Teacher supply and CPDL

ASCL position statement

What is the context? The DfE published their Early Career Framework (ECF) in January 2019. The framework underpins an entitlement to a fully funded two-year package of structured training and support for early career teachers.

The DfE has committed to the following for the national rollout in Autumn 2021:

  • funding and guaranteeing 5% off-timetable in the second year of teaching for all early career teachers early career teachers continuing to have a 10% timetable reduction in their first year of induction
  • creating high quality, freely available ECF curricula and training materials
  • establishing full ECF training programmes
  • funding time for mentors to support early career teachers
  • fully funding mentor training
ASCL’s position: ASCL welcomes the funding of additional non-contact time for teachers in their second year of teaching (NQT + 1) and for appropriate time and training for in-school mentors to support these teachers.

The Early Career Framework (ECF) must be an entitlement for additional support in year two of teaching but the NQT induction assessment period should remain at one year.

Why are we saying it? We are supportive of the framework. It is, however, vital that the framework is used in the way intended, and that early career teachers benefit from the additional non-contact time. It is also important that this does not create additional workload for school leaders through the implementation. Formal NQT induction assessment must not be extended to the end of the second year.

ASCL is committed to supporting people entering the teaching profession and seeks to work with the DfE on proposals to strengthen QTS to improve the quality of teaching in our schools.

ASCL wishes to engage meaningfully with the DfE to ensure that any changes to the current QTS arrangements are mindful of the impact on the workload of middle and senior leaders, and are fully funded.

ASCL believes that school leaders should be fully involved in devising strengthened CPD to ensure that NQTs are better trained and supported in the early part of their careeers and to ensure retention of more experienced teachers.

ASCL considers offering apprenticeships in schools is a positive move for certain roles, eg teaching assistants, technicians and in administrative work (providing all aspects of safeguarding are met). ASCL is committed to protect teaching as a graduate profession. Subject knowledge acquired in higher education gives teachers confidence and credibility in the classroom.

We welcome the potential involvement of school leaders in an extended accreditation period for new teachers. We look forward to working with the DfE in ensuring that accreditation is a process that will ensure consistency, enhance the profession and aide the recruitment and retention of teachers by offering quality professional pathways with appropriate CPD.

The white paper proposes to replace QTS “with a stronger, more challenging accreditation based on a teachers’ effectiveness in the classroom, as judged by great schools.” ASCL believes the policy will only achieve its aims if the new training model is properly funded.

The Department for Education should engage fully with ASCL to determine an effective recruitment and retention strategy to deal with the teacher and leadership supply crisis.

The Association believes that the probationary year is very important because it ensures the quality of teachers gaining qualified teacher status and should be retained.

In the school-led system, we look forward to a time in which groups of schools, as trusts or alliances, become effective hubs for the training of the next generation of teachers.

However, at the present time, the national supply model is not delivering an adequate supply of new teachers. We recommend that the model should be reviewed, particularly with regard to School Direct, so that it can be more responsive to subject and regional requirements.

The Association believes that all teachers should be qualified to teach or working towards achieving professional teacher qualifications.

Despite the significant number of routes into teaching, teacher supply remains a concern which we attribute in part to insufficient clarity about that range of routes among both schools and potential recruits. ASCL will take a lead in clarifying the system and produces guidance to this end.

ASCL believes the time is right for a single, independent membership body, representing the whole of the teaching profession from NQTs to headteachers, whose remit is to encourage and advance best practice in education. However we are concerned that a body should not be formed in haste as there are still many details that need to be determined. ASCL would not support the College having a regulatory role and the Blueprint does not propose this.

While this is not a new idea, it has recently gained increased support and momentum firstly in a report by the Education Select Committee in May 2012 expressed the need for a “new member-driven College of Teaching.

ASCL believes it needs to be a bottom-up initiative that would become the vehicle by which the profession defines, demonstrates, models and shares evidence-based good teaching and good practice to enable the profession to become a primary driver of innovation and change in our education system. ASCL members welcome the opportunity to help to shape the proposals so that the college becomes an entity owned and embraced by the profession.

Initially it may need an injection of public start-up money and we welcome the Secretary of State’s suggestion that there may be start-up money from government to set one up.

ASCL believes that the future supply of teachers cannot simply be left to the market. We are concerned by evidence of an imminent recruitment crisis. Whilst entry to the profession may be through a variety of routes, long term centralised planning is required to ensure consistent high quality and the targeting of shortage areas of teacher supply.

ASCL believes that all teachers should be academically and professionally qualified or have the expectation to gain qualification within a set period, recognising reasonable experience and expertise which may be represented by a degree (or appropriate equivalences).