What guidance will help trainees gain qualified teacher status?


Trainees will be able to gain qualified teacher status based on their progression if they are unable to complete their courses due to the pandemic, according to new guidance.

The updated guidance for initial teacher training providers from the Department for Education is designed to give trainees a chance to qualify and recognises that varying levels of disruption have occurred across the country.

Training providers can put in QTS recommendations in instances where they are “satisfied that the trainee has demonstrated adequate progress towards meeting the teachers’ standards during their course, and would have met them, were it not for disruption relating to coronavirus”.

Mimicking the approach from 2020

The new guidance matches that from the last academic year when a similar process was used for ITT courses which were disrupted.

Providers have been told that courses should remain as “comprehensive as possible” and that the process for recommending teachers for QTS should only be used “where appropriate and necessary”.

All of the updated guidance remains subject to parliamentary approval and is set to be discussed in detail in the spring.

Further guidance expected

In instances where trainees are unable to demonstrate the required progress towards meeting the teachers’ standards, the guidance states they should not be recommended for QTS.

The guidance suggests that this may include individuals with limited practical teaching experience, especially in instances where their classroom time was “significantly curtailed” as a result of the pandemic.

The Department for Education is yet to issue guidance for initial teacher training providers on what to do in such instances, although they have said they are monitoring the situation closely and will publish further guidance in due course.

An additional ruling could permit trainees to gain practical experience outside of England in the coming year, in recognition of the disruption caused by the pandemic.

While it is normal for the majority of training to be completed in the country, the Department for Education has acknowledged that 2021 provides an unprecedented situation which may require alternative approaches to those usually used.

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