Dear Rt Hon Damian Hinds
RE: Government Consultation response to Strengthening Qualified Teacher Status
The Council for Subject Associations welcomes the Government consultation response to Strengthening Qualified Teacher Status and improving career progression for teachers, 4th May 2018.
We are pleased about the recognition of the importance of supporting teachers, the need for improvements to be led by the profession, rooted in evidence and the commitment to ensure teaching remains a respected, attractive and fulfilling career.
We welcome the concept of an Early Career Framework, with more support for new teachers and more guidance for schools on supporting them. The Council for Subject Associations (CfSA) is in a strong position to support the articulation of this framework through its membership (Subject Associations), who can also offer a range of existing high quality materials designed specifically to support Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) and their mentors and the expertise to create new materials as required.
You may be aware that there were a number of Government funded projects in the recent past where Subject Associations developed materials and support for Initial Teacher Training, Newly Qualified Teachers, teachers and mentors that formed a significant part of on line resource called the Teacher Training Resource Bank (TTRB). These materials are archived (with many on the National Archive) and Subject Associations can relatively easily update these materials.
We welcome the recognition that Initial Teacher Training is strong, that Qualified Teacher Status will still be awarded at the end of Initial Teacher Training and that the framework will build on and complement the existing good work.
We welcome the concept of a two year induction period, with timetable reduction extended into the second year and appropriate support and development opportunities, but no impact on pay.
We welcome the aim to improve mentor training and to review the Initial Teacher Training mentor standards.
We welcome the proposal to strengthen ‘appropriate bodies’, to introduce a quality assurance process for these bodies and to possibly allow Initial Teacher Training providers to enter this market. We would recommend safeguards to prevent conflicts of interest and would suggest Initial Teacher Training providers should be ‘outstanding’ to become appropriate bodies.
We welcome the development of specialist qualifications. Subject Associations already offer many high quality Continuing Professional Development opportunities and are in a very strong position to develop more as appropriate and to support the quality assurance of future Continuing Professional Development offers to teachers.
In order for the proposals to be successful, it is essential that the following factors/features are given appropriate attention:
- Involving the right people in developing the Early Careers Framework and specialist qualifications and in helping embed the standards for teachers’ professional development. Subject Associations have wide expertise and experience to support this work.
- Sufficient resourcing through the spending review to fund the project, including the extra burden on schools of extending the Newly Qualified Teacher period and specialist mentors
- Continued political will to support the project, alongside the complementary projects on teacher recruitment and retention and on reducing workload.
If these factors can be addressed, we believe the proposals could make a significant positive contribution to raising the standards of early career teaching and in developing good career progression for all teachers.
The Council for Subject Associations would welcome the opportunity to support the work proposed.
Chair of the Council for Subject Associations.