Ofsted details plans for initial teacher education quality assessments

2020-02-05

Ofsted has unveiled plans to judge initial teacher education (ITE) partnerships for their quality, according to new consultation documents.


Under the proposals for the new initial teacher training education framework, inspections will look at the quality of education and training, following on from changes made in 2019.


It will see a shift to a one-stage inspection model – scrapping the previous two-stage model – with partnerships inspected once over a period of four days, during either the spring or summer term.


The new ITE framework is set to mirror Ofsted’s new education inspection framework, whereby the focus is shifting away from outcomes towards the content involved in programmes and training.


New judgments for ITE training

Currently, three judgements are used to determine the ratings of ITE partnerships: ‘quality of training’, ‘outcomes from trainees’, and ‘leadership and management’.


The new proposals will see those replaced with a ‘quality of education and training’ judgement alongside a revised ‘leadership and management’ judgement.


According to the consultation, the new approach will focus on “how well leaders translate their ambitions into consistently high-quality education for trainees”.


The plans also indicate that the way Ofsted gathers inspection evidence is also set to change, again bringing the process in line with the new framework and methods used for school inspections.


An emphasis on training processes

Inspections look into how trainee firms implement the ITE programme, with mentor feedback and discussions used to showcase how the elements of the training are “embedded by mentors”.


“Inspectors will continue, as in the past, to meet trainees to discuss their training experiences,” the consultation document states.


“However, there will be a greater focus on how centre-delivered and school-based training have blended to create a coherent experience for trainees.”


The proposals also take into account research from Ofsted which suggests that outcome measures are not a fair reflection of a training programme; trainees are likely to get jobs regardless as primary teachers and secondary school staff are in high demand.


“A shift in focus”

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman explained that the new framework “reflects a shift in focus” from “outcomes to substance”.


“It [the new framework] removes aspects of inspection that do not genuinely assess the quality of teacher training,” she said. “This will help make sure ITE partnerships are focused on the things that have the greatest impact on trainees’ education and, ultimately, children and young people.”


The new inspections could begin in the spring term of 2021.


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