Teacher Training in Schools

In March 2014, IStip Executive Director Judith Fenn gave the following presentation to the Society of Heads’ Annual Conference about on the subject of the move towards more teacher training in schools, and the impact that this will have on the independent sector.

The Work of IStip

  • Oversees statutory induction in ISC member schools (including overseas schools from 2012)
  • Inducts some 1150 NQTs a year
  • Is the largest provider of induction in England

Teacher Training: as it was

  • Institute-led
  • Predominantly under, or post, graduate courses (BEd; BA/BSc[QTS]; PGCE)
  • Some employment based training; via an accredited provider
    • GTP
    • AO
    • OTTP
    • RTP
    • SCITTs
  • 96 HEIs
  • Some 40-50 SCITTs

Teacher Training: as it is now

  • Fragmentation/localisation
  • Move away from HEIs to on-the-job training
  • School Direct Training
  • Importance of schools in training teachers
  • Rapid increase in providers of teacher training

Current Routes to Qualifying

  • Undergraduate routes: BEd; BA/BSC [QTS]
  • PGCE
  • Assessment Only
  • Teach First
  • School Direct Training
    • 9k places 2012-13
    • 15k places 2013-14

School Direct Training

Three options (DfE website mentions first two only):

  • SD (training)
    Central (UCAS) application process; fee can be paid by Student Loan Company (bursaries/scholarships available); cannot be employed as a teacher; lead school selects trainee; independent school cannot be a lead school (unless a Teaching School)
  • SD (salaried)
    Central application process; for highly qualified graduates, with 3 years plus work experience. Employed as unqualified teachers. Lead schools as above
  • SD (salaried; self funded)
    Apply direct to provider; must meet ITT requirements; no need for prior work experience

Fragmentation/New Providers

  • Centralised/streamlined (?) application process via UCAS, but 900+ providers listed
  • SCITTs have vastly increased in number (local provision)
  • Teaching Schools are providers
  • Schools are becoming awarding bodies for QTS (cannot do this for PGCEs; HEIs only)

The Political Context

The Chief Executive of the NCTL, Charlie Taylor, talked recently of:

  • a ‘vision for a self improving, school-led system’;
  • ‘the biggest shift’ in policy and practice in teacher training;
  • ‘the staggering appetite’ for schools to become involved in School Direct Training.

He added: ‘I would encourage all School Direct schools to think about what they can offer to tempt the best trainees to their schools’.

Teacher Supply

There was under-recruitment to teacher training places in 2013:

  • Number of primary places filled were down 30% on 2 years ago
  • Secondary under-recruited by 10%
  • PGCEs under-recruited by 5-8%
  • SD under-recruited by c. 30%

By 2020, an additional 40,000 primary places will be needed in England.


  • PGCEs will cost at least £9000 by 2015 (on top of the £27,000 tuition fees likely to be paid for an undergraduate degree)
  • Bursaries (and provider-determined incentives) will be available for shortage subjects
  • No bursaries for PE, RE, Business Studies, Psychology, Philosophy

(For comparison, the QTS-only route costs around £6000.)


  • HEIs will decrease in number
  • PGCE courses will decrease in number
  • School based training will become ever more attractive to cash-strapped graduates

The Independent Sector

  • 54248 FTEs in ISC member schools in 2013*
  • 1341 of these were NQTs (majority in England; some overseas)
  • 71% of these NQTs came from a PGCE course

(* includes Scotland and NI/ISC census)

The 2013-14 NQT Cohort

  • 1137 NQTs
  • 66% qualified with a PGCE
  • 16% qualified via GTP/SDT
  • 6% qualified via the AO route
  • 10% completed undergraduate degrees

Who Trained These NQTs?

  • Buckingham – 98/12
  • IOE – 66/12
  • eQualitas – 51/51
  • Exeter – 39/1
  • Canterbury Christchurch – 31/10
  • Cumbria – 27/8
  • Reading – 25/14
  • Oxford – 24/0
  • Manchester – 24/3
  • Cambridge – 23/1

(First number is totals trained; second is trained on-the-job.)

And after training?

  • NQTs tend to stay put
  • IStip has tracked NQTs 3 years after completing induction successfully since 2008
  • 81% remain in the sector 3 years after completing the NQT year

School Based Training

  • 22% (266) of the 2013-14 cohort of NQTs completed a school-based training programme (mainly GTP/SDT)
  • Most of these are likely to have remained at the same school for the initial training year, and the NQT year

What we may assume

Based on a quick IStip survey of 594 Induction Tutors (which resulted in 135 responses):

  • 40% of respondents’ schools did not train teachers on the job
  • Of those who did, most were large secondary schools
  • Few trained multiples; some trained 2-3
  • Prep schools more likely not to train teachers
  • Small, all-through schools more likely not to train teachers

The Obstacles

  • Costs
  • Capacity within the timetable
  • Lack of knowledge of school based training
  • Confusion surrounding the introduction and operation of SDT
  • Lack of knowledge of SDT and the 3 routes amongst some providers

The Benefits

  • Growing your own
  • Training embeds your ethos and values
  • The Teachers’ Standards are role and context specific
  • Active engagement with the quality of the provision
  • Retention

Bottom line: in the future, on-the-job training will be an important recruitment tool

Existing Examples of School Based Training

  • Costs shared with the trainee
  • Stipend not salary
  • Training Contracts drawn up to last over a 3 year period: the unqualified training year; the ITT year; the induction year

The Future

Further information

For further information, please contact Judith Fenn, the Executive Director of IStip. You can also download a copy of the original Microsoft PowerPoint presentation (600Kb) given at the conference.

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