News story: New experts appointed to help improve initial teacher training

A further 4 experts have been appointed to support vital work to boost the quality of initial teacher training (ITT) courses across England and ensure all trainees learn essential skills such as classroom management and assessment, Schools Minister Nick Gibb announced today (24 September 2015).

In March, Stephen Munday CBE, Chief Executive of Comberton Academy Trust, was appointed to chair an independent expert group that would develop a new core content framework for ITT courses.

The group was commissioned following the publication in January of Sir Andrew Carter’s review of the quality and effectiveness of ITT courses in England. While Sir Andrew’s report highlighted that overall the ITT system in England was performing well, he outlined that more could be done to ensure all trainees received some core grounding in the basics of classroom management and subject knowledge.

The development of a core framework will support those who deliver ITT as well as applicants and trainees to have a better understanding of the key elements of good ITT content.

Today, the minister has appointed additional experts from a diverse range of backgrounds to support the group. They are:

  • Rachael Hare – Head of Initial Teacher Education at Harris Federation
  • Patrick Derham – Headmaster of Westminster School
  • John McIntosh CBE – former Headmaster of the London Oratory School
  • Professor Anthony O’Hear – Director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, University of Buckinghamshire

Commenting on the new appointments, Nick Gibb said:

We want to continue to ensure we have excellent teachers in our classrooms so that every child can reach their full potential. Making sure trainees learn essential skills such as classroom management and have a good grounding in subject knowledge are vital to this, and will help drive up improvements in the ITT system further.

I’m delighted to appoint these new members to support the Chair Stephen Munday and the expert group in their work to develop a new ITT course content framework.

Stephen Munday CBE, Chair of the ITT framework expert groups, said:

I am very pleased to welcome our new members who I know will strengthen the diversity of the group by adding further expertise in initial teacher training as well as the independent sector. We look forward to working with them to develop a framework of core content that will be of value to all ITT providers, applicants and trainees and in turn raise standards in education.

The new members join well respected colleagues who are continuing to progress the development of the new ITT content framework including:

  • Tom Bennett, teacher, educational writer and Director of researchED – who is also leading work on how to train teachers to tackle poor pupil behaviour and the impact of smartphones and other devices in schools
  • Kath Goudie, Cambridge Teaching School Network
  • Dina Lewis, Dean of Education, Hull University
  • Margaret Mulholland, Director of Development and Research at Swiss Cottage School
  • Ruth Miskin, former headteacher, phonics consultant and founder of Read, Write Inc.
  • Seamus Oates, Executive Headteacher, TBAP Trust (Bridge AP Academy)
  • Dame Alison Peacock, Executive Headteacher, The Wroxham School

In response to Sir Andrew Carter’s report, which made 18 recommendations to government and the ITT sector, the government confirmed that it would:

  • commission an independent working group made up of expert representatives from the sector to develop a core ITT framework – to support those who deliver ITT, as well as applicants and trainees, to have a better understanding of the essential elements of good ITT core content
  • commission the Teaching Schools Council to develop a new set of aspirational standards for school-based ITT mentors – to help promote the importance of the role and create a better shared understanding of the characteristics of effective mentoring across the ITT sector

The Teaching Schools Council, was appointed in March to lead the work to develop new standards for ITT mentors.

We expect the independent expert group and the Teaching Schools Council will report to ministers by spring 2016.

In response to the Carter review the government also committed to develop the Get Into Teaching website and provide information about ITT on GOV.UK so that applicants of ITT and schools can find clearer information about provision.

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