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Ensuring excellent teachers in every classroom

Today, the government has announced new plans to ensure there are excellent teachers in every classroom across the UK.

They have said every teacher in the country will have access to free high-quality, ongoing training.

Government-accredited training programmes, National Professional Qualifications (NPQs), will continue to be free for the next two academic years, following a Government investment of £184 million.

Today’s announcements form part of the government’s plan to provide 500,000 teacher training opportunities during this period.

They hope this would give every student the opportunity to be taught by dedicated, highly trained teachers, and level up opportunity across the country.

Additional payments to small schools are also being introduced, which the government say will ensure that where a child lives would have no bearing on the quality of teaching they receive.

The Targeted Support Fund will give a payment of £200 per participant to schools with up to 600 pupils, for every teacher or leader they employ who takes part in an NPQ.

This comes as the government has announced the School Led Development Trust (SLDT), an association of four leading academy trusts, which they say will establish and run the new flagship National Institute of Teaching.

The Harris Federation, Oasis Community Learning, Outwood Grange Academies Trust and Star Academies make up the four trusts to have formed SLDT to run the National Institute of Teaching. 

The government said further partnerships with a number of well-reputed school trusts will ensure that the National Institute of Teaching has the scale to reach teachers and leaders up and down the country.

They also said the National Institute of Teaching will deliver high-quality initial teacher training, early career framework, national professional qualifications, and national leaders of education development programmes.

These will allegedly generate and share advanced research and insights into best practice, to improve the quality of teacher training nationwide.

Schools Minister Robin Walker said: “Teachers are the backbone of our school system, inspiring, educating, caring for and ultimately preparing our next generation to make the very best of their lives. 

“Each and every teacher and staff member deserves our thanks and recognition – they certainly have mine.

“I’m privileged to have seen and met so many committed and brilliant teachers across this country and I want to make sure that they are supported to be the very best they can be, so that every single pupil – wherever they live – is taught by an excellent teacher.

“The broadening in scope of our fully-funded training means that every teacher who wants to will benefit, while our first of its kind National Institute of Teaching will be at the forefront of the delivery of teacher training, driving up support for teachers and the quality of teaching in schools, ultimately helping to level up education for all.”

The availability of NPQs is also being extended, with two new NPQs set to be introduced: Early Years Leadership and Leading Literacy.

 Early Years Leadership will support school leaders in their work to ensure every child gets the best start in life.

Leading Literacy will  develop school leaders’ expertise in the teaching of reading and writing. 

The government said this is a step towards delivering their commitment, as set out in the Schools White Paper, to improving literacy standards across the country.

The education settings eligible to support the NPQ scholarships is to further include independent special schools, hospital schools and young offender institutions.

The Institute will be led by a faculty of ‘expert’ teacher educators, working from its headquarters in Blackburn, Lancashire, and its regional campuses across England. 

It is has been said it will recruit and train teachers in the most disadvantaged areas and support levelling up by creating more than half of its new jobs in the North West and North East, and recruiting 20% of staff from the least socially mobile areas in the country. 

It aims to positively impact every teacher in England by 2028, either directly via its training courses or through the best practice guidance that it will distribute.

Melanie Renowden, founding CEO of the National Institute of Teaching, said: “The National Institute of Teaching is uniquely positioned to create a bridge between evidence and education practice. 

“As a school-led consortium, we are perfectly equipped to translate evidence on best practice into action that can be implemented in schools up and down the country.

“It is not just that we know schools and work well with schools. Our trusts and our partners are delivering education excellence in classrooms across England, often in communities that have the toughest of deals, where our work has the potential to make the biggest difference. 

“We will investigate what has been working, codify what we learn and share it across the school system.

“We are looking forward to the National Institute of Teaching playing a central role in nurturing the talents of teachers and leaders at all stages of their careers, so they can provide children and young people with the world-class education they deserve.”

 The government have said they are making improvements to the online training platform for Early Career Teachers, which is intended to reduce the workload for teachers, schools, delivery partners and the appropriate bodies overseeing teacher training.

Research is being published alongside this on the experiences of Early Career Teachers, mentors and induction tutors, following the first term of the national rollout of the Early Career Framework-based induction.

The government said that initial findings, from a three-year evaluation process, show high levels of enthusiasm and engagement with the programmes.

They said these results underline the support across the sector for giving early career teachers evidence-based development and support at the start of their careers.

The main challenges were centred on workload and a perceived lack of flexibility i the programmes.

From this feedback, the government said they will make improvements to the programmes, including making materials more user-friendly, simplifying the digital service and producing guidance on applying the content of the programmes to different contexts and roles. 

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