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King’s College London ITT Market Review Consultation Response

King’s College London has now submitted a formal response to the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Market Review Consultation (pdf 158kb).

As in our initial statement, we support the drive towards excellent standards across all initial teacher education (ITE) programmes. However, we strongly feel that the reforms proposed within the Market Review will unlikely deliver these excellent standards.

In our response to the consultation, we raise a significant number of points, including:

The level of prescription

Taken together, the proposals for curriculum, sequencing, placements, partnership arrangements and mentoring amount to a level of centralised prescription that potentially threatens high-quality provision that has been built up over many years of working to train the next generation of teachers.

Over prescription may jeopardise long-standing, carefully negotiated partnerships with schools and prevent us from tailoring our programmes to the needs of our trainees and our partner schools. There is a risk too, to the development of innovative programmes informed by the latest and most relevant educational research.

Risks to Existing School Partnerships

The proposals for intensive placements are not supported by robust research that speaks to their effectiveness in improving ITE. The requirement for schools to host significant numbers of trainee teachers on intensive placements, coupled with the recommendations for increased placement lengths, may result in schools questioning their involvement in ITE. This may well be further impacted by the demands made on mentors at a time when schools are being asked to implement the training associated with the Early Career Framework.

Schools rightly prioritise the education of their children and at a time when they are grappling with the effects of a global pandemic there should not be additional challenges placed in the way of their involvement in ITE.

Reaccreditation

Currently, there is outstanding practice in ITE in England. Given this, there seems little rationale behind the proposal that all providers should go through a reaccreditation process. This would be a time-consuming and costly process; there are more effective – and more efficient – ways to improve those areas of the sector where that is deemed to be necessary.

Timetable

The proposed timetable for the reforms is unrealistic and unworkable.

There was very little engagement with HEIs in the preparation of the ITT Market Review. We would welcome any opportunity to engage in genuine dialogue with the Department for Education, other providers and stakeholders as to how to best ensure that ITE in England builds on existing excellence in the drive for improvement.