‘Teacher training needs to be affordable and free to everyone’ – NASBTT launches Manifesto for Change

The National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT) has today outlined five proposals which aim to attract more people to the teaching profession, and support school-based initial teacher training (ITT) providers to deliver high-quality training.

The Future of Initial Teacher Training: How can we attract more people to the teaching profession and support school-based ITT providers to deliver high-quality training?, which was officially launched at the Festival of Education, is positioned as a ‘Manifesto for Change’ and has been developed by drawing on consultation with NASBTT’s school-based members on what is missing from current ITT recruitment policy.

NASBTT’s five asks, which it has said ‘any political party should consider as their focus’, are:

1.     Make teacher training affordable to everyone

 NASBTT asks for:

·        Bursaries for all upon application

·        Consideration of student loan repayment for new teachers working in state schools

·        Hardship funding for those in need

2.     Tackle public perceptions about teaching

This includes:

·        An inspirational 10-year vision for education (and the role of ITT within that)

·        Research to understand why young people are not considering/choosing teaching, with evidence to inform vision and practical action

·        A commitment to ensuring appropriate funding is provided to schools and the teaching profession

3.     Incentivise schools to engage in ITT

NASBTT asks for:

·        A reward scheme to incentivise schools to fully engage in ITT

·        Early career retention bonuses for teachers over years three, four and five

·        Mandatory teacher training placements

4.     Mentoring capacity: introduce a Teacher Professional Development Lead

This includes:

·        A funded Teacher Professional Development Lead in every school

·        Ringfenced time away from the classroom to make a genuine difference to mentoring and support the ITT quality requirements and the initial teacher training and early career framework  (ITTECF)

·        Through this role, the development of a clear pathway to upskill the teacher workforce in the essential skills for effective mentoring

5.     Flexible working: less talk, more action

NASBTT asks for:

·        Flexible working expectations to be met

·        ITT providers and schools to be supported in implementing flexi-working approaches

·        The impact on recruitment, retention and wellbeing to be monitored/reported

 Emma Hollis, NASBTT chief executive, said: “Teacher supply is in crisis with the government missing its own ITT recruitment targets for the last decade, and now all eyes are on what actions the next parliament will take to address the worsening picture following the general election.

 “A manifesto for change is definitely needed, and the five proposals we have outlined should be our focus for inspiring a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce.

“In particular, teacher training needs to be affordable and free to everyone – this should be our mandate. It is scarcely believable that we are asking people to work in state schools in this country, teaching our children, to take on debt to do that.

“Training should be paid for as long as teachers remain in state education. If they choose to leave to go into the private sector or somewhere else, the cost of training should be repayable.

“However, in the discussion on increasing trainee numbers, we must not ignore the fundamental issue of funding for ITT and what providers need going forward.

“Income for ITT providers has not risen above the cap of £9,250 for many years (or in line with inflation) whilst salaries and the cost of goods and services have increased dramatically in that timescale.

“We cannot continue to be asked to deliver more with ever less resource. A hard and realistic scrutiny needs to be undertaken to ascertain what funds are really needed to continue to deliver high-quality ITT.”

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