Statement from the University of Greenwich on the Government’s Initial Teacher Training Market Review


We’re sharing our submission to the Department of Education as part of their current consultation

The University of Greenwich has a long tradition of training teachers which dates back to 1906 and the residential female teacher training undertaken at Avery Hill College.218510

We currently offer around 30 teacher education courses at a variety of levels for people wishing to develop their teaching capacities and professionalisms to teach older children and young and mature adults. We work with a wide range of partners across London and Kent to support our trainees and to provide placements, enabling our trainees to put theory into practice in a supportive environment.

We welcome the opportunity to respond to the Department for Education’s Initial Teacher Training Market Review and recommendations contained within it. We also welcome the objective to create ‘a world-class teacher development system’ and its broad principles around a new set of quality requirements.

Quality has always been at the forefront of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and applicants have the right to expect some consistency wherever in the country they train. We have consistently demonstrated our quality in every measurable way, including through Ofsted inspections, and we believe it is right to seek to continually develop provision. We therefore fully support the broad aim of the review to seek to further build on the existing quality of provision for the ITE sector.

However, we have significant concerns with the approach that is being taken in conducting this review, its recommendations, and implementation timescales.

Firstly, the report recognises that 75% of the 30,000 people who are awarded Qualified Teacher Status each year do so via a programme that involves a university, yet it proposes a model which will leave universities questioning whether they can remain involved. This would have significant implications to the capacity to deliver enough trainees. We would urge the government to explicitly recognise the important role that universities play in providing teacher training.

Another significant concern is the impact the proposals would have on the number of placements available. Due to serious practical considerations over school placement capacity and resource to accommodate the proposed intensive placements, this could potentially lead to placement provider exits from the teacher training and placement ecosystem, thereby further exacerbating the placement issue and adding to the teacher supply problem long-term.

As the report itself acknowledges, the recommendations are not resource neutral. For example, schools could face additional burden on staff time due to the extra time student teachers would spend in school and other settings. As there are already concerns about the number of teachers who exit from the profession (Education Policy Institute, 2020), increasing workloads further may have negative consequences. The recommendations of the report do not address the financial implications that are recognised. A financial impact assessment should be shared, with clear and transparent information of which parts of the system would be expected to cover those extra expenses.

We hope the Department will listen to our concerns as we all want to create a world-class teacher development system so that all pupils receive the teaching they deserve.