The next two years will hold some major changes for graduates considering teaching as a career path. The Department of Education has recently confirmed a host of upcoming reforms to Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programmes, focused on creating a ‘golden thread’ of training and support for educators in the early stages of their career.
Teaching remains one of the UK’s most popular career paths for recent graduates, with the education industry taking on 20% of all 2019’s cohort of graduates. With teacher training courses currently taking applications until June, the government’s planned reforms will impact the working lives of large numbers of young people.
To help graduates make informed decisions about whether they want to choose teaching as a career path, we have pulled together the most important changes coming to ITT and what they mean for aspiring educators.
1. A new framework for teacher training
In its strategy document from June 2021, the Department for Education sums up the rationale for the planned changes to ITT in four words - ‘teachers are made, not born’. The reforms are designed to help this process by expanding the package of structured support that trainee teachers and ECTs are eligible for.
The new ITT Core Content Framework sets out the learning priorities that will make up a teacher trainee’s course. Created according to evidence compiled by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), the Core Content Framework (CCF) is the basis for training in five core areas: behaviour management, pedagogy, curriculum, assessment and professional behaviours.
The CCF spells out the minimum requirements for completion of an ITT course, from understanding how to teach phonics to using models and scaffolds to teach complicated ideas. This creates an evidence-based standard in theoretical and practical aspects for all teacher training providers to follow.
2. A new Institute of Teaching and teaching school hubs
Another part of the government’s package of reforms is the establishment of a new Institute of Teaching from September 2022.
This new body will provide teachers and school leaders with career-long training opportunities, and work on delivering the evidence basis for teacher training. The government intends for this to become England’s flagship teacher training and development provider, with 1,000 annual ITT trainees.
The Institute will deliver training through a minimum of four regional campuses across the country. The next cohort of trainee teachers will be the first to benefit from the Institute’s work.
The Institute comes in addition to a proposed network of 87 teaching school hubs to replace existing teaching schools. At Protocol Education, we are very interested to see this innovation in action.
3. An expanded role for mentors in the training process
Teacher trainees will soon be given greater access to lead mentors drawn from the ranks of qualified teachers at their placement schools. The DfE is investing £184 million into making sure those teachers have access to the national professional qualification in leading teacher development (NPQLTD).
This will mean that aspiring teachers can rely on a layer of face-to-face support and guidance from an experienced professional who has been trained to provide career development.
How to help yourself decide if teaching is for you
These new reforms will alter significant parts of teacher training as an experience. If you’re a graduate reading this, you might find that the changes outlined make you feel more interested in exploring the idea of becoming a teacher yourself.
If this is the case and you’re starting to actively consider a career in education, Protocol Education’s Future Teachers Programme can help you make up your mind. This is a graduate teacher programme that arranges paid placements in primary, secondary special for graduates who are curious about entering education.
You’ll gain first-hand experience of the realities of working in classrooms, supporting teachers and interacting with pupils each day. You’ll also be supported by several packs of free training materials aligned to teacher training curriculums and the Teachers’ Standards. This will provide an immensely valuable preview of what to expect from your ITT course.
If the changing landscape of teacher training is making you consider becoming a teacher yourself, you can register with the Future Teachers Programme for free here to get your first taste of life as an educator.