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Education Committee - Minutes of EvidenceHC 1515-ii
House of COMMONS
TAKEN BEFORE the
Attracting, training and retaining the best teachers
Wednesday 9 November 2011
Stephen Hillier and Michael Day
Dr Michael Evans, Dr John Moss, Martin Thompson, Kay Truscott-Howell and Amanda Timberg
Evidence heard in Public Questions 1 - 98
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Taken before the Education Committee
on Wednesday 9 November 2011
Mr Graham Stuart (Chair)
Examination of Witnesses
Witnesses: Stephen Hillier, Chief Executive, Training and Development Agency, and Michael Day, Executive Director of Training, Training and Development Agency, gave evidence.
Q1 Chair: Good morning and welcome to this first public evidence session on the subject of attracting, retaining and training the best teachers. We like to be pretty informal here, so if you are happy for us to use your first names, we will do so. The ITT implementation plan, which came out yesterday, fresh off the press, confirms details of bursary levels and how payments will be made. Does your evidence from marketing and from assessing why trainees join the profession suggest that many teachers are motivated by financial incentives? Will the bursaries be effective in attracting new candidates, particularly in priority subjects? Who would like to go first, Michael or Stephen?
Stephen Hillier: Thank you very much, Chair. Before I come to the question, can I just say thank you very much to you and to the Committee for inviting us? Thank you very much for putting us on first. Certainly from the TDA point of view this feels like a very exciting time in the world of supply and training, in a very good way. We think there is an awful lot we have done in relation to recruitment so far. We have had one of our best ever years, and certainly in relation to physics and chemistry, which are among the hardest to recruit to, it is the best ever year so far. We are increasing in terms of the quality of degree that people arrive with in training this year. We can say more about that.
So we are obviously going to start with the first question you have given us. We will answer all of your questions as best we can this morning, but there may be some further detail that it would be helpful for us to contribute in the next few days if you stump us on a more detailed question. We would welcome the opportunity to put that further information to you, if we may.
In terms of the implementation plan we certainly believe that in terms of the quality of teachers that our pupils need the direction of travel sketched there is absolutely right. In terms of retention, the prioritisation given in the bursary system to those with 2:1 and above is absolutely right. We know that marketing campaigns can help in terms of attracting people, and we know that where bursaries disappear there can be effects from that. We have seen that in areas like IT.
Q2 Chair: Can you give us an example of that?
Stephen Hillier: We can certainly give you the figures on IT in the next day or two. We have probably got some in our packs we could pass to your secretariat. So we will be on our mettle in terms of what undoubtedly be a challenging recruitment period between now and next September through the bursary changes, but overall we think these are absolutely the right changes to make. Maybe Michael would like to add something to that.
Dr Day: Just a couple of points. I think it is important to emphasise that as an agency we do a lot of market research on levels of bursary. We have done two major reviews in the past about the correct kind of level of bursary to attract different sorts of trainees. We have got a very good sense about the correct amount of pay to attract particular sorts of trainees. We have been working very closely with the Department on that bursary table to make sure that the levels are pitched in a way that they will be effective amounts to get those key priority trainees in.
Q3 Chair: If you get a first class degree in a shortage subject and you apply to a secondary school, you can get a £20,000 bursary, is that right?
Dr Day: If you get a first class degree and you train to teach maths, physics, chemistry or modern languages, in a university or a School Centred Initial Teacher Training organisation you get a £20,000 bursary.
Q4 Chair: Am I right in thinking that if you are heading towards secondary-
Dr Day: You are.
Q5 Chair: But if the same person with the same degree is attracted into primary, where my understanding was that in terms of emphasis with the belief in early intervention-getting it right first time, getting kids learning from the earliest possible start-we wanted to attract high quality people, that the same person could get a maximum bursary of £9,000.
Dr Day: £9,000, yes.
Q6 Chair: What is the rationale for that discrepancy?
Dr Day: Because there is substantially more demand out there for graduates to become primary teachers, so it is much easier for us to recruit high quality people into primary teaching than it is into the shortage subjects. We are competing for a very limited number of graduates to train to teach the shortage subjects, and particularly a very limited number of high quality graduates, so we have got to have a very strong attractor to get those people to consider teaching.
Q7 Chair: Do we not want people with first class physics degrees going into primary? Is that a waste of their talent? Is that what you are saying?
Stephen Hillier: No, I do not think we are saying that. It would be great if that happens, and of course it is in the implementation plan and in the speech that the Secretary of State gave to the induction event for the first 100 teaching schools in September. We have seen the first plank of what I think is a very exciting development in terms of the training of specialists for primary. But I think Mike is absolutely right that when in the plan it uses this phraseology "priority subject", it is not making a moral judgment on which subjects are best. It is simply saying all the recruitment experience is that we are more likely to be able to get the right people, hopefully including the first class physicist, into primary than we have managed to do in secondary.
Q8 Chair: I am just trying to explore the rationale though. Either you would equally like first-class physicists in secondary and primary, or you would prefer them to go into secondary. Are you suggesting there is not such a problem attracting good people into primary? Does that mean you have many first-class science degree graduates going into primary at the moment?
Dr Day: Not as many as we would like, but I think we can recruit some good high quality people into primary, who can then go through training that prepares them for teaching the whole of the curriculum within the primary phase. One of the interesting things in the implementation plan is signalling a move to more specialist primary teaching. One of the jobs for the agency over the next few weeks or months with the Department is to agree what we want to do in terms of more specialist science and maths teachers in primary, and how we might restructure some of our training to facilitate that.
Q9 Chair: What about restructuring the bursaries to facilitate that?
Stephen Hillier: I think we have got to see the experience of at least one year before the Government looks at the bursary scheme. But I am pretty clear from things the Secretary of State has said: if there needs to be adjustment to the bursary scheme in the years ahead, that is what he would do.
Q10 Chair: I do not want to overdo the point, but it seems anomalous to me, and I just wanted to see if there was any evidence base to justify the difference.
Stephen Hillier: I think it just boils down to priorities. It is an interesting subject in relation to physics, because as you know, universities offer about 3,000 people degrees in physics. Our target of 925 for the secondary system every year, given the needs of the rest of the nation and economy, makes interesting reading, doesn’t it? As an agency over a long period, we have become used to helping people who had some physics in their degree-engineering is an obvious one-to think of training to become science teachers, maybe majoring in physics. We want to do more physics-only PGCEs, more PGCEs that are just physics with maths. We have done a lot of work over the last few months with the Institute of Physics on this, and there will be more said on that over the autumn. But you have got to start somewhere, so we have got to meet our target in physics for secondary, and then it would be fantastic to have more first class physicists in primary as well.
Q11 Chair: Thank you very much. Are the timetables proposed for changes in the system viable?
Stephen Hillier: Yes.
Q12 Chair: What are the biggest challenges that you face? We have to slightly read between the lines with this but, "Over the current Parliament we expect the growth of School Direct, the accreditation of more groups of schools as ITT providers and the expansion of other SCITT-style provision to lead to a significant increase in school-led teacher training." Are we are talking a transformation? One in 20 at the moment are in SCITT schemes, are they not? It has been flat-lining for six years in terms of numbers, and now we are going to have a transformation in one Parliament. Can you explain how and why it is doable?
Stephen Hillier: The transformation word probably relates to a combination of SCITT, which is a very specific way for schools to get involved, and I do think there will be quite significant growth, particularly through the contribution of teaching schools. We are seeing some of the teaching schools on Monday in London, who are very interested in the pure SCITT idea, but also chains of academies.
Also that word transformation relates to this excellent new idea of School Direct, which is a very different kind of involvement for schools. It enables them to take charge of the front-end through recruitment, so they know in their network that they are bringing in people that they are keen potentially to employ after they have been trained, but they know they can then call on an existing accredited trainer, such as a university, to actually do the training, which is in some ways the bit where they may feel they lack the experience or capacity. If they are combined we hope to achieve that transformation, but there is no target number for this, so I think we will need to develop a success criteria.
Q13 Chair: Have Ministers suggested to you at all how many they would like to see school-based in future?
Stephen Hillier: I do not have in my head any kind of target.
Q14 Chair: It is currently 5%, if it is one in 20. If we are looking at growth, the accreditation of more groups and a significant increase in school-led teaching training, is this significant doubling in this Parliament? I have heard numbers of 30% being talked about, but now it has been talked about at 50%.
Stephen Hillier: I do not think it would be right for the TDA, five months out from being part of DfE, to make Government policy. I think that would be a good question for the DfE, but I think I am going to pass.
Dr Day: I completely agree with Stephen in terms of the Department, but I think it is important to see the way the document is signalling the way Ministers and the TDA would like to see the sector changing. I think we are also responding to a change out amongst schools, where we are seeing a much bigger appetite at the moment for getting involved in teacher training. I think this is linked particularly to the growth of academy chains, which are creating organisations that have much more capability for CPD, initial training and induction of new teachers. They want to build that capability and take much more responsibility for selecting people to come into the profession, recruiting them, developing their careers and making sure that as organisations they are managing careers from recruitment right through to headship within their academy chain structures.
I think the document signals a move within the education world to the growth of strong academy chains doing that kind of role. Obviously, as Stephen said, teaching schools have been recruited specifically on the basis of their appetite to do ITT. A number of them are now chomping at the bit with their alliances of schools to create an organisation that is big enough to be able to plan labour market needs for schools. Traditionally schools as individual organisations have been rather small to be able to predict very clearly what their future labour market needs would be in terms of teachers. Once you get a whole alliance of schools working together it is much easier for them to commit to training quite a number of teachers within their organisations year on year knowing there is going to be a flow of new teachers going in. I think this is the right time for the agency to do that.
Q15 Chair: That sounds very exciting and very positive, but I do not think I got an answer to my question on what the barriers are. I am sure Ministers are delighted to have two such can-do individuals at the top of the TDA, but there are barriers and challenges. What are they?
Dr Day: One of the barriers, and Stephen has identified that through School Direct, is the bureaucracy around running a teacher training institution. For instance, if students go through the SCITT route, which many of these trainees will, then the organisation will be responsible for paying those trainees bursaries and making arrangements for their student loans, so it will have to liaise with the Student Loan Company, and have access agreements with the Student Loan Company to be able to charge variable fees, etc. Quite a lot will be subject to Ofsted inspection; we will have to maintain proper information about recruitment, progression and assessment, etc, so Initial Teacher Training is a very serious business to get into. It is not something to be entered into lightly. Schools obviously have to consider whether or not they have the resources to be able to do that.
Under School Direct we are saying to schools, "You can have the bits of teacher training that are important to you, so you will be involved in recruiting the trainees, commissioning their training and deciding how much of the training you want to do yourselves, but you will also be working with a partner that you have chosen who will be responsible for all that administration, for paying the bursaries, sorting out the money, working with the TDA, on accounting and with Ofsted on accountability." So we hope that School Direct will be the best of both worlds, and we will encourage lots more schools to get involved. The important thing is that the school gets involved in recruitment and in the training, not that schools necessarily want to take on the full gamut of what it is to be an accredited provider.
Chair: Thank you for that.
Q16 Damian Hinds: We had a group of outstanding teachers in a couple of weeks ago in a private session. We had little break out groups talking about what makes a great teacher, recruitment, training, development and attention and so on. We were asking how you spot a good teacher and what it is that makes a great teacher. The first thing is to really like children, which seems pretty obvious. Secondly, you have to have some subject knowledge and a certain something to do with imparting knowledge and helping children to learn how to learn. Then you need grit and perseverance. I am sure there are other things as well, but those are some of the phrases that came up. So I have two questions for you. First of all, although we would all say that you know it when you see it, how do you see it at the point of recruitment on an individual basis? Also more generally, where do you go looking for it? Which segments of the population? Which traits, which media titles? How is it that you go and find those people?
Stephen Hillier: I will make a start and then Michael can give you the real answer. There is a letter that we have seen, which I think you may have seen as well. It is a lovely letter, but I will just quote one line: "In my opinion a good teacher is someone who is not always shouting, likes children, plans fun lessons and they know the subject properly." That is from a pupil, as you probably realise. I think many of us would agree with that. I do think the extra prominence given to subject knowledge over the last 12 to 15 months feels absolutely right, in my personal opinion, in terms of what is needed. But I think those who do the real job of not just the campaigns that we run but the actual job of choosing the 30,000-odd who come in every year-I am conscious quite of few of them are probably sitting in the audience behind me-really do know when somebody comes into the room whether this is a likely person or not. There is something about that individual’s quality, charisma and so on.
In terms of the campaigns, you are right. In the 1990s, when I came into this world, it was shortage and crisis year on year, and then the Government in 1993/1994 decided to create a teacher training agency, and it was possible to start to grip those issues for the first time. We started running campaigns in the mid-1990s. We began with, "No one forgets a good teacher," which was a big TV and cinema campaign. That started quite a long journey that the TDA then picked up over the last 10 years of, in the current jargon, "Making teaching cool". I think that has been really important in terms of bringing in bright young people. They know they can say to their mates on Friday night in the pub, "I’m thinking of going into teaching," and they are not faced with derision, and I think this has been really important. I think the latest changes from the Secretary of State carry on that trajectory.
Those big campaigns were designed to make society as a whole take teaching seriously as a career, because of the peer influences and parental influences on you. As we go forward we are going to be more forensic, and we will be looking at subjects like physics, where we still struggle. This was the best ever year-I think now 865 out of the 920 we needed-but we want to beat the target and make sure every one is of good quality. You are right, we are positioning much more in relation to the journals that scientists are likely to be reading in their undergraduate years, working with the associations like the Institute of Physics and the other science associations who know how to reach people. I have mentioned engineering as something where we have high hopes of finding more. But Michael will give you a bit more about that.
Q17 Damian Hinds: Just before Michael comes in, I was just taken with something you were saying about the person who is doing the picking will typically know when the person comes through the door. Some people will, and hopefully most head teachers will, but do you think we place enough emphasis on supporting head teachers or whoever is doing the recruiting for training courses, and indeed for teaching jobs, to make sure they can do that? In business some people are fantastic at interviewing and recruiting the right person, and some people are not. Just because you are a good head teacher does not necessarily mean you are good at making that 60-minute judgment. How do we improve that part of the process?
Stephen Hillier: When you talk to some of the providers, which I know you will be doing, they will be able to bring that to light. I am going to make a broader point, which is that your assumption, which I think is a good one, is that head teachers are sitting there on the interviewing panel. I think that ought to be true, but sadly it is very rarely true. One of the reasons I am excited by School Direct is that part of the idea there is to bring the school into much greater relief. I give credit to universities: this is not because universities are saying they do not want head teachers; this is because it is not always prioritised by schools. I do think that part of making teaching an even greater profession is for schools to take more of that moral ownership certainly of recruitment but increasingly over the coming years of training as well.
Q18 Damian Hinds: Thank you, Michael?
Dr Day: I have very little to add to what Stephen has said. Your list is one we could completely agree with. It is summarised by Dylan Williams, who used to be at the Institute of Education. He said that a good teacher was a combination of IQ and EQ. At the moment we are increasingly trying to make sure that we are selecting on both of those characteristics. We have the emphasis in the bursaries on getting people with high-class degrees, firsts or 2:1s.
However, lots of people say to us that the issue with people sometimes with firsts, particularly in science and maths, is to do with their people skills and social skills, so we are also very careful in our new selection arrangements to look much more at the EQ element. Within that you will see in the implementation plan a requirement on universities to use much more psychometric testing approaches to help them with their selection procedures. We are now fairly clear that we want universities to be more professional than they are at the moment. They are already very professional, but even more so in terms of the tools they use for selecting people, both on the IQ, the subject knowledge side, and also on the personality side.
Of course we can describe what the perfect teacher looks like, but there are not necessarily 35,000 people readymade with all of those characteristics that we can just go out there and recruit. As an agency we have to have strategies where we can make up some of those deficits. The classic one is subject knowledge, where recruiting enough people with the really detailed degree-level knowledge in subjects like maths, physics and chemistry is very difficult, so we do a lot of work with trainees on their subject knowledge. We offer them up to nine months’ extra training in that area to ensure they have subject knowledge.
At the moment we are working with Teach First on some piloting of social skills training, because clearly that is going to be important if you are really going to be able to continue to recruit groups full of people strong in physics and maths, which is an interesting experiment to see whether or not we can do more on that side. We have also been working with a group of vice-chancellors on general employability skills within physics, chemistry and maths, and whether we can build on that in the final undergraduate year to encourage more people to develop their engagement skills with children so they are ready to come into teaching.
Q19 Damian Hinds: In terms of the recruitment pool, it sounds like what you are advocating and moving to is similar to what McKinsey & Company calls the top-third-plus approach. We have plenty of people saying to us, "Well of course having a 2:1 does not make you suddenly a brilliant teacher." That much is blindingly obvious, but the point is having a gateway, so in life’s great Venn diagram you have a combination both of subject knowledge and academic achievement plus all these other things. Then of course, as you rightly say, you are reducing the pool that you can potentially choose from.
Dr Day: Absolutely.
Q20 Damian Hinds: Do you think all the different routes into teaching that are available are sufficiently widely understood among the potential recruitment pool? I am thinking in particular of GTP. Again, we had our collection of outstanding teachers, almost without exception they were saying that more on-the-job training was a good idea, and to be able to basically earn a salary while you are teaching is very important, particularly if you are changing later in life. But very few of them had had heard of GTP before they went into teaching; everybody always talks about PGCE. So do you think all these different routes, Teach First and SCITT-please come up with a different acronym-are well understood?
Stephen Hillier: Personally, I do not think they are. Part of the new campaign we are looking to launch in the New Year is very much about that awareness raising. Also the other big issue is awareness of salary, because when we started doing a lot of this back in the 1990s the salaries were not very good, so it would be the last thing that you would talk about. Today, and particularly in today’s economy, the salaries, especially in London but also elsewhere, are respectable as a starting point.
Dr Day: I take your point entirely about GTP. In fact a couple of years ago in the agency we were very aware that not only did people not know enough about GTP but it was difficult for them to apply for it because it was run by small organisations working in local areas, and it was difficult for somebody nationally to know where they could get a GTP place. We have created a national database with all the GTP places. We advertise it on our website, so it should be much easier for people who are interested in GTP to compete for those places. Interestingly, we have seen the quality of GTP entrants rising quite substantially over the last couple of years, and that may well be because we have made getting into GTP much more transparent.
The implementation plan flags that we are moving towards a single application system, which we are developing at the moment, where people who go to the websites to think about applying would be offered these various routes to teaching. It will be much clearer to people what the different routes are, how they can apply for them, and they will be able to apply for them at the same time and submit two applications for GTP and PGCE at the same time and compete across the board for different routes. We think going forward it is going to be in a much better position than it has been before.
Chair: If I may, Damien, I need to cut you off.
Damian Hinds: Yes, of course.
Q21 Pat Glass: At the moment the route into teaching for 80% of student teachers is coming through higher education institutions, and about 20% through school-based teacher training. I am a supporter of increased school-based teacher training, but I am concerned about how that is going to be achieved. I would start with building up the school-based teacher training and not having a lurch from higher education, which may well leave us with a shortage of supply. I take the point about the strains of academies, but most head teachers I know in outstanding schools see their core business as teaching children and not as teaching teachers. A lot of head teachers that I know have gone through the school-based route because they have excellent people in their schools and they have persevered despite the system. So how are you going to ensure that we have this smooth transition towards greater school-based initial teacher training without losing supply-are we talking about taking some university/higher education provision out, and if so which provision-and without taking head teachers and school leadership teams’ eye off the ball? I am talking about the impact on school performance and standards. We know from things like BSF that, where excellent, outstanding schools and head teachers have had new schools built, performance falls because the head teacher and school leadership have had their eye taken off the ball. Is this going to happen with initial teacher training?
Chair: A lot of questions there.
Stephen Hillier: I counted at least four questions.
Pat Glass: Yes, it was a real mouthful. Getting it out was not easy.
Stephen Hillier: Firstly I do not think there will be a lurch, but I absolutely agree with you and I think a lurch would be wrong. One of your other points, which I want to comment on as well, is the reason why there will not be a lurch. I think there is still quite a lot of work to do to persuade even the outstanding schools to become even more involved than they are now. There is some pent-up demand, but I do not think the scale of it is in lurch territory, if I can put it like that.
In relation to what we can do to build demand amongst schools, we are working very closely with the teaching schools, as I have said already. Compared with 20 years ago, when I used to have to try to persuade schools to get more involved in initial teacher training using kind of moral or blackmail-type of arguments, now there is really good research, which your secretariat will be able to point to, that shows an involvement by a school in teacher training and CPD is one of the most powerful things that connects with improving pupil output. So you are absolutely right that a school’s core business has to be improving those pupil outcomes, but there is now this research that makes the link to involvement in teacher training.
Q22 Pat Glass: So what is that research?
Stephen Hillier: It is the Robinson research that has come out.
Q23 Pat Glass: Would you be able to send that to us?
Stephen Hillier: We can provide that to you, yes, but it is quite well known in the sector. Will we lose HEIs? One of my strong beliefs is that, however we develop, the school/university partnership, probably in several forms, needs to remain a key part of this. Most SCITTs have tended to have some connection with universities, but a few have not. Some of those partnerships are really strong and some of them are more to do with monitoring for PGCE accession by the trainee and whatever. But across most of the developed world I see quite a strong involvement of universities. If you look at high-performing systems such as Finland, which we do these days, and Singapore, you see universities very much with a seat at the table alongside the schools. I think those partnerships are key. I do not believe schoolled is the same as school only. I think it is a different kind of partnership; I do not think it is anti-partnership.
In relation to losing HEIs, I do not think it is these pressures that will cause that. I think because of demography there just is an issue about whether there needs to be some consolidation amongst universities involved. There are 75 universities involved. Sometimes when you look, particularly at secondary, at the cohort sizes you see numbers of eight when a lot of the work by the universities themselves suggests 20 as a really good number as your minimum size. So I think there may be a period of consolidation that needs to happen on different drivers.
Dr Day: Could I just add a point?
Chair: Very briefly, you may. You are giving us very full and excellent and I am sure succinct answers, but if we could be even more succinct in our questioning and answering.
Dr Day: Okay. I wanted to say that I think we have to look at the direction of travel that the Government is trying to engender in the system, which is towards increasing the professionalism of teachers and increasing the autonomy of schools. If we are looking for teachers and head teachers to increase their level of professionalism, part of that is taking a responsibility for training and inducting new members of the profession.
Q24 Pat Glass: I understand the concept, but head teachers will argue that if you take your gun away, I will take mine away. The thing that they are judged by is GCSE results, so making them nicer and better people is fine, but that is not what their core business is.
Dr Day: Absolutely, but if you want an analogy with medical training and teaching hospitals, their core business is treating patients, but you would be very surprised if a consultant was not working closely with medical students all the time as part of their professional responsibility. They do not say, "Sorry, the hospital is here just to treat patients and doctors will have to train somewhere else"; they see training as part of their core professional business.
Q25 Pat Glass: To be fair, Michael, consultants do not manage hospitals, or at least they do not at the moment. Head teachers are judged by this differently to the way we would expect in hospitals.
Dr Day: Indeed, but particularly teaching schools may well develop capacity within them for their outstanding teachers to be in a position where they may well have posts that allow them to take leadership of training new members of the profession. The head teachers themselves do not have to do the training. It is a question of the head teacher giving priority for outstanding teachers to get more involved in training new entrants.
Q26 Pat Glass: Okay, I will move on to the outcomes from the different routes. I am particularly concerned around areas like shortage subjects. At the moment we know that most teachers in physics, maths and science, etc, do come through the HE route rather than the school-based route. Is there a plan for changing that?
Stephen Hillier: As we go towards school-led, you would expect school-led to roll those things out in relation to those priority subjects as well as other subjects. So I think you will see a change, but school-led itself, in the form of School Direct, still leaves it open to that network of schools to bring the university in to do the teacher training.
Q27 Pat Glass: But, Stephen, is there a plan for that? The higher education institutions would argue that they have a captive audience. Is there a plan for making that happen or is just something that you hope will emerge?
Stephen Hillier: I cannot imagine expanding School Direct without prioritising the priority subjects. Although we have done very well this year, we are still under on physics. Of course we are going to look to teaching schools, for example, to help us with physics.
Q28 Pat Glass: I cannot imagine a policy of increased participation at 16 at the same time as cutting EMAs, but these things happen. Is there a plan?
Stephen Hillier: It is certainly our intention to work with teaching schools to help with physics as one of our top priorities for recruitment.
Q29 Pat Glass: Right. Finally, I will come on to the costs of all of this. Clearly it is much cheaper to have a PGCE through the HE route than it is to have something like Teach First or even the EBITT. Are there any plans to rationalise funding across the sectors? If not, how are we going to afford this?
Stephen Hillier: I will come back to the question that another colleague asked about the range of different routes. We have discovered over the years that you need all of those routes. You cannot go to a single model. So even if it were true and you could prove it, and there will be lots of witnesses who will come before this Committee over the coming days, if not hours, who will dispute whether so and so is more expensive than so and so-I will leave it to them to make those arguments-we cannot just have PGCE because that would not give us enough people, so we would be back to the supply problem that you and I are clearly going to worry about.
Q30 Pat Glass: If we are going to expand the school-based initial teacher training it is going to cost us a lot more money. So is there a plan for making that happen?
Stephen Hillier: School Direct will not cost more than a PGCE.
Dr Day: School Direct will be funded the same as a PGCE.
Q31 Pat Glass: Teach First costs three times more, and we are looking to expand Teach First. So how would we afford this?
Stephen Hillier: Well, when Teach First give evidence, they will explain why they do not necessarily agree with that. I think the other thing about Teach First is it is very apples and pears, because you are not just getting a trained teacher; you are getting all sorts of other things. A lot of those people will go elsewhere later in life. They may be a captain of industry or whatever it is. They will take their knowledge of the challenging schools in which they have worked and translate that into the corporate and social responsibility work of the company that they are involved in, which may repay its weight in gold. It is very hard to compare Teach First on that basis.
Q32 Pat Glass: I agree with absolutely everything you say about Teach First, but it is three times more expensive. The plan is to expand it.
Stephen Hillier: People will dispute that.
Q33 Pat Glass: Does the TDA have more money, or is the money coming from somewhere else?
Stephen Hillier: I just want to say that people will dispute that because-
Q34 Chair: You are the expert. You are the top of the TDA, Stephen. You are here to settle it and tell us the reality. So what is it? How much does it cost and how does it compare? You are the man. Give us the answer.
Stephen Hillier: The issue in relation to Teach First is that by the clever preparation of the right kind of person, they are going straight in and teaching straight away. They are not supernumerary, as in GTP, so you could argue GTP is very expensive. They are actually saving the school the salary of a teacher because they have someone who is both a trainee and a teacher at the same time. You have Teach First as expert witnesses coming on next and they will be able to go into the costs.
Q35 Pat Glass: So the additional cost will come from the school?
Dr Day: I do not want to give you the impression that we do not think that we know how much Teach First costs. Clearly we know how much we pay Teach First, and we know the kind of accounting around it. But as Stephen says, there are a lot of different ways of cutting the way the funding goes and how it is used, and what is compensated for, etc.
Q36 Chair: You head this up. We are just interested in your take. You must have a way of viewing it, and we would be interested in getting your view of it.
Stephen Hillier: I have a table of costs here but there is no point just reading it out because I think the comparabilities or the relativities are the key point. We can send you this table.
Dr Day: We are talking to Teach First at the moment so that we are in a position to give the Committee an agreed costing for Teach First as against other routes. We do not want to do it today because we want to make sure of it with Teach First, so we are giving the Committee a clear picture of that.
Q37 Chair: Splendid. Send it to us, that is fine.
Dr Day: We give you one figure; Teach First give you a different figure because of a different interpretation. We want to make sure the Committee gets a clear analysis of the cost, and we will send that to you.
Chair: Thank you very much, that is great.
Q38 Tessa Munt: I would like to talk to you about retention. The NASUWT, which I think has 280,000 members, says that half of those members are seriously considering leaving teaching. When the Department for Education gave its evidence to this inquiry, it said that retention of teachers is low. Only 73% of those who are employed in the maintained sector in the first year after qualifying are still teaching in the maintained sector five years later. Is it good to have this ebb and flow of people in and out of the profession? Is that good or not?
Stephen Hillier: I think people going in and out of a profession can be a good thing. Again, I am wary of getting too bogged down in figures because sometimes one needs to read the small print. For example, your figure about the maintained sector ignores people that use their training to go and teach say at a sixth-form college, which is not a school, or into the independent sector, which is their choice.
Q39 Tessa Munt: Do we know what the figures are for the independent sector?
Stephen Hillier: We have those figures somewhere but we will have to write to you with those.
Tessa Munt: Lovely, thank you. That would be nice.
Stephen Hillier: Obviously one does not want to have surveys that say half the people want to leave, but the churn in teaching is not as great as in many walks of life. The other point I would make, and I have a made a public speech at, ironically, an NASUWT Conference in Birmingham recently, is there are a lot of schools that could do better to train teachers still often in their 20s and 30s who perhaps left to have children and are desperate to get back in. They may have been trained in priority subjects such as science and physics, but are not being taken back in as great a number as was the case 10 years ago. Therefore, arguably we are training more newly qualified teachers, where the proportion has gone up in terms of school recruitment choices, than in a perfect world we might need to. So I think when we look at retention it is quite a complex issue, and I think schools could do more to bring trained teachers back.
Q40 Tessa Munt: So we should not be so worried about retention?
Stephen Hillier: You should always worry about retention, but I do not think the figures are as bad as they are often made out to be. I think there is more in schools’ gift to improve the situation still further.
Q41 Tessa Munt: If you would provide the evidence of what is happening in the other bits of teaching, that would be pretty helpful.
Stephen Hillier: We will do.
Q42 Tessa Munt: Do we have any evidence on where trained teachers go next when they leave?
Stephen Hillier: I do not think I know.
Dr Day: No, not that I know of.
Q43 Tessa Munt: Not that you know of. Oh-I thought someone was going to hand you an answer.
Dr Day: Someone is writing furiously behind my shoulder, so who knows? A few years ago we conducted exit surveys of people leaving the teaching profession to get a sense of why they were leaving, so we did do some research on that. I do not think we have current up-to-date research on those factors. In terms of where they are going, the Department does some work on that because of the teacher supply model, because that for instance tracks how many people are leaving the profession, how many are going into the independent sector and how many people are retiring, etc. So we have some global figures.
Q44 Tessa Munt: Which you have just now received.
Dr Day: My little note tells me that actually Alan was conducting the research for us on this and would be the expert. So he is clearly the person to ask afterwards.
Tessa Munt: Thank you, Alan. That is lovely.
Chair: That would be Alan Smithers, of course.
Dr Day: In 2003 Alan did a piece of work that said after education, other employment mainly comprising self-employment is most likely destination for teachers leaving teaching for other forms of employment.
Q45 Tessa Munt: Actually here is one he prepared earlier. That is lovely, thank you. One thing I would like to ask you about quickly is supply teachers. What do we do? The one factor that I think slips under the line is the quality of supply teachers, who they are and what their qualification is. One thing that came up during somebody else’s question is, of course, if you do not appoint, then you still have a class to cover as a head teacher, or several classes to cover. Supply teachers are the key to quality sometimes for quite a long time until you do get the right person. What do we know about supply teachers?
Dr Day: One of the interesting things we found from our NQT Survey, our survey of new teachers, is the kind of contracts that they are holding at the moment. We think quite a lot of schools are using not necessarily supply teachers but quite a lot of teachers on short-term contracts at the start of their career both to cover for teachers who are off on long-term sick leave or on secondments, etc, before teachers get their full-time post. It is quite interesting looking at the way schools’ recruitment policies have changed there. They almost seem to be giving teachers a try out, as it were, on a short-term contract before they go in. I think some of the growth you have seen in supply is to do with the way schools are changing their contracts. Stephen, any thoughts?
Stephen Hillier: No, not at all.
Dr Day: The previous Government had a strategy of developing HLTA status as a way in which you could cover for teachers who are away for a day under the guidance of a qualified teacher. The new Government is still looking at where it wants to go on that policy. But that was a way of preventing disruptive odd-day supply cover by having somebody within the school who understood the class and was able to work with the teacher on maintaining work continuity.
Chair: Thank you. A quick question, a quick answer.
Q46 Tessa Munt: Yes. If you were to make a recommendation to this Committee about retaining teachers, what would that be?
Stephen Hillier: I am going to start in what you may find a surprising place. I think there is an issue about what you aspire to when you join one of the great professions, and I think the National College has done a stupendous job in creating a secure path to headship. But I still think the teaching profession lacks an equivalent of becoming a consultant surgeon, a QC or whatever. I think the greatest thing we could do over the next 10 years is to work with the schools and universities in creating a real pinnacle for the subject expert, who still wants to be a practitioner in the school but might also be a professor of physics-that is the topic of the morning-in a nearby university. It will not be easy, it will take a lot of work and imagination, but I think that is the bit that is lacking and it would really help the profession with retention.
Q47 Chair: If you have any more detail on that, we would be interested to hear from you.
Stephen Hillier: I will send you what Singapore is doing in this, which I think is very illuminating.
Chair: We are visiting Singapore next year, so we will follow that up.
Q48 Craig Whittaker: The Government made it very clear why from next year they will only take on trainee teachers that hold a second-class degree or higher. In fact Stephen, you said that was absolutely the right position. I think those were the words you used.
Stephen Hillier: Mmm.
Q49 Craig Whittaker: The evidence we have received on this to date, though, does not support that. Ofsted were very clear in their submission that there is no firm evidence to support the view that those with the highest degree classifications make the best teachers. What effect do you think the Government’s plan to cut funding for those without a 2:2 will have, first of all in purely numerical terms and secondly in terms of impact on particular groups or pathways into teaching?
Stephen Hillier: These Government changes are part of quite a bold strategy, and I think a necessary one, to reposition teaching as a profession that is hard to get into. By making it hard to get into, all the experience of other professions is that in itself raises quality and brings a different kind of person in. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the people who joined the teaching profession were more like the people who are recruited through Teach First, which I think would be a powerful boost for pupil outcomes. That is where I come from.
The problem of course, and you rightly put your finger on this, is could there be many a slip between cup and lip? Could there be difficulties on the journey towards realising that vision? We cannot rule that out. All we can do is strenuous work, including with the provider base over the coming months, to try to ensure there is not this dip. But if you look at some of the early indicators, even before the bursaries came in you have already seen in the GTTR figures something like a 4% rise in the current year’s intake in those with a 2:1 or a first class degree. Even that market signal that the Secretary of State sent a year ago in the White Paper has already had that effect compared with normally about a 1% rise in a given year. I go into this with a lot of hope and optimism, but I am not blind to the delivery issues.
Q50 Chair: It is not just due to grade inflation in universities then?
Stephen Hillier: Grade inflation is about 1% a year; that is what we have normally had. So 4% is a really significant increase.
Dr Day: Just to add to that, I think it is important to look at the international evidence. There is a piece of work where they have been analysing the strong performers in PISA tests over the last 10 years. It comes out really clearly, the same as it does in the McKinsey work, that the systems targeting the highest quality graduates are the ones that are succeeding the best. You can name them: always Finland, with a really strong recruitment of the top graduates; Korea are now targeting the top 2% of graduates coming out of their universities to go into teaching. You see the same in Singapore and China, in Shanghai, where they are going after the top graduates. They do the same in Japan. The top performing nations are the ones that are targeting those top performing graduates.
As Stephen just said, we want to build the professionalism of teaching; we want to make it more difficult to get into to get those people. We need to look at the nature of teaching and the way we want to develop teachers who have got much stronger diagnostic and analytical skills. You need bright people to do that kind of high-quality professional work in terms of diagnosis, analysis, using the data really effectively, etc. The job is changing, and we need to think about what we need from our teachers in a global economy over the next 20 years, not what has been satisfactory within schools up until now.
Q51 Craig Whittaker: So you do not think that the policy will have an impact at all on numbers going forward?
Dr Day: I think it is going to be a challenge for us in some subjects because, when we look at the figures of the percentages of entrants with thirds, it does vary between subjects. Our priority subjects have higher numbers of people with thirds and others, but we have to just work extra hard. As Stephen was saying, we have a whole new range of ideas for recruiting people into physics and maths; a new strategy to target engineers; and a new strategy to work on new kinds of training for physics and maths, which we hope will make up the shortfall.
Q52 Craig Whittaker: It is interesting that we always talk about physics and maths being hard to get to. I was at a conference on Monday evening with my secondary heads from Corndale up in Liverpool. One of the key things that we are struggling with locally is recruiting teachers to special schools, particularly the primary and the one secondary special school we have. Having ploughed through the plethora of reports and the White Paper and all that, special schools get a very small mention. There is nothing very specific. Could you enlighten us on what changes are in place to recruit specialists for those fields as well?
Stephen Hillier: Michael will come in in a minute. One of the troubles with being very old and having been around too long is, of course, that I lived through the big sea change, which I guess dates back to the 1980s, when a view was taken that some of the highly specialist training that was done in ITT for those going directly into special schools or special-needs settings in mainstream schools came into disrepute in terms of the poor quality and orientation, so we have gone through a generation feeling that was the wrong thing to do. When I talk to university providers and schools today, there does seem to be more appetite to re-examine that issue. So I have paved the way for Michael.
Dr Day: Yes. Indeed, we lived through the same cycle. In terms of teacher training we tried to train teachers to see the potential in all children as learners, so their training is structured about them as learners. The training is not structured in terms of their medical condition. Children are not seen as having a medical condition to be trained to deal with; they are seen as young people with potential that needs to be brought out through teaching and learning. That is the basis on which we have been very strong in terms of generic training for teachers and then additional training for special needs.
We get lots of feedback from special schools regarding issues about recruiting teachers. I think it is going to be a challenge over the next while, and the next thing for us to turn is thinking about the correct route of training for people in special schools and how we develop those special skills in addition to their generic teaching skills. We also need to be conscious that special needs is a continuum, and there may well be a point on the continuum where it becomes more appropriate to train people to be specific special needs teachers rather than generic teachers with additional skills. That is some thinking that we must do over the next year or two.
Chair: Craig, I really need to bring this session to an end.
Q53 Craig Whittaker: Okay, one final question on this particular point. It became reality about 18 months ago that we have done that full cycle back, and here we are still talking about what levels we are going to do, particularly in that sector, and it is a huge problem.
Dr Day: I think it is a huge problem and I acknowledge the problem.
Q54 Craig Whittaker: Let me just take you on then to ask how important the continuing involvement of universities is, because we have already spoken about that, but including the highest performing in the provision of ITT courses, and why?
Stephen Hillier: Why would we want to have high performing universities in ITT?
Q55 Craig Whittaker: No, about the continuing involvement in HE.
Stephen Hillier: Well, I think they just bring the quality in terms of the subject knowledge, and a track record in relation to training. You certainly would not want to lose that overnight, and I do not believe long term that we will agree anything other than variations on partnership working between schools and universities, but we will have to see.
Q56 Chair: But the change is coming and those who are not excellent had better watch out. Is that the message?
Stephen Hillier: That has been the message for quite a long time. We can give you wonderful graphs about places have moved from even satisfactory universities and SCITTs towards the very good and outstanding providers.
Stephen Hillier: That has been one of the USPs of the agency over the last 15 years.
Chair: Can I thank you for both very much for giving evidence to us today? Thank you. If we can change over to the next panel as quickly as possible, that would be marvellous.
Examination of Witnesses
Witnesses: Dr Michael Evans, Deputy Head, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, Dr John Moss, Dean of Education, Canterbury Christ Church University, Martin Thompson, Principal, The Pilgrim Partnership, Kay Truscott-Howell, Course Director, Billericay Educational Consortium, and Amanda Timberg, Director of Leadership Development, Teach First, gave evidence.
Q57 Chair: Good morning to you all. Thank you very much for joining us; it is great to have such an eminent panel of front-line professionals coming to tell us what it is like at the chalk face. Do the Government plans, and we had a latest instalment from the Government yesterday, mean that quite a few of you will be unemployed in five years’ time and others unmanageably overstretched?
Dr Moss: I am sure we hope we are all going to be employed. Very seriously, as a spokesperson on behalf of the work we do in the university sector, this work is so core to the mission and the focus of very many of the universities who are part of the 75 that you mention that we will be doing everything in our power to continue to have a role.
Martin Thompson: In response from those of us who work in the school-based sector, I am very glad that you recognise the dangers in a lurch, because I think that would be the thing we are not looking for. I do not even think we are looking for a great change. The thing we know from schools is that one size does not fit all and that is very much going to be the case in terms of training the next generation of teachers. It cannot be one size fits all, and there will be different routes that will suit different individuals at particular times, and I hope that is what we have to look for, even though the standards overall must be good.
Q58 Chair: Kay, what is your view? You did better than Cambridge University overall in ratings, so do we need more of you and less of some of these others?
Kay Truscott-Howell: I think the way forward is school-centred initial teacher training. There are other routes, but I work very closely with schools. We are in between the GTP, and also in between the university academic side, so having close relationships with our schools as we do is why we produce good results.
Q59 Chair: Thank you. Michael, what is your view?
Dr Evans: My view is that firstly Cambridge will want to continue its contribution to initial teacher education. But also I feel that university-based, HEI-based PGCE courses need to continue to play the important role that they are currently. Obviously they need to adapt to the changes and the initiatives, but nevertheless they have an important role to continue to play.
Q60 Chair: If the Department of Health, Amanda, announced a new programme called, say, "Care First", where untrained doctors would perform operations, and the opening of 24 free hospitals run by patients and able to hire untrained nurses, would the status of the health profession increase or decrease, do you think?
Amanda Timberg: I think there is a long history of training hospitals, and we know that lots of practitioners in lots of different sectors train on the job, just like they do in lots of different routes into teaching, like the GTP and Teach First. So I think if in health, education or the housing sector people thought there would be value in a different route that would attract a different type of person for a very specific commission, that would benefit health just like it benefits education.
Q61 Chair: We talked with TDA just now about the funding of Teach First. Can you settle your view on the value for money that you offer?
Amanda Timberg: As Stephen and Michael said, we are operating in a very specific landscape within education, so we are bringing a type of person into teaching that had not traditionally been attracted to the profession, and we are bringing them into a very specific type of school. So within Teach First the charity only focuses on schools that are in the bottom third of the IDACI measure. When you look at that landscape within education we know that additional funding does go to that area through the urban challenges, the pupil premium and other incentives. So I think for us, when we look at ourselves against other school-based routes such as the GTP, we find that we compare favourably, and, as was said, that is because when the teachers are being trained they are filling a vacancy so the school does not incur the cost of employing another teacher. For us, as was said, we are looking to see if we are all cutting it the same way, but we do feel that the costs are comparable with other school-based routes.
Q62 Chair: Could you just take us through the arithmetic, if you would?
Amanda Timberg: Yes, you need to look at the cost that the training providers are given. Teach First itself is not a training provider; we work with 14 universities across England. If you look at the cost that the schools are incurring, again, to break that down, when you look at the PGCE, those are additional people within the school, so you are having to employ a teacher alongside a PGCE when they do their placements, whereas with Teach First they are filling a vacancy.
Chair: Okay, thank you.
Amanda Timberg: So just in terms of the arithmetic you are talking about something of the order of £27,000 that is not going to another teacher, and instead you are getting Teach First.
Q63 Chair: So you feel it would be fair to net that off? I think from two years ago we were told it was a cost of around £38,000, if I recall. That is what the TDA told us Teach First cost on their figures.
Amanda Timberg: Yes, the latest submission that we have given to the Government has a 5% decrease. Like everybody else looking for economies of scale, we are trying to ensure that we are giving value for money. So, as was said earlier, we are looking at the exact cost, but I think that is something that is certainly worth being part of the contribution of the overall cost to the taxpayer. Beyond that in terms of the value added, the discussion around Teach First as a charity and being a movement for change, and the additional effects that are given to society in terms of attracting the future leaders of the country, there are those effects too, which we do not have in the calculations but I just think are worth mentioning.
Q64 Chair: But it is important to understand the numbers. So effectively because, as you say, Teach First recruits are teaching then you need to net off what the salary of the teacher would have been against the overall cost, which would bring it down to less than that of a PGCE, would it?
Amanda Timberg: Well you would have to look at all the costs.
Q65 Chair: That is what we are here to do, and I was hoping you would provide that.
Amanda Timberg: I think he was saying that we are still working it through and we will be providing it, but certainly that is part of the contribution that I think is important to note.
Chair: Thank you.
Martin Thompson: One of the things we would be concerned about as school-based providers, because it comes up sometimes, is the idea that somebody can be placed in front of a class as their teacher without significant training and that training somehow or other needs to be phased. What strikes us particularly is that it is easier to phase in some sectors of education than in others. For example, in a secondary school you could say you will teach a more limited timetable, which will allow you time for learning and being mentored and all those sorts of things. In a primary school it would be much more difficult because that teacher is there in front of the class, apart from PPA time, for the whole time. That is where some other support has to go in to withdraw that person for training, which is why it was good for us when the Graduate Teacher Programme was largely supernumerary. To put in someone as part of a recruitment route is an important thing to be careful of.
Q66 Charlotte Leslie: Damian touched on this earlier in the previous session, and I suppose it is the $64 million question of teaching. You are a variety of different training providers. What do you look for when recruiting teachers? Teach First have come up with eight points that they look at, and for the record I will just to go through them: humility, respect and empathy, interaction, knowledge, leadership, planning and organising, problem solving, resilience and self-evaluation. What do you look for in recruiting teachers, and to what extent do you think Teach First’s eight points sum up what it is to be a good teacher, and what else would you look for?
Dr Moss: I am sure Amanda will confirm this, but in fact, although Teach First does look for that set of personal qualities, it also, as other providers do, looks for a range of other things as well. Broadly the sector looks for academic qualifications, subject knowledge, and a set of interpersonal and communication skills. There was mention in the earlier session of the whole issue of whether people who are aspiring to be teachers like and want to be in a situation with children, which sounds evident, but you would be surprised that people come along to interview who do not actually want to do that when you explore it with them. With a range of important characteristics, I think the Teach First list is a very good list. The focus on resilience is something that I think the sector recognises increasingly as being something that is important, so a combination of personal qualities with all those other things are things that we would say collectively we all look for.
Dr Evans: We would also emphasise vocational interests from the applicant as well, and to what extent does this person want to make a career over the medium term at least of the profession? It is also integrated to the activities and what we do during the process of interviewing. It is not a question of a checklist of things that we tick off at the interview, but also activities that they do during the process of admission that give us an indication as to whether this person is cut out to be, is likely to be or promises to be a strong teacher in the future. It is an ongoing thing. It is not as if we can identify somebody right at the word go: "Right, this person is going to make a strong teacher because he or she has these qualities." It is how we develop those qualities during the training.
Martin Thompson: The qualities you look for might vary with the age of the children they are going to teach.
Chair: I normally remember in the introduction to say that what we do in this Committee is we conduct inquiries. We then write reports, we make recommendations to Government and they are obliged to respond, just to take you through the mechanics of what we do. When we get frontline professionals like yourselves, we are very keen to hear from you. Do not leave today without telling us what recommendations you would like to see us making in our report, because that is the business end of what we do. But I apologise for interrupting you, Charlotte.
Charlotte Leslie: I am used to it, Chair.
Amanda Timberg: Can I just add something? Thank you for reciting that. Under some of the competencies that you noted, such as leadership and knowledge, underneath that specifically what we are looking for is a certain mindset that we start developing on campus. This year, for example, the sort of campaign we are doing is about, "What would you change?" and we are bringing in people who have a longer term perspective about what the power of being a teacher can do both in the short term and in the long term.
That mindset is something that we continually develop throughout the course of the programme, and that is a very solutions-based mindset. It is something around the idea that there is a sense of urgency to being a teacher, and that there are opportunities within the teaching profession to make a wider impact. I think the competencies are what we are looking for, but what is underneath that is something that is also quite interesting to explore, not just in terms of attracting teachers but how we train them, and why we see that we are having an increasing retention of those teachers. It has increased over the years, and I think that is because this idea that there is a sort of wider mission and vision to what it is they are doing.
Q67 Charlotte Leslie: You have a very specific scheme, as you said. To what extent do you feel that some aspects of your training programme could be rolled out into other areas?
Amanda Timberg: Because we are lucky enough to work together with 14 universities to coordinate the training, there are a lot of things that have already been taken on by other training providers. Certainly the idea of teaching as leadership, being a classroom leader, is something that I think could move on to other teacher training routes. The idea that the sort of empowerment you get of recognising the bigger picture of the place that you play within society, in terms of issues around community cohesion and across sectors that impact less privileged communities, is something that many providers already do. But when you look at our training, on day one, the first morning, it is all about, "What is the nature of the problem in terms of the achievement gap? What do we believe the solution is within education and other sectors? What is the part that you play?"
That is then built upon throughout the experience that they have, and that is why they are exposed to leaders in all fields, for instance, so they can learn about what leadership looks like in other sectors and how they can apply that. I do think that bigger picture perspective is something schools say that they value, because the teachers come back to the school environment not just thinking about their own classroom or their own department, but the wider implications of what they are doing. I think that could resonate for lots of other routes.
Kay Truscott-Howell: Picking up on your point about whether you have the capacity to roll out your own programme, I think from a SCITT perspective we have very strong links with our partnership schools. We have schools that are in close proximity, but they offer a diverse background of pupils, so their trainees are getting an awful lot of experience from the different sorts of backgrounds. Also we have been in this role for a long time. We know what works well, so therefore rather than teaching schools and reinventing the wheel, why not roll out something that is working really well? We have got those set-ups; we have got the ways in which mentors can be trained. We are very good at the interviewing process; it is very robust and it selects the right people.
Q68 Charlotte Leslie: I was going to say that there seems to be an idea floating around behind the Government agenda of change in teaching training, and I think we will move on to this later, of the dichotomy between theory and practice. We are lucky to have you as a range of training providers. Within that sphere, what do each of you think-and, Amanda, you have partially answered it-in your training provision is the exceptional part of it that you would like to say to other training providers, "This really works for us, maybe you can look at it"?
Chair: Seeing that Amanda has already answered that question, John?
Dr Moss: First of all there is this discussion about whether the theory/practice divide is real or meaningful. I think the reality is that what we would say as a university, and I think other university providers would agree, is if they are going to have a career over time it is important for teachers to have a foundation for ongoing professional development that amounts to more than a technician’s toolkit to get them through their first year or two. That is why we believe that having professional development, which includes an academic programme as part of teacher education, is vital. There are different models for doing this.
In our programmes we run at Canterbury Christ Church, one of the most diverse portfolios of provision in the country, the way we incorporate that kind of academic learning into the programmes varies, and the extent to which it happens in relation to school experience varies. Nevertheless, we see it as an essential foundation.
Chair: Thank you.
Dr Moss: What I would want to push for, in terms of the recommendation that you asked about earlier, is that we should have in this country a commitment to an ongoing programme of academic and professional development for teachers that starts as part of the initial teacher education programme and builds through to high level recognition, which relates to some of the subject expertise. The kind of master teacher concept that is being explored at the moment is part of that, but we do not have a notion of that kind of coherent, valued, national, professional and academic development programme. We think it is essential in teacher education and we would like to see it run right the way through to senior positions in the school.
Chair: Thank you. Who else would like to answer?
Martin Thompson: From the school-based perspective we would absolutely agree with that last sentence. It is to do with ongoing professional development. There is a particular worry that you can get to the stage quite easily where you think it is in the one-year course or in the university course that you learn to teach. Actually, that is where you start, and what goes on in the years afterwards is particularly important. I think it is one of the things that we find at the moment: the support for newly qualified teachers does not always build so well upon the support that they have had when they have been learning to qualify.
Certainly from our school-based perspective, the thing that makes us distinctive is the underpinning philosophy for the way in which we work, which is that schools work in terms of an individual child’s progress, whereas we think in terms of an individual trainee’s progress in the tracking, the target setting and the very close monitoring of what they do. In a coherent experience over a year, one of the things they get certainly in our kind of training is experience of the rhythms of the year, so they understand what the beginning of term is like, what the beginning of the year is like, what it is like around Christmas and all of those sorts of things. It has that kind of natural rhythm, which enables them to move well into the profession when they start in their employment following on from that.
Kay Truscott-Howell: I would support what has been said by Martin there. It is really important that trainees have the theoretical aspect to link to classroom practice. Running a well-structured course, providing the lectures, delivered by people who have that academic background but also have classroom experience, and then driving that through the classroom experience as the term goes on, with support from well-trained mentors builds their confidence up, and therefore they get those experiences to take forward. That is part of the strength of the SCITT.
Dr Evans: In our case we have 416 trainees, which is our TDA target, which we meet every year. We work with 250 schools-200 primary schools and 50 secondary schools, who sign up to our partnership scheme. So if I was to point to the distinctive qualities of what we do, on the one hand the trainees and the schools have access to faculty-based subject leaders who have international and national expertise, and they can bring that to the schools in their involvement in their work with the schools and to the trainees. But even more important than that is the integrated, collaborative, collegial partnership scheme that we have, which we have built up over 15 or 20 years or so. This means that schools are involved in every key aspect of the course. At a decision making and policymaking level, there is a standing committee that is chaired alternately by a head teacher or a head of faculty or the deputy-me-that meets five times and decides policy and decision making for the course.
More important than that is the link with mentors-working with subject mentors. There are numerous mentor-development activities that take place within the faculty during the year, where mentors from the different schools meet together, share their ideas, build up an expertise in training, and share their expertise in teaching. The mentors construct, with the faculty members, the training programme in the different subjects for the trainees, so there is involvement there. On the secondary course the trainees are in schools for two-thirds of the course, 66% of the time, and in the primaries 50%, so there is very strong school-based experience. Basically we are drawing on models of expertise in teaching and training within our local community, bringing them together, exposing the trainees to that, and building up a local resource of teacher training for our local community. I think that is a model that is not just in Cambridge; it is also in other successful HEI-based partnerships, and one that I would hope would be able to continue to operate in that manner.
Q69 Pat Glass: For a new teacher the first teaching experience is crucial to how they will perform as a teacher throughout their career, and even whether they stay in teaching. How geared up are school-based teacher training providers to be able to move that if it is not successful? Sometimes it is just about a clash of personalities or whatever. If they are in a university they can go to their tutor and they can move very quickly. How geared up are the school-based providers to do that?
Kay Truscott-Howell: We are very geared up because we have such close relationships with our schools. If there are any concerns then the trainee can come directly to me, or they speak to the head teacher. If that is the case, we have other schools that would be able to that them on.
Q70 Pat Glass: So you can move them quickly.
Kay Truscott-Howell: Yes, definitely. There is no delay.
Q71 Pat Glass: Okay. I think the two big dilemmas in additional teacher training are the balance between theory and practice and the cost. What are the implications of changing that balance? Michael?
Dr Evans: I question the distinction between theory and practice. I do not see universities providing the theory and schools providing the practice. I see theory and practice as being integrated through the sort of thing that I was just explaining earlier: the integrated work that the trainees do in relation to thinking about existing evidence of what makes successful history teaching or mathematics teaching based on not just theories but research that other people have carried out. So exposing and reflecting on these, the trainees try some of these ideas out or link them to their practice during their placement, then return and reflect on what they have done.
So there is a kind of an action research view of theory. We expose them to that and the mentors discuss those ideas and theories as well. It is not just the lecturers providing the theory. Because of the culture within a partnership model that the school-based mentors have been exposed to, reflecting on these issues as well, many of them are former products of our partnership courses as well, so mentors are former trainees, so they have been thinking along these lines. I would worry if we were to revert to a model of teacher training that sees theory and practice as being two separate things that sort of complement each other. I see them as being integrated.
Q72 Chair: We have a large panel and limited time, so if I can appeal to everyone to be as succinct as they can. Amanda?
Amanda Timberg: Just a quick addition to that. Because we, like many of the other providers at the table, have a long experience of bringing people with high class degrees, firsts and 2:1s, I would say that the intellectual capacity that they have is really ignited by having that theoretical underpinning that the universities bring. As the profession is looking to move more and more towards bringing in people with those firsts and 2:1s, I would just argue that you might slightly run the risk of putting the balance too much in this idea of it being quite a pragmatic profession.
What we find is that in their initial days they maybe sometimes complain they want to just be given the tips, but in terms of their longer term training they find that theoretical framework benefits them quite a bit, and it engages their academic, ambitious minds. Equally, in their second year, when they are given the opportunity, the majority of those teachers do continue on to Masters study as an option for the same reasons. So we would agree that mix you bring between universities and schools is not a mix between theory and practice; it is quite a robust potpourri that is quite beneficial, particularly with top class graduates.
Q73 Chair: Too dull for the bright, Martin?
Martin Thompson: No, not at all. I want to make it quite clear that we do not get the idea that in school-based provision it is about practice rather than about theory. The difference, perhaps, between the philosophy that we have and the other one is that this is about reflective practice, and it is a question about how much practice you get before you reflect. I think that is the balance between the two. Teachers need to be thinkers, not knowers, but they do need to have some experience on which to base that. I think this is where, looking at this wider term, I suppose we would look in school-based to say we think that perhaps the school experience should be more intensive at the beginning of the year, and that perhaps the reflection should be more towards the end. But that should probably go into the future years of their career, which would probably be more sensible.
Dr Moss: Pat, I think your question was partly about the financial issues around all of this. There are clearly economies of scale that come into the system from the university involvement. To connect it to what you said about theory, there are things like our university library resources and all the electronic resources that we have. You talked about subject knowledge a lot this morning; we have teams of subject knowledge experts who can contribute to the systems.
I think what you will have heard is that although we are different providers, there is a recognition of the importance of that kind of academic study and learning coming into programmes. That is why the very large majority of SCITTs and GTP staff and colleagues who I come into contact with want to have universities in their partnership. Even the big chains and groups of academies want to be working with us to develop their programmes because they recognise that is something we can distinctively contribute to, and which can contribute to the economies of scale in the programmes overall.
Q74 Pat Glass: On that theme, can I just go back to what I said to the earlier panel, and ask about issues like cost? The NASUWT is saying very clearly that, whether it is an HE-based or HE-led or school-led programme, they are very similar. There is not a great deal between them, and yet the costs are vastly different: PGCE is £14,000 per pupil; EBITT is £24,000 per pupil; Teach First is £38,000 per pupil. Is that the right balance of providers, or should we be looking at a more cost-effective route for teacher training?
Martin Thompson: I would just like to clarify that SCITTs would be-
Q75 Pat Glass: I did not have a figure for SCITT.
Martin Thompson: It would be the same as the university PGCE provision.
Q76 Pat Glass: So about £14,000.
Martin Thompson: Well, we get £9,595 actually, so about £9,000 is what we put in.
Q77 Pat Glass: Should we be looking at what is more cost effective given that people like the NASUWT are saying that the experience for the student is very similar? Or is this what we need to attract different students in from different routes?
Amanda Timberg: The first thing is there is a slight debate; that is the issue around the numbers. Again, for us there is the amount that we get from the TDA, but then there is also the amount that the schools save by having the trainee, so those costings, as Stephen said, are not the same costings that we have. As I was saying earlier about the mix, Teach First plays a relatively small part because we have quite a niche offering and we are attracting a very specific type of person into a very specific kind of school, and that is the school that also gets money around the pupil premiums and that is what the bursary is really focused on. Over 50% of the people we bring in are in maths, science, ICT and modern languages; they are in the same places where we are putting in the bursaries. So certainly I think our argument would be the mixed economy exists for a reason, and it is bringing in different types of people for different types of offerings. I would not necessarily say that the experience of the pupil would be the same.
Martin Thompson: I think we need to be very careful with the GTP too, because it was and is now looking at high-quality career changers. Career changers by their notion very often cannot exist without salary. They will not be able to stump up £9,000 and keep their family for a year on those salaries. So there does need to be some funded route, and I think one of the things when you are talking in terms of retention, and particularly the retention that we train, is it is particularly difficult for some to get sufficient experience in schools because they can only go during their holiday time or their leave time, so it is difficult to really experience what a school is like and to know that this is something they want to do.
We have had experience of people who have joined in September and suddenly realise in the depths of January that what they have done over the last term is not quite like the fortnight that they spent of their holidays in the previous June in a school, and they do not really want this any more. I think there are certainly some benefits in having different ways in that will attract different sorts of people. The question is targeting it at the right sort of person.
Dr Moss: I would want to say again what I said about the cost effectiveness of having university involvement in whatever the routes are. You heard in the earlier session that there is a strong argument for having diversity of routes in the system. One route that has not been mentioned yet this morning is undergraduate routes, which are actually a very significant part of the university provision, which I would want to defend.
I think the evidence is that we need different routes because we need to reflect the fact that there are different kinds of people wanting to come into the profession at different stages of their lives, who also bring different kinds of skills, abilities and interests with them. We need models of training that do have some difference in them that reflect all of that. There is also the issue when you talk about the costing about whether to take into account this matter of whether the person is being paid or not whilst they are in training. That is of course now further complicated by the new proposals about bursaries.
It is very difficult, particularly with some of the emerging policy about that and how it is going to work not being totally clear yet, to say what a level playing field is to decide this. I think the country benefits from having a diversification of route, and that there will be inevitably some differences of costing and funding that arise from the need to meet the trainees’ needs. If I have a concern about the current system at the moment and its impact on trainees, it is that some trainees may choose the route that they choose to train in because of their sense of what the financial package is that is attached to it for them rather than what may be in their best interest in terms of their training needs. I do think that is something that needs some more work in the thinking around how the total finances operate.
Q78 Chair: This is probably more of a question for the previous session with the TDA, one of whose witnesses is still here. The training of teachers is extraordinarily expensive, it is done on a massive scale and it has a huge importance to the country, socially and economically, and it seems as though as a Committee looking into this we are having two panels in a row discussing anecdotally what costs what and what value it has. Should there not be a thorough and proper cost-benefit analysis of the various routes of which there is a common understanding? Is that what the TDA is doing at the moment? Is that your understanding? Why do we not have that as it stands? Because we appear not to.
Kay Truscott-Howell: At the moment individually we are probably all working out the costs for ourselves, because ultimately we want to be able to ascertain that we can run our courses in the future. Being a small provider, obviously we know how much it costs per head, which is just under £9,000, and therefore we have to ask ourselves what sort of funding we are going to get so that we can see ourselves running our courses in the future.
Q79 Chair: Yes. But would you agree that the overwhelming lack of analysis is regrettable and should be put right? For retention rates and likelihood to stay in the profession, you have doubtless put some economic value on the specific aspects that Teach First brings, for instance, but what we need is some form of objective analysis.
Martin Thompson: You would have to look, Graham, at the fact that not all people come into teaching straight out of university or in university. People come into this at different times. Career changers needs would be different. The financial package they would need to do this would be different.
Damian Hinds: That is a fascinating answer but to a different question. The point is that there has to be a comparable analysis across different routes, and allowing for added bursaries and bangs and flashes. Somebody must have done the piece of work that says side by side, not just for the bit I do but for all of us, how much they cost. I am guessing maybe the TDA has. Would it be admissible to allow some heckling from…?
Chair: It would not, but as his active body language suggests a desperate desire to communicate with us, I think we would very much welcome a note from the TDA and we could share that with our witnesses here. I see from nodding in the audience, which I do not think formally I can acknowledge, that we will receive such a note and that would be good. Can we move on, Damien?
Q80 Damian Hinds: Thank you, Chairman. I was going to ask about the change in the entry requirements, but can I just first ask Amanda about Teach First? It is always very dangerous with these things to think anecdotally, and from personal experience, but from people I know who have done Teach First, one thing that comes up quite a lot is they intend to do it for a short while, then do something else, and then maybe have children. As part of a much longer game plan, they might then come back into teaching later on-this is mostly women, clearly, I am talking about. So obviously it is too early to say whether you will get returners to teaching over the long term, but is that something that features heavily or at all in discussions at Teach First? Do you expect that to be a feature?
Amanda Timberg: We are already seeing it, as you said, but we are also seeing an increased retention over the years, and I think that is because we are being clearer about what it is that we are intending the graduates to be thinking about as they are training to be teachers and the longer term impact that they are going to have, against the vision of an educational, equitable landscape. What we are finding is that, when the graduates go into teaching, they are not sure if that is what they want to do. About 65% continue on beyond the initial commitment, and then they do consider what other things they might want to do. They might go into Civil Service, they might end up trying to start a social enterprise or they might go off and do something else. But I think ultimately a large percentage of them do see that working within a school, for them, is the best way that they can impact on the mission. There are people who move into any of the National College pathways towards middle and senior leadership, but certainly through Teaching Leaders, Future Leaders and other pathways they are going back into the sector. But we do have statistics; we have destination data that we can provide on what it is that people do once they leave Teach First.
Q81 Damian Hinds: Do you hear people saying, "It is always something I can come back to"?
Amanda Timberg: We hear people saying, "I think it is something I want to go back to," because they recognise the immediate impact they can make. To be honest, schools and education have risen in the prestige of the larger community in the last 10 years, and I think it is something that is more and more attractive to people that are ambitious.
Dr Moss: As a provider, we have been involved in Teach First since 2003. What I can say categorically is that from the beginning there is a model of saying to Teach First trainees, "There is an option here for you to think about different trajectories for yourself rather than thinking this programme is about having a continuous career in education." That sense of different models of career has been very clearly articulated, and it has certainly been picked up. I have met people who have done it, and who are back in school and are a lot happier because they are back in school.
But I also want to say that at different times there has been funding and support through the TDA for other kinds of broader programmes to bring returners back into teaching. I think that is something that should be given support and funding because there are lots of former teachers out there who are a valuable resource who the system could be making more use of.
Q82 Damian Hinds: Thank you. What I really want to ask about is the entry requirements and the change to the 2:2 minimum and the skills test. I am not clear from this document that came out yesterday what has happened to the proposal on the interpersonal skills test. Maybe when we have had a chance to digest it more that will become clearer. But particularly on the 2:2 minimum entry requirement, it seems to an extent that, whenever you talk to teachers individually, quite often they will say, "I think that is quite a good idea," but in groups they tend not to, which is perhaps an interesting interpersonal thing in its own right. What do you think would be the impact of raising the minimum to 2:2?
Dr Moss: The first point is about the statistics, because our understanding is that a very large majority of people in teacher training already have a 2:2, so there is a sense that having that as a particular line is not going to make a huge difference.
Q83 Damian Hinds: Do you think it will make a difference to perception? My understanding of the Government’s line is not saying, "If you are borderline just over 2:2 versus borderline just in a third, then suddenly you are brilliant at teaching." It is more to do with perception and sending the signal that this is a profession for real high achievers.
Dr Moss: One of the things that is significant, which is in the implementation plan, is there can be recognition of people who have got higher degrees on top of the 2:2s in terms of bursaries. That is good because there is an indication in the plan of a degree of flexibility about the interpretation of it as providers, and many teachers would say, hopefully individually and in groups, that the profession recognises that there are people who can bring particular kinds of things to the profession who may not necessarily have a 2:2. Something that does not often happen in this discussion is a clear distinction being made between the people who come in in their early 20s and people who come in as mature entrants into the profession. Very often they will have acquired both a set of mature professional skills but also, in some cases, some highly relevant subject knowledge.
One example is our 14 to 19 PGCE at Christ Church, where we have done a lot of work on preparing people to teach vocational subjects. In that programme we make a particular point of only recruiting people who have actively worked in the relevant professions. They have what I would call subject knowledge, which they have not acquired through formal academic training. Where there is a concern about having a single line, it is whether we will be missing people who have very significant things to offer.
Q84 Damian Hinds: Sure, though somehow, Singapore, Finland, Korea and Shanghai and so on seem to get over that.
Dr Moss: There is no doubt that vision of the 30%-plus thing in Singapore, Finland and Korea is something that is working very well for them. I am saying that the breadth of the needs that we recognise in the teaching profession in England may be different and not as narrow as the definition that there is in those countries about what they are looking for.
Q85 Damian Hinds: So our breadth of needs would be different in what sense?
Dr Moss: I think they could be, particularly around the needs for teaching in some subjects. There is a paucity of policy, as far as I can see, in the implementation plan at the moment around the particular needs of the 14 to 19 sector. The specific thing in the implementation plan is the notion of allowing people with QTLS to go into school teaching. At Christ Church we have run a unique programme that prepares people for teaching by giving them both QTS and QTLS, and I have some concerns about saying there is a simple solution here: "If you are qualified to teach in FE, that will do." We already know that teachers in that sector sometimes face a new kind of issue by teaching 14 to 16-year-olds for the first time.
What I am trying to get at around the degree classification and the broader issue is that I think there are some areas in the curriculum where the particular kind of professional expertise that I am talking about the sector needing is not high priority in the countries like Korea and Finland that you have mentioned because it is not the focus in their curriculum offer, as I understand it.
Damian Hinds: I would love to pursue this further, but I know we are short of time.
Q86 Tessa Munt: I wanted to know what you thought the key barriers were to recruiting the people who are going to end up being considered to be the best teachers. In your experience how quickly does anyone who is a student come into contact with somebody igniting their desire to become a teacher?
Dr Evans: Just here-
Q87 Tessa Munt: Can I ask you to speak up a little?
Dr Evans: Sorry, yes. Perhaps I can make an anecdotal point here, but it picks up on what I think either Michael Day or Stephen Hillier mentioned earlier about societal perceptions. We ran a project last year called "Inspiring the Best", which was initially introduced by the TDA, which involved second year undergraduates from Cambridge in the STEM subjects who had been identified as going to get a 2:1 or a first. We got them involved in an internship programme for four weeks in one of our partnership schools. When we evaluated at the end, the messages that we got from those students was society’s perceptions of the teaching profession are that it is a kind of safe bet, and that it was not going to be academically challenging to teach year nine kids, or whatever.
However, the experience that they had during those four weeks of working with the teachers and us and the trainees made them realise that actually it was academically stimulating and intellectually challenging. So I think that is possibly one of the barriers: to get the message across that it is not just a question of subject knowledge but communicating your subject knowledge, and working with children is an intellectually challenging and stimulating thing. That is the message to get across.
Tessa Munt: That is interesting, thank you.
Kay Truscott-Howell: Also we are finding that people who are applying for our course live very locally because of the financial situation, i.e. the cost of petrol, having to live at home with mum or dad, or they are already established within our locality. If you are asking for a first or a 2:1 your audience is very local, and therefore you are not attracting people from great distances away. We ask for a 2:1 or a first on our course, and I have to say that out of the last three years we have had 10 out of 90 who have a first.
Q88 Tessa Munt: Thank you. Martin, have you anything to add?
Martin Thompson: Not to that one. Sorry, my mind was still back with not quite having finished with the last question, and that was to say that in the kind of recruitment processes that we go through, which look at a lot of the aspects of this, the problem comes when you realise that you have got somebody in front of you that is a really good fit for what you want to do, but they do not have a 2:1 or a first. It is trying to balance out the importance of that against the other characteristics. One of the things we are finding increasingly important is emotional resilience, and how you measure emotional resilience, what sort of tests you can do for that, is very hard to define in the teaching context.
We have to be very careful that what we require for the best teachers for some of our early years programmes and what we would require for the best teachers of an A Level programme are quite different. We need to start saying, "The key things for the age of the children that we are dealing with are these, and by golly, this person has got them. Oh dear, they have got a third." That is where we are going to really struggle. That is where I find it particularly difficult. Initially, in our first year, we were not going to have any thirds-just 2:2s and above. Someone presented themselves in front of us with a third who was so good that we decided to risk it, and they were brilliant.
Kay Truscott-Howell: I would support that. Another one of my colleagues had the same situation and that person did not get the 2:2 because of circumstances at the time that they studied. He went on to be an outstanding teacher, so there could be some sort of discretion that providers can have when faced with those situations.
Q89 Chair: A limited number of wildcards perhaps, a bit like Wimbledon.
Amanda Timberg: I just wanted to address Tessa’s question about campus since we run a national recruitment campaign and we are on 60 different campuses. In terms of the barriers that we see regarding recruitment, I would just echo what was said earlier around STEM recruitment because that is incredibly difficult across the piste. When you look at the firsts and the 2:1s, getting people in maths and science, there is such a wide offer available to them. That will continue to be quite difficult for all of us. Also, now that there is this focus on the top degrees there is a lot of competition for those people. When you go on the university campuses you will see, even with the economy, that there are lots of spots available in all different sectors.
I suppose because Teach First is competing against the banks, the accountancies and the consultancies, we see that these people are very much being sort of wooed by lots of different people in lots of different sectors. So there is that competition on campus. But going back to a point earlier around marketing, I do think that there needs to be quite a clear centralised way for the graduates to understand the different routes. I think John is right; they are going to be looking at the costs, but they need to be looking at the different unique features of those routes. I think that could clear away a barrier for lots of us if there was some sort of a centralised campaign around that.
Chair: Thank you. Neil.
Dr Moss: Sorry, could I just add a point, which is sort of connecting what my colleagues here have said with Amanda, and interpreting your question in another way? If you like, it is like who is coming to us in the first place and why. If you look at that McKinsey report, the 2010 one on closing the talent gap, when they look at the features that the high performing countries have in common-what is making people come along and want to become teachers in the first place-they are high levels of funding for training and a stipend during training; a strong professional development framework of some sort, including academic qualifications of the kind I was talking about earlier; very high probabilities of finding work at the end, sometimes with guarantees of that through the way the system operates; and strong cultural respect for teachers. I think you could say, in terms of where we are now, those are all things that we need to do more work on.
Tessa Munt: Thank you. That is your recommendation then.
Damian Hinds: But it includes being highly selective academically.
Q90 Neil Carmichael: From your experiences, what do you think are the best routes into teaching that will help retention later? Who would like to pick that up? Amanda, would like to kick off?
Amanda Timberg: The best routes to help retention?
Q91 Neil Carmichael: Yes. You have all got different ways of getting teachers trained, but which ones ultimately improve retention?
Amanda Timberg: I do not know.
Q92 Neil Carmichael: Which ones have the best record?
Martin Thompson: We have a good record of retention, but again I think you have to be a little bit careful about the one size fits all, because the different gender and age profiles that you get in teaching mean that the number that you might expect still to be in it after five years will be changing. Certainly in primary you can see quite clearly that, with the quite large numbers of women of childbearing age that we would be training, we are not going to be able to have the highest figures for retention at the end of five years. Nevertheless, ours are something approaching 90% for our courses.
Kay Truscott-Howell: I think with the SCITT provision you have a good mix of people joining. From our statistics, because they spend a lot of time in school, they have experience and are comfortable going into school. They have spent a lot of time in that environment, they know what to expect, and our retention rates are 95%.
Q93 Chair: After what period?
Kay Truscott-Howell: Up to five years, and that is collecting that statistic over the providers I have locally.
Q94 Chair: So if you are after retention, Michael, you want to be much more school based. The Government has got it right. The retention from your course is not high enough, is that right?
Dr Evans: The retention of our trainees in the five or so years following a PGCE course is a matter for the experience they have in the schools on completion of our course, so it is something we do not have much control over. I would say there is a partnership model and the end level dimension of the PGCE training, as was mentioned earlier, whereby a significant number continued to do Masters as a follow up to the PGCE experience, which is one way of maintaining and hanging on to teachers, because they have that possibility of building on it as well as the CPD work.
Dr Moss: I think the point Mike is making is very important. Again, it comes back to what other professional development opportunity there is. Even within Teach First, the head teachers will say to each other, and I have heard them do it, "If you want to keep your Teach First trainee beyond two years the thing to do is to make sure there is a very clear and significant professional development programme for them." There is some argument about the figures; I think there is a misapprehension about the extent to which the retention figures from the GTP and other school-based routes are maybe thought to be better from HEI provision, and it certainly depends on things like how long into the career you are looking and what the measure is.
My understanding is that UCET has done a lot of work on this, and I am sure if you asked James Noble-Rogers he will provide you with the UCET analysis of that if he has not already done so. I think it is closer than we think it is, the longer the trajectory into the career is. But the key point is, what is the answer? The answer is about the professional development framework, the career opportunities and people being supported in career development both academically and professionally.
I would like to mention something that we are doing. This is a reference to the Cathedral’s Group of Universities, which you will understand Christ Church is part of. It recently acquired the TLA assets from the GTC, and what we are working on there is a framework for professional development that includes professional recognition for school-based activities, which will focus on things like subject knowledge development and school improvement agendas, linking it into the Masters provision that we can collectively offer. Certainly we would like more support in taking that initiative forward and looking at how it relates to other initiatives that are going on, including what the national college does. But as Michael said, we need to push up the agenda the programmes for Masters provision that very many universities have.
A major concern for us at the moment is the loss of funding for Masters provision. We have lost the £25 million that we had to support CPD. The universities engaged very, very enthusiastically and with a lot of commitment to the MTL Initiative, which was aborted before it was even given a chance to take off properly. At the moment there is no clear, coherent, systematic national policy for all of this. We want to contribute to it, we think we can make a big difference to it, but it does need support from Government for us to be able to find the best way forward with all of this.
Kay Truscott-Howell: In offering the MA, we found that not only did it cater for the NQTs but our own mentors and head teachers who started to study. Of course with that funding being withdrawn, people are not in a position to pay for the units that they wish to study, and certainly schools are not in a position to support them either.
Chair: I must move on to Craig.
Q95 Craig Whittaker: Just on that point then, in particular, I suppose, to John and Michael, should the teaching profession be a Masters-level profession?
Dr Moss: That would by my view, yes.
Q96 Craig Whittaker: And Michael?
Dr Evans: Yes, I agree.
Q97 Craig Whittaker: You mentioned very briefly about some of the things you are doing around the Masters level, but would a chartered teachers scheme, as proposed in evidence from the College of Teachers, be helpful? In fact I think this Committee put forward a recommendation a couple of years ago along those lines too. Would that be helpful in raising the standard and quality in the profession as well?
Dr Moss: I think we would have to be clear about what a chartered teachers scheme means. I think there are lots of different ideas about exactly how it might work. I keep making this point, but I think what teachers need is a combination of professional and academic development, and they need a system that allows them to work their way through that in a way that relates to their own identified professional development needs.
If we talk about Finland as one of the comparator countries, in Finland, as well as having a kind of Masters-level system, they have a system for professional development that gives teachers a lot of choice. So it is not about imposing a single model on people. I think what we need in that is elements about professional recognition for classroom practice that is excellent and outstanding, which links with some of the definition of what an excellent classroom teacher may be in the draft standards for Masters teachers. I have to say, they are rather more inspiring than the standards that have been published for teachers. The Masters standards have a much more aspirational notion attached to them about what it means to be an excellent teacher. I think you need something aspirational built into the system if you are going to have chartered teachers. The thing that is going to inspire teachers is something that says, "This is about making a real difference to children and young people’s lives." We want to link that to a full, rich and varied academic Masters programme.
Q98 Craig Whittaker: Very briefly, I know one or two of you do provide ongoing training, but do you all provide ongoing training in regards to CPD for the teachers, particularly the teachers that you initially train? Yes from everybody? Yes, okay.
Chair: Thank you very much. Thank you all very much for giving evidence today. If you do have further thoughts triggered by today’s session or any other things on recommendations, then please do write to us and let us know your thoughts and suggestions. Thank you again very much indeed.