The NASUWT has continued to emphasise the importance of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and continuing professional development (CPD) for ensuring that all children and young people in England can access their entitlement to be taught by highly skilled, appropriately trained and qualified teachers.
The NASUWT’s publication Strengthening QTS sets out some of the Union’s core messages on the importance of QTS and the ways in which it can secured and enhanced in future. The publication also addresses key issues in relation to CPD.
In December 2017, the DfE launched a consultation in which it published important proposals for reform of QTS.
Proposals set out in the consultation document include:
- a revised common early career content framework for new teachers, covering what all new teachers need to know or be able to do;
- establishing a statutory framework for mentoring, including exploring ways in which mentoring might become a dedicated career pathway and introducing national mentoring standards modelled on those in place currently for initial teacher training (ITT);
- increasing the length of the typical statutory induction period to two years;
- awarding QTS once this induction period is complete, rather than on the completion of ITT as at present;
- during induction, granting a form of provisional QTS to allow those on induction to undertake the same teaching roles and responsibilities as those with QTS;
- splitting the induction mentoring role so that the support and assessment functions associated with the mentoring of new teachers are undertaken by different members of staff;
- changing statutory induction guidance to require schools to provide more frequent mentoring sessions and for the appropriate body to assess this provision more rigorously;
- commissioning the development of further training for mentors and expanding existing training if it is deemed to be of sufficient quality;
- consider making mentor training mandatory for all schools;
- strengthening the independent verification of QTS accreditation;
- considering ways in which ITT providers could play an active role in the assessment and accreditation of QTS;
- ‘exploring ways’ in which new teachers can be given sufficient time to focus on their professional development;
- considering expanding the provision of National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) to support the career progression of those teachers who do not want to move to ‘traditional’ leadership roles, such as headship;
- exploring the introduction of a CPD ‘badging’ scheme to provide schools and teachers with an assurance of programme quality;
- strengthening the statutory requirements for professional development by setting out clearer entitlements to CPD, including, potentially, a recommended minimum number of hours of relevant, high-quality CPD to be undertaken annually;
- developing a national CPD framework for early career teachers (post-QTS), similar to that proposed for new teachers;
- ring-fencing funding for CPD in ‘schools where it is most needed’;
- the introduction of a personal CPD record, similar to that in place currently in Wales; and
- establishing a fund to pilot sabbaticals for teachers.
The NASUWT will be submitting evidence to the DfE’s consultation and is keen to learn more about your views on the proposals. Comments and observations should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of the DfE’s submission deadline of 9 March 2018.