  

Following its commitment in the 2019 teacher recruitment and retention strategy, the UK government appointed a group of national experts in teacher training and development to undertake a review of the initial teacher training (ITT) market for all courses that lead to qualified teacher status (QTS). This initiative builds on the existing reforms to teacher training and aims to make the sector more efficient and effective. 

The review focused on the features and characteristics of best quality initial teacher training as well as the capacity that providers in the market will need in order to deliver the quality, consistency and coherence that we believe are necessary. The experts concluded that significant reform in the ITT market is essential if the quality reforms are to be delivered successfully.  

The report concluding the review contains 14 recommendations for improvements to the ITT systems, based on the latest pertinent research and national and international practice. The experts’ central recommendation is a new set of Quality Requirements should be implemented by all ITT providers of courses that lead to QTS. Furthermore, a robust accreditation process should take place to ensure that all providers have the capacity to meet the exacting Quality Requirements in full, both at the point of accreditation and on a continuing basis. The Requirements cover the design of the training curriculum; the identification of placement schools and mentors; the design and use of a detailed assessment framework; quality assurance requirement for all accredited providers; structure and partnerships supporting the capacity to deliver the quality of training, etc. 

The Department for Education will publish a response to the consultation later in 2021 and will act on the expert recommendations in 2022. 

In the European context, quality of teacher education policies and practices is the major focus of a current Erasmus+ Teacher Academics call supporting European partnerships of teacher education and training providers to create networks and communities of practice on teacher education; enhance the European dimension and internationalisation of teacher education; develop and test jointly different models of mobility in initial teacher education and as part of teachers’ continuous professional development.