Barely a third of institutions hoping to be reaccredited as initial teacher training (ITT) providers have passed the first round of the Department for Education’s (DfE) controversial review.
Only 80 of the 216 applicants were deemed worthy of receiving reaccreditation to continue training from 2024.
The results have done little to quell fears, first articulated when the review was announced last summer, that reforms of the ITT sector “risk serious jeopardy to the current teacher supply model”.
Complaints about the reaccreditation process include:
- Applications not being read properly
- No support from the DfE over how to apply
- “Impossible” to supply required detail within application word limit
- DfE not denying allegations that they encouraged some providers to revise their applications, but not others
Institutions have also pronounced themselves mystified by the process of assessment. Despite Ofsted’s involvement, a significant number of providers previously approved by the office’s ITT inspection framework were refused reaccreditation. Among them was the University of Nottingham, the first provider to have their ITT provision rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
The DfE is urging disappointed providers to join the second round of applications, which opened yesterday (23 May) and runs until 27 June.
“I look forward to more great quality provision being accredited as we move through the second round,” said schools minister, Robin Walker.
Institutions reapplying for reaccreditation, he added, would mean that “together we can continue to develop and grow teacher training in this country, which in turn will help level up education for all”.
We are confident that the government will want to avoid a potentially catastrophic risk to the teacher supply chain – Emma Hollis, NASBTT
Having seen 136 of the original 216 applicants rejected, the DfE admitted earlier this month that it may also have to add a third round of applications.
“It is important to stress that we are only part-way through the process and as such no provider has been counted out,” said Emma Hollis, executive director of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers.
“We remain confident, based on assurances that we have been given from DfE – who we are in constant dialogue with – that there is no pattern or preference emerging in the accreditation process for size and scale of provider, a fear expressed by many.
“We are also confident that the government at large will want to avoid a potentially catastrophic risk to the teacher supply chain – and quality and availability of provision – which would come from losing significant numbers of providers from the market and further undermining teacher supply at a time when ITT applications are back to, or indeed below, pre-pandemic levels.”