Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the government press release on a renewed focus on teacher training.
“While we welcome the government’s action to provide free training programmes and associated support for schools, we remain gravely concerned about the fact that there are not enough teachers in the first place. Many schools experience significant difficulties as a result of teacher shortages, and this particularly affects those schools which face the greatest challenges. This is because the government frequently misses its own initial teacher training targets and too many teachers leave the profession early in their careers. The government must significantly improve salaries across the board after a decade of pay erosion in real terms, improve funding to schools and ratchet down the pressures of an excessively harsh accountability regime.
“We congratulate the trusts which will run the National Institute of Teaching and wish them well. However, we remain concerned about exactly how the institute will work alongside established teacher training providers where there are regional campuses competing for the same pool of graduate trainees. It is going to be important that the institute complements the existing system rather than leading to a muddle of teacher training routes.”