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The next T

raining the next generation of teachers to ensure they have the skills they need most

is essential for our schools, colleges and other settings. Ofsted’s new inspection framework for the inspection of initial teacher education (ITE) has been specifically designed to raise expectations within the ITE sector.

Changes to the way we inspect ITE will enable inspectors to focus even more on those areas of training that are particularly important. That is: teaching pupils to read; developing pupils’ communication, language development and mathematical skills; managing pupils’ behaviour; and ensuring trainees develop the ability to meet the needs of a range of pupils, including those who have special educational needs, those with disabilities and those for whom English is an additional language.

Streamlining judgement From September 2012

new arrangements for ITE inspections. ITE was also part of the ‘A good education for all’ cross phase consultation which took place between February and May 2012. We have also conducted a number of different types of ITE pilot inspections. The responses to both consultations were positive overall, but there was a mixed response to the proposal to introduce unannounced inspections.

We listened to the concerns that the sector had regarding unannounced inspections and undertook a number of no-notice logistical pilot inspections. As a result, we have adopted a two-day notice period. We believe this gives everyone a reasonable amount of time for preparation and will allow inspectors to see ITE partnerships as they really are.

providers will be

inspected against more challenging criteria and inspectors will be making fewer, more streamlined judgements. The current two overarching judgements and nine underpinning judgements will be replaced by one overarching judgement for overall effectiveness and three underpinning judgements: the outcomes for trainees; the quality of training across an ITE partnership; and the leadership and management of an ITE partnership.

Between October 2011 and January 2012 Ofsted consulted widely on proposals for

The inspection cycle is being extended from three to six years and Ofsted will be adopting a more proportionate approach to inspection, informed by a robust risk assessment process so we can target inspections where improvement is needed most.

This means that some ITE partnerships will be inspected more frequently than others. We will inspect a sample of good and outstanding ITE partnerships in each year of the inspection cycle.

‘Satisfactory’ requires improvement

A new ‘requires improvement’ judgement will replace ‘satisfactory’. This will bring ITE in line with the revised four-point scale for making judgements being used in the new school and learning and skills inspection frameworks from September 2012. An ITE partnership that is judged to ‘require improvement’ will have a further ITE inspection within 12 months. We will normally limit the number of times a provider can be judged to require improvement to two consecutive inspections before it is considered to be inadequate. ITE partnerships graded ‘satisfactory’ at the end of August 2012 will start with a clean slate in September.

Building on the strengths of the current arrangements, inspections will look more closely at the recruitment and selection of trainees, the quality of ITE partnerships, placements and mentoring. They will also ensure that ITE partnerships are meeting

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new professional standards and requirements which apply from September.

In addition, where risk assessment reveals concerns about training, inspectors will make unannounced focused monitoring inspections to primary ITE partnerships to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of their training in phonics.

Greater priority is also being given to: • the impact of training and leadership and management on trainees’ outcomes • the direct observation of trainees’ and former trainees’ teaching

• trainees’ ability to support the development of their pupils’ literacy and mathematical skills regardless of their phase or subject specialism

Annual themes

In order to produce annual overview reports on the effectiveness of specific aspects of teacher training, Ofsted will introduce one or more annual theme that will lead to a report. Each year of the inspection cycle is likely to have different themes.

Trainees’ views are an important consideration when judging the effectiveness of an ITE partnership. Ofsted has developed a new trainee online questionnaire and inspectors will use it as one of the sources of information to take trainees’ views into account. Inspectors will also continue to take account of the results of surveys carried out internally by the ITE partnership.

A robust inspection system will help raise standards so that more trainees become good or outstanding teachers and leave their training better prepared for their future roles as teachers.



Angela Milner, principal officer for Initial Teacher Education at Ofsted, describes the changes being made to the inspection of teacher training.

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