Initial training of pre-school, primary and secondary schoolteachers


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Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is not a requirement for a post in a higher education institution (HEI), except for teacher trainers, who must have QTS as well as considerable recent teaching experience in schools.

As HEIs are autonomous corporations, each determines its own requirements concerning staff and there is no single legislative provision in this area. Increasingly, they are providing training for their teaching staff, especially those who are new to the profession. However, the admission requirements, curriculum content and method, and the evaluation and certification of any professional development offered to teaching staff in higher education institutions vary from one institution to another.
The Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 made a provision for new statutory induction arrangements in England. This is specified in the Education (Induction Arrangements for School Teachers) (England) Regulations 1999 and amending Regulations. The National Assembly for Wales will introduce similar induction arrangements in Wales.
With limited exceptions, all teachers who obtain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) after 7 May 1999 have to serve an induction period to remain eligible to teach in a maintained school or non-maintained special school. Only those who have obtained QTS can start induction. This includes teachers who trained on employment-based routes to QTS as well as those who trained in HEI-school partnerships.
Teachers who have satisfactorily completed induction or probation in Scotland and Northern Ireland are exempt from induction in English schools. Until Wales introduces its induction arrangements, a teacher who completes at least two terms in their first teaching post in Wales will be exempt from induction in English schools. Teachers from the European Economic Area who gain QTS under Article 3 of Council Directive 89/48 EEC are also exempt from induction but non-EEA teachers will need to complete an induction programme after gaining QTS.
Induction allows new teachers to build on their initial teacher training, where strengths and development needs will have been identified, and sets the pace and direction for their future professional development. NQTs will have an individualised programme of support during their induction year from a designated induction tutor. This will include observation of the new teacher’s teaching, watching more experienced teachers in different settings and a professional review of progress at least every half term.
The head teacher will be responsible with Appropriate Bodies (for maintained schools and non-maintained special schools this will be the LEA and for independent schools it will be either the LEA for the area in which the school is situated or a special body, the Independent Schools Council Teacher Induction Panel) and will make a final recommendation as to whether the new teacher has passed or failed.
New teachers will have to pass their induction in order to remain eligible for employment in a maintained school or a non-maintained special school.
The Regulations require those with a role in the new arrangements to “have regard” to guidance given by the Secretary of State in the DfEE Induction Circular 5/99. These are:

  • the Induction Standards set out in Annex A; and

  • paragraph 88 determining the limited teaching duties which a teacher may undertake having failed induction, whilst awaiting the outcome of an appeal.

The Induction Standards set out in the Circular 5/99 build on the QTS standards, but are different from them in order to reflect the fact that the new teacher has moved from a training to an employment setting. The Induction Standards include setting clear targets for improvement of pupils’ achievement, using appropriate teaching methods and maintaining discipline.

The School Teaches Pay and Conditions of Employment Document 1999 requires head teachers to ensure that inductees do not teach more than 90% of a normal teaching timetable (paragraph 43.8.5). In calculating the reduction in teaching time, schools take the normal contact ratio for the school, and use it as their baseline. The 10% remission from teaching duties should be used for the NQT’s induction programme. It should not be used as unspecified non-contact time nor should it be used to cover the teaching of absent colleagues. The release time should be over and above any time normally assigned to teachers in a school for activities such as planning and marking and should be used for a targeted and coherent programme of professional development, monitoring and assessment activities.
The induction period will last for one academic year, usually three school terms. The induction period can only be extended if a teacher has been absent for 30 school days or more or if they have not completed the period within 5 years of starting their induction period. It will not be extended as a result of the new teacher failing to meet the standards. An extension can also be imposed by the Appropriate Body (in exceptional circumstances) or by the Appeal Body.
All teachers in England and Wales have a professional duty to review, from time to time, their methods of teaching and programmes of work and to participate in arrangements for their continuing professional development (CPD) as teachers.


The statutory conditions of service require that all full-time teachers have at least five working days when they are not required to teach pupils and it is expected that at least three of these non-contact days are used for continuing professional development (CPD).

The framework of national standards and professional qualifications for serving teachers currently covers:

  • National Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status (DfEE Circular 4/98);

  • National Standards for Subject Leaders (TTA, 1998);

  • National Standards for Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCO) (TTA, 1998);

  • National Standards for Headteachers (TTA, 1997);

  • National Special Educational Needs Specialist Standards (TTA, 1999).

The national standards for each area of the framework are in five parts and include:

  • Core purpose;

  • Key outcomes;

  • Professional knowledge and understanding;

  • Skills and attributes;

  • Key areas.

DfEE recently consulted on a framework for CPD for teachers in England. The framework links CPD to raising the standard of teaching and learning, underlines the importance of individual commitment to CPD and emphasises the centrality of CPD to the renewal of the teaching profession. It suggests that three separate perspectives should influence professional development: the individual professional's needs and aspirations; the needs and priorities of individual schools; and national strategic priorities. Funding should be dedicated to each of these strands. DfEE is also developing a Code of Practice for Continuing Professional Development for providers of publicly funded training to set out the standards that schools and teachers should expect.

The National Professional Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH) is aimed at aspiring Headteachers; teachers who already have substantial experience in school leadership and management, together with relevant professional knowledge and understanding. It was originally introduced in 1997, and will be replaced with a new shorter programme to be introduced from autumn 2000. The Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 allows the Secretary of State to make regulations requiring a person employed as a Headteachers, who has not previously held such a post, to hold a professional qualification for Headteachers. However, a date has not yet been set for the introduction of such regulations.
There are also training programmes for newly appointed and serving Headteachers. The Headteachers’ Leadership and Management Programme (HEADLAMP) is a flexible induction programme which allows newly appointed Headteachers to receive training from a TTA registered training provider. The Leadership Programme for Serving Headteachers (LPSH) is for Headteachers who have been in post for at least three years, and aims to secure further improvements in leadership.
Since May 1998, all initial teacher training institutions have been required to provide every newly qualified teacher (NQT) with a career entry profile which summarises information about the new teacher’s strengths and about priorities for their further professional development.

Decision-making bodies

There is no one body with overall responsibility for the continuing professional development of teachers (CPD); it is shared between:

  • central government (the DfEE and the National Assembly for Wales);

  • local education authorities (LEAs) (where appropriate);

  • school governing bodies;

  • Headteachers; and

  • the individual teachers concerned.

The DfEE (in England) and the National Assembly for Wales (in Wales) provide, separately, financial support (normally at a rate of 50 per cent) for CPD through their respective programmes: the Standards Fund and Grants for Education Support and Training (GEST). This is paid to the LEA, but is increasingly devolved by them to LEA-maintained schools. The structure, policy coverage and size of the respective programmes are determined annually to enable new priorities to be reflected and details are published annually in separate DfEE (DfEE 16/99) and Welsh Office Circulars. Subject to the guidance in the Circulars, it is for schools and LEAs to decide the details of training.

The Teacher Training Agency (TTA) also administers a fund for the continuing professional development of schoolteachers. The current priorities are:

  • specialist teaching in primary schools, especially in numeracy and literacy;

  • enhanced subject knowledge for primary teachers, particularly in literacy, mathematics, science and design and technology;

  • the teaching of early years children;

  • the teaching of 14–19-year-olds;

  • information and communications technology training;

  • special educational needs training;

  • the management of pupil behaviour;

  • provision linked to the TTA’s professional standards for teachers and Headteachers.

Courses funded by the TTA are intended to complement the provision made under the Standards Fund and GEST and normally lead to a recognised professional or academic qualification — e.g. Master of Arts or PhD. A system of competitive bidding allows training providers to bid for funds to deliver accredited courses. Bidding rounds take place once every three years. Training providers may include higher education institutions (HEIs), LEAs, professional and subject associations, consortia of schools and partnerships between HEIs, LEAs and schools.

The Government plans to establish a new National College for School Leadership which will take over responsibility for designing and overseeing the existing headship training programmes.

Institutions responsible for continuing professional development

Continuing professional development (CPD) may be provided within a school, at a local education authority (LEA) or Education and Library Board teachers’ centre, at a higher education institution (HEI) or a further education institution, or at an independent training or conference centre in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or overseas. Trainers include a wide range of agencies and individuals: HEIs, school staff, LEA/Board advisory teachers, advisers and inspectors and independent consultants.

Senior staff within a school provide ongoing professional guidance and development for their less experienced colleagues, either as part of their day-to-day oversight or as special, focused training. Although there is no set formula, such support normally begins with the induction which follows the teacher’s initial appointment to the school and continues for as long as it is required.
When teachers undertake CPD during the school day, their classes are normally taught by teaching colleagues from within the school or by qualified replacement teachers (known as ‘supply teachers’). The cost of employing replacement teachers must be met by the individual school, but when the training qualifies for funding through the Standards Fund in England, or the Grants for Education Support and Training (GEST) programme in Wales, these costs may normally be reclaimed.
Some CPD courses, traditionally those for teachers of foreign languages, may take place wholly or partly in another country. Some staff undertake study visits to other countries, whereby the examination of another education system provides alternative models of tackling issues of common concern. Such visits may be arranged bilaterally (for example, through the Central Bureau for International Education and Training) or as part of European Community programmes such as ARION and LINGUA.

DfEE is funding a Teachers International Professional Development programme to enable groups of teachers to visit schools abroad and share expertise. Investment of up to £6 million over two years will enable up to 5,000 teachers to take part in visits and exchanges with other schools.

Admission requirements

Teachers may take part in continuing professional development (CPD) at any time in their career. Access to CPD depends on the nature of the activities. For example, whilst all teachers may be involved in ‘whole school’ professional development activities, some may require training in a specific discipline or aspect relative to their role or responsibility. At the other end of the continuum, teachers applying to undertake courses leading to a higher degree or academic diploma are subject to the admission criteria of the higher education institution (HEI) and the course concerned.

Curriculum, duration of studies

There is no legal minimum requirement for continuing professional development (CPD). Participation depends on the professional needs of the teacher concerned and the availability of the resources in the school to meet them. It can range from a few hours to several days and sometimes full- or part-time studies over an extended period, in preparation for nationally recognised qualifications.

Each school determines its own CPD needs, within the broad framework provided by the Government’s specific grant provisions. These may range from support for individual members of staff arising from appraisal interviews, through training for groups of staff to deal with curricular or management changes, to whole-school development.
The term CPD covers a wide range of staff development activities. It may refer to a teachers’ working group within a particular school, or a series of meetings or conferences which bring together teachers from a number of schools. It can include activities such as team-teaching or industrial placement or work shadowing. Individual teachers may undertake professional development in the form of study for a higher qualification, such as an advanced diploma or a higher degree (such as a master’s degree or a doctorate) It also includes the headship training programmes.

Evaluation, certification

Continuing professional development of teachers (CPD) covers all professional development, from short courses to higher degrees. In some cases, certificates of attendance are awarded. Where teachers undertake studies leading to specific qualifications — e.g. an academic diploma or a higher degree — their performance is assessed by examination or coursework, as required by the accreditation body (usually a university).

There is no single national system for the evaluation of CPD. Provision may be evaluated by the individual, the school (which pays for CPD from its delegated budget), the LEA or, in some cases, by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) in England, and in Wales by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales.
The Government is also funding a Best Practice Research Scholarships Programme of up to £6 million over two years to enable teachers to carry out small-scale classroom-based research into key areas. The areas of research that the Government is encouraging include special educational needs, achievement of boys, raising achievement at Key Stage 3, creativity, working effectively with teaching assistants, overcoming social barriers to achievement, closer working between home and school, and use of information technology to support learning. DfEE will also introduce pilot professional bursaries in autumn 2000 which a teacher could use towards the cost of their professional development".

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