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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 22 February 2012
Alan Meyrick and Tony Finn
Jean Humphrys and Angela Milner
Evidence heard in Public Questions 437 - 579
USE OF THE TRANSCRIPT
1. This is a corrected transcript of evidence taken in public and reported to the House. The transcript has been placed on the internet on the authority of the Committee, and copies have been made available by the Vote Office for the use of Members and others.
2. The transcript is an approved formal record of these proceedings. It will be printed in due course.
Taken before the Education Committee
on Wednesday 22 February 2012
Mr Graham Stuart (Chair)
Examination of Witnesses
Witnesses: Alan Meyrick, Chief Executive, General Teaching Council for England, and Tony Finn, Chief Executive, General Teaching Council for Scotland, gave evidence.
Q437 Chair: Good morning, gentlemen. Thank you very much for joining us today and bringing your expertise to the table. We are moving vaguely towards the end of our Inquiry into attracting, training and retaining the best teachers because, as McKinsey and many others have said, no system can be better than the quality of the teaching workforce within it. We are extremely pleased to have you with us today. As you know, what we do is we conduct inquiries into things we think are important. We then write reports with recommendations to Government and then they are obliged to respond. That is a key part of what we do. If you could pick one thing we could do to improve the overall quality of the teaching profession going forward, what would it be? Alan is looking at the ceiling, so I’ll cruelly turn on you, Tony.
Tony Finn: Far be it for someone who works in a delegated organisation in Scotland to tell our colleagues in England what to do, but I think if the success of what has happened in Scotland is anyway to learn from, then it is to ensure that there are high standards of teaching, and that these high standards of teaching are set both in an understanding of the knowledge that someone is seeking to communicate, and in a detailed understanding of the pedagogy associated with that transfer. That would lead logically to a need to have high professional standards, not just at the beginning of a career but throughout a career. The second part of that is the part that the Committee may want to focus on most closely, because we know broadly what it is that is necessary at the start of a career, and we are not as good, in any of our jurisdictions, at plotting across a career. I am happy to talk about what I might mean by that at a later stage.
Q438 Chair: So a focus on attracting the best and the brightest and training then up initially is, in fact, not the most important thing. It is about getting the best out of those you have got right through your career, if you wanted a priority.
Tony Finn: I would not say not getting the best at the start.
Q439 Chair: Sorry; I hope I did not say that. I did not mean to suggest that. I am saying that a priority is focusing more on the continuing development of the workforce you have as opposed to thinking that the solution is entirely to be found at the beginning.
Tony Finn: It is both. The solution is required at the beginning, because we need to have high enough standards. The emphasis that I am putting, on the basis of an assumption that we have those high standards at the beginning, is on continuing, developing and improving.
Alan Meyrick: If you attract people who have the right qualities, who have the potential to develop, and then you ensure that you focus on developing them against a clear set of standards throughout their careers, you will start to work towards success. You do need the good structure of the standards to work towards, and you need to ensure that you are recruiting people who are well motivated, who are likely to be able to evidence, at that point of recruitment and then further on through their careers, that they have the right mindset, the right skillset and the right attitude to teaching as well.
Q440 Chair: Obviously my question was about what one thing we could most change. I was picking out from Tony’s words that the priority should be on getting a decent development and pedagogical improvement throughout their career.
Alan Meyrick: I think I would support that.
Q441 Chair: That is certainly not to undermine what you do at the beginning, but in our system that would seem to be the area where we could make the biggest difference. Would you agree with that in terms of emphasis?
Alan Meyrick: Yes, I would.
Q442 Chair: The one thing that we could do most to improve the quality of teaching in this country is to be found there. It is better CPD, to put it crudely.
Tony Finn: It is not just CPD. CPD is a process. I think it has to be associated with what that CPD process is aiming to produce. In my view, it is not enough just to throw teachers in the direction of courses; it is about finding ways to meet the development needs of each individual teacher, and doing that in a sustained way across their career, and making it an expectation that teachers do that, and also setting professional standards as benchmarks across a teacher’s career. That would be an organisational way and also a personal development response to ensure that teachers keep improving and there is a methodology.
Q443 Chair: What does that look like? If you ask people what they do now, they would say that that is what they were trying to do. That is the difficulty when we are coming to recommendations that lead to not a change in the rhetoric, because nothing you have said is controversial; nothing is particularly topical there. If we had asked people 15 years ago, they would have sat there and said, "Yes, let us attract the best in and have a rounded, full, comprehensive understanding, with high standards throughout the whole process." You could have said it at any time, but we are not very good at doing it. When I am pushing you for recommendations, it is to move away from the applepieandicecream statements. I am not trying to suggest there was anything trite about what you were saying. I am just saying it is very hard for us to understand what changes can be made that make that more likely.
Tony Finn: We are putting in place a scheme in Scotland called Professional Update. That is a scheme that starts from the assumption that teachers want to improve in the course of their career. The expectation is that, every five years, teachers will show us that they are keeping those skills up to date. Now, it is a supportive and challenging process, but it is not a threatening process. We are trying to work a system that will be seen to be supportive of teachers’ development, but will also be something that focuses on the needs of that teacher and the needs of the profession but, most importantly, the needs of our children. This will be compulsory in order to retain their registration status with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
Q444 Chair: Supportive and challenging, but not threatening, but you have to do it. I do not really-
Tony Finn: The threat will come from: we have standards of-
Chair: So there is a threat.
Tony Finn: The threat does not come from this process. If a teacher is not performing satisfactorily that is an issue that we expect the headteacher to pick up. If the identification of that comes through the professional review and development process, which will be a key element of our Professional Update programme, then it would then transfer into our national environment. By that, I mean Scotland’s national standards for competence framework. That is already established; it is understood there are mechanisms for handling it within the General Teaching Council and within each authority, so that these are parallel but different processes. That is what I meant: the process for Professional Update is challenging but not threatening. If you are looking for the threat, if a teacher is underperforming significantly, that then transfers into this other process.
Q445 Craig Whittaker: Can I just challenge what you just said about the fiveyear process, because one of the things that I struggle to get my head around is that the assessment process of teachers is totally off the scale compared to what happens in business, for example. Almost a generation of kids could go through the system with a teacher who just wants to stay mediocre.
Tony Finn: With respect, I think you are approaching this from the assumption that a teacher who was underperforming would only be identified every five years. What I am saying is that the process of us testing that somebody is keeping their skills up to date happens every five years, but the process of identifying whether a teacher is performing satisfactorily happens every day, every month, every year. It is the headteacher’s responsibility to address it.
Q446 Craig Whittaker: Don’t the two things work hand in hand? Shouldn’t that process you have just mentioned, taking place every five years, be an integral part of the assessment process of teachers?
Tony Finn: We are trying to avoid having the Professional Update process as the only and unique performance management system. We think performance management should be done by a headteacher on a routine basis, and what we are asking headteachers to do is to offer support and guidance to teachers, in our Professional Update process, while also getting to know each of their teachers well, thoroughly and, where appropriate, taking those teachers who are underperforming through the competence procedure. We see them as quite separate.
Q447 Chair: Alan, how does what Tony is describing in Scotland differ from what we are doing in England?
Alan Meyrick: This Government is not, at the moment, looking at having a model that sees any requirement on teachers to have that linked to any registration going forward. On the other hand, the code of conduct that we in the General Teaching Council have put in place does require that teachers pay attention to their own development needs, and are part of the performance management framework. Tony is absolutely right when he says that the performance management system needs to be an ongoing one, which operates throughout the teacher’s career, is a regular process in which people are reviewed against a set of clear standards. The need to continue to be updating yourself is a responsibility on the individual, but also needs to be a responsibility on the employer to ensure there is access to that system.
Q448 Chair: Are there benefits to having this fiveyear cycle? It sounds rather like, again, it is a general expression that everyone should and you ought to include it in your performance management but, if there are no triggers, if there are no cycles to go through, is it less likely that people will do it and, therefore, could we benefit by following the Scottish model?
Alan Meyrick: It is certainly the direction that other regulators have gone in. Some have gone down the model of simply wanting to have a number of hours of CPD. I do not think that necessarily works, because you need to ensure that the sort of quality is right of the CPD that teachers are engaging in. Certainly we have evidence that shows the sort of CPD that best supports improved teaching practice and best supports learning of pupils. If you look at where the General Medical Council has got to, it is about to implement a model of revalidation, which includes in part a requirement to regularly evidence that you are updating your skillset. It sits alongside a performance management framework, so that it does not simply become something that is dipped into every five years. The fiveyear piece is part of the agreement, I guess, between the individual as a professional and the system as a whole to say that that requirement to update your skills and to continue to be on top of your game sits both with the employer and with the individual professional.
Q449 Chair: It sounds like we in England are falling behind in the education sphere.
Alan Meyrick: We are putting in place a model that will give more structure around professional development, but we are not choosing at the moment to use the lever of making that a requirement to be able to continue to practise as a professional.
Q450 Ian Mearns: Graham has already started off on this question but, apart from the fact that you cover territory north and south of the Tweed, your relative organisations, what other major similarities or differences do you think there are between the two organisations?
Alan Meyrick: The similarities at the moment are that we both register teachers according to qualification, so that you can only practise in a maintained school in England if you hold qualified teacher status and successfully complete an induction period. We both currently have responsibility for regulating both conduct and competence across the profession, and we both are involved in setting out a framework for a code of conduct and practice that starts to look at some of the ethical behaviours and some of the values that teachers should uphold. Those are some of the key similarities at the moment, and those sit with the profession, in partnership with a range of different stakeholders, which have governance and accountability for ensuring that elements of delivering those responsibilities are given properly.
Tony Finn: Our structures are quite different-the way people are elected, appointed and nominated. The General Teaching Council was established by the Teaching Council (Scotland) Act 1965, so it has a long history. It is therefore possibly more accepted than GTC England was. Our responsibility is much wider in professional terms. We accredit all courses of teacher education. We set the entry standards for teaching at the point when someone goes into a faculty of education. We also declare what is the expectation of professional standards at different points of a teacher’s career, including standard for headship, standard for initial teacher education and standard for full registration. We are responsible for the teacher induction scheme in Scotland, which OECD described as "world leading"; and, as of 2 April, we become a fully independent body, which is quite separate from Government but which will be required to work closely with all partners in a consensus body.
Ian Mearns: It is topical theme north of the border, isn’t it?
Tony Finn: It is a different type of independence. An important difference also to point out is that, from 1966, when the first Council took up its position after the Act was brought in, the Scottish Teaching Council has been paid for directly by teachers. There is no public funding, so it has been quasiindependent in financial terms, and almost independent. As time has gone on that independence has grown. If we look at the accreditation of courses and entry standards, we set these standards at the moment normally in conjunction with Government but, by and large, Government never questions what we have done. From 2 April, we are freed from this responsibility in one or two of these areas-specifically accreditation of courses and the standard for headship-of deferring to Government to get that stamp of approval.
Q451 Ian Mearns: It seems that you are actually travelling in quite different directions in terms of independence from Government. Do you think there is a particular rationale for the divergence of approaches, and is either of you envious of the other from that perspective?
Alan Meyrick: Some of it is historical, so when we were created under the 1998 Teaching and Higher Education Act, there already existed a Teacher Training Agency that had been given responsibility, by Government, for accrediting teacher training and teacher education provision. When we were created, that was not something that, at that point, was given to the General Teaching Council to have responsibility for. Had we been created at a different time that might have been the case, but you are created at a moment in time; structures exist already. We were given the responsibility for establishing that register, for providing policy advice to Government on a range of professional issues and for regulating the profession. We have looked across the border and have drawn, over the years, some of the best practice that we have observed within Scotland.
Q452 Chair: What do you most envy, apart from remaining independent?
Alan Meyrick: Apart from the fact that he is still going to be there on 1 April and we are not, the piece about the time is interesting. It has, without doubt, been quite difficult, with a registered population of some 585,000 teachers in England, to establish ourselves as the professional body, as the regulator, in only 10 years. That has been a real challenge and, with a group of people so large to communicate with, and a relatively small body to do so-a relatively small organisation to do that-that has certainly been a challenge. The benefits of having been around for 40 years have been evident. Similarly if you look at the General Medical Council, it has been around for 150 years. It is even further ingrained.
Q453 Ian Mearns: With the loss of independence from your perspective, Alan, are you concerned that you might just become part of a DfEbased executive agency?
Alan Meyrick: That is what is happening. On 1 April, the responsibility for setting the standards for entry into the profession and the regulation of the teaching profession will fall to the executive agency and the Secretary of State.
Q454 Ian Mearns: I suppose it is a funny sort of question but, if you both had a blank sheet of paper and were able to redesign your perfect model from your own perspective, what would you change?
Alan Meyrick: I think the interesting piece is that there are a lot of different models out there. If one looks at the Law Society for example, and the way that it has changed, you now have the Law Society responsible for promoting the role of the solicitor and the values of that as a profession, and then you have the regulation authority for prosecuting solicitors where there has been poor conduct, and you have the adjudication piece separately. You still embrace all of those responsibilities within the arc of the profession, but you have different governance for different pieces of those. Probably, looking back at the way the General Teaching Council was originally constructed, there have been some challenges by having those responsibilities all placed and seated within the one organisation. That is something that, if I had a blank piece of paper, I would want to look again at: how you could continue to ensure that the profession and the public were jointly engaged in setting those standards and assuring those standards, setting the expectations around what standards teachers should be modelling and exemplifying, but finding a way of giving those responsibilities and the actual delivery of them perhaps in a slightly differently governed way. That would be one piece.
Tony Finn: Firstly, I do not cast any envious glances towards my colleagues in the South, although I do have a lot of respect for them and I would want that to be stated. We have had an opportunity in Scotland, over the last two to three years, to begin to influence Scottish Government in respect of the shape that it is giving us from 2 April. Perhaps two issues I would suggest are worthy of consideration. One of which we are already on the way to delivering is a change of emphasis on what the General Teaching Council for Scotland is about. When it was established, it was very clearly a regulatory body and it still is a regulatory body, but the emphasis I have been placing during my tenure in the post, and that the General Teaching Council is now stressing in all of its documentation, is that, given our wide responsibility for professional standards, in effect it is a professional body. What I would like to do is secure that understanding, not just in the educational community but across the Scottish community of General Teaching Council for Scotland being a professional body.
Perhaps the second area about which I would hope to be able to make a change is that, in Scotland, every teacher who works in any school in Scotland must be registered with the General Teaching Council and must have met our standards, with two exceptions. The first exception is in the independent sector. There is significant movement between the independent and state sectors in Scotland, so we have a protocol established with the Scottish Council of Independent Schools, and we now have up to 87% of teachers in independent schools in Scotland registered. I would like to think that, because there is a professional status accorded to being registered with the General Teaching Council, we can convince independent schools that, in the future, from an agreed date, the protocol will be that everybody who comes into those schools will have to be registered. Obviously there are people currently working there who have employment rights and we just have to accept that. From an agreed date, I would like to see that happen.
The other area about which I would like to see development is in respect of further education. In England and Wales, the Institute for Education requires registration, and interestingly accepts registration with the GTC for Scotland as being part of its essential transferability criteria but, surprisingly, in Scotland, we do not yet require all teachers in further education to be registered. A lot of them are and a lot of them are working well, but have just, because of that, allowed their registration to slip. Some perhaps might need to do some additional work to gain our registration status. Really, in terms of a professional body, it seems to me that a professional body sets standards that apply to everybody, both in professional matters and also in respect of conduct and competence. Those would be the areas that I would want to see developed.
Q455 Neil Carmichael: Just before the recess, the Secretary of State for Education was answering some of our questions and, while he was doing so, he was talking about basically treating the profession of education in one seamless line from nursery to the top end of universities. That was really in response to some probing about the professional body issue. In thinking of that vision, how do you think your organisations would fit into that and do you actually agree with the general thrust that actually we should be thinking in terms of one big professional body representing teaching, nursery, academics, the lot?
Tony Finn: Yes, I do agree. It is important firstly to emphasise that it is not about representing teachers, because there are other bodies that represent teachers and their interests; it is about representing teaching. It is also about promoting teaching and the quality of teaching. These are important distinctions. If you have a professional body, the standards expected of that professional body should apply across all teachers, regardless of where they teach. In universities in Scotland, teachers who are involved in the preparation of student teachers are registered with the General Teaching Council, and we always have that complete spread that you have described. The weakness in Scotland would be the further education sector and the independent sector, because there will be movement between and across the different sectors. The weakness in England, if I am allowed to comment without any political comment, is that, with free schools and academies not being subjected to the standards that are going to be introduced from September, there is a difference of approach. It will be more difficult for our colleagues in England to have a professional body that only applied to state and maintained schools.
Alan Meyrick: That is what we have had up to now-the General Teaching Council applying to maintained and state schools. If you are going to have a professional body that embraces all of that community of education right through, you do need to have a clear understanding of what it is that entitles you to be a member of that body. Is that a qualification piece or is it about what you do? How are you going to ensure that people who are part of that professional body can operate to a set of standards that is also meaningful to all of those people, at different stages in their careers? That would be quite a challenge to achieve that, because clearly in further education you have a very different set of requirements and a different skillset, perhaps, to some extent.
The focus is absolutely, as Tony said, on teaching but, by its nature, a professional body needs to have some form of governance or control over who can practise under the name of teaching. In England at the moment we can say that the qualified teacher status is there for teachers in maintained schools and nonmaintained special schools. As Tony has already said, there are increasing flexibilities now available to some parts of the maintained sector to have people who do not have those qualifications. If you want those people to be part of that professional body, there is quite a lot of thinking that needs to be done about how it is that, when they are part of the professional body, they work to those standards and how you continue to assess their practice against that framework of standards as well. For that framework of standards, if you have a person working at nursery education and a person working in university education, they could look and feel quite different. There is a risk that it simply looks very bland and does not ever really address the specific needs of those settings. You would need to do some quite careful work around that, but the principle and thinking of having those who are focused on delivering good teaching, as part of a single body, would be-
Chair: I am afraid we have limited time.
Q456 Tessa Munt: How many of the teachers in the independent sector in England are registered in some way?
Alan Meyrick: With the General Teaching Council for England?
Tessa Munt: Yes.
Alan Meyrick: I think the figure is about 12,000, but I could come back.
Q457 Tessa Munt: Can you give me that as a proportion, because you were saying 87% of…?
Alan Meyrick: 12,000 of about 588,000 of those who are qualified.
Chair: 87% of independent school teachers are registered in Scotland.
Alan Meyrick: 12,000 would be about 25%.
Q458 Tessa Munt: Can I just check with you? I think I understood that you were saying it was about flipping back and forth between the independent and state sectors that has caused quite a lot of those teachers to be registered. Do independent teachers register of their own volition?
Tony Finn: Up until relatively recently it was left to the individual teacher to make that decision, except in those independent schools where they declared otherwise. What we have been suggesting is that we need to have an understanding with the whole sector that leads to automatic registration. Now, one of the advantages of the Scottish system is that we can, as a General Teaching Council, require employers to deduct salary at source of those who are registered. Once we know that someone is registered, if that individual moves from a state school to an independent school, we can require an independent school employer to continue the payment of the fee, unless the individual teacher exercises his or her right not to renew their registration. The difficulty for us is to try to ensure that that flipping, as you described it, between sectors is continuing in registration with the General Teaching Council. That would mean that people could move easily between sectors without any difficulty. At the moment, the 13% who have not registered in independent schools would have to apply for registration in order to come and work in a state school. For many of them that might not be a big problem; for some of them it would, because some of them do not have teaching qualifications; some of them do not have sufficient experience or have come through rather unusual routes. That is not to criticise them; it is just a statement of fact. For a lot of them, we think we could find accommodations to allow them to register but, for those who have employment rights, we would simply leave them there.
Chair: Can I ask both questioners and the questioned if we can get through as quickly as we can?
Q459 Tessa Munt: I am particularly interested in raising the status, and so I was going to ask you-the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, NASUWT, has said that it might help raise public confidence and trust in teachers if there was a professional body for teachers. What do you feel about that? I am going to ask you, Alan, particularly.
Alan Meyrick: I would agree and support that statement. Again, it does come down to what it is that you expect that professional body to do. What functions are you going to give to that professional body? We have a professional body for teachers in England that is responsible for registering, regulating and providing advice. I think it would be fair to say that the NASUWT has not always seen eye to eye with us on some elements of our work in some of those areas. They have been critical of some of our policy advice. They have been very supportive of our regulation work and our work in registration. But I would support the view that there should be a professional body for teachers.
Q460 Tessa Munt: You are of the view then that public confidence and trust in teachers needs to be raised.
Alan Meyrick: I do not think that having a professional body for teachers raises public confidence and trust just purely by itself, but it is the case that, when people look across professional bodies and look at those, they commonly see, sitting behind them, a professional body with responsibility for setting the standards of entry and regulating those who can and cannot be part of that profession. That is part of the general fabric of being in a profession for such a body to exist.
Q461 Tessa Munt: The DfE is on record that teaching is a lowerstatus profession in the UK. Is that right?
Alan Meyrick: I do not think that the evidence shows that. If you look at the MORI polls, teachers come out very highly in terms of the confidence, support and trust that parents have particularly. If you look at the evidence, parents have a huge amount of trust and confidence in the teachers at their own schools, the teacher of their own child particularly. If anything, there is a slight diminution of that when you start looking at the profession as a whole but, generally speaking, teachers remain in the top sector of trust by the public.
Tony Finn: In Scotland, the teaching profession I think does have higher status. It may or may not be linked to the professional body which, as I described earlier, has much wider powers than was the case in England. We are also working to try to enhance that professional status through the followup to a report published by Graham Donaldson last year on ‘Teaching Scotland’s Future’-that is what it is called-in which we are trying to raise the status and expectations of Scottish teachers. Lastly, to turn briefly and only briefly, to the NASUWT-
Tessa Munt: Can you say that again, sorry? I missed that.
Tony Finn: We are trying in Scotland to raise the status of Scottish teachers and to raise the standards of Scottish teachers, some of which is borrowed from McKinsey; other parts of Donaldson’s research were based on his understanding of what was happening in other countries, Europe and the States. He was arguing that we need to consolidate what he thought was an already good status for teachers by taking it forward in the future. I would suggest that, perhaps in Scotland, it is not a lowstatus profession. It may not be as highstatus as it might be, but we are working to try to make it so. If I could briefly say something about the NASUWT, a very small organisation in Scotland, they support the General Teaching Council and did so in the response that they made to the consultation document on the future status of the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
Q462 Tessa Munt: If other countries appear to place greater value, what might you propose? How do we approach that in England specifically?
Alan Meyrick: I think it is also about the standing. There is a distinction between the status of the profession and the standing of the profession. Some of the pieces that we have already been talking about are about a profession that very clearly and evidently takes responsibility for its own professional development, a profession that takes responsibility for the standards, for attracting the right people into the profession and then supporting them through their development through that profession. All of those things will enhance the status and standing of teaching in England. I do not think that having a professional body is a panacea to that. On the other hand, I think, by that having a body that is focusing on supporting those pieces, it would have a good chance of success.
Q463 Tessa Munt: What do you think are the key things that actually affect the profession’s public image? Can I go to you first, Tony?
Tony Finn: It depends what you mean by ‘professionalism’. That is the definition that is central to this. In a piece to be published later this year, I have tried to define what I think professionalism is. It is based largely on some work that was done in Australia. Basically it was that professionals all have certain categories or features. They are special knowledge; they have a special knowledge and skills. They have education and training at quite a high level, and they operate in the interests of the public. Those are the three principal areas. In a piece that myself and a colleague are going to have published later this year, what we have tried to suggest is that teaching as a profession should be exemplified by the following features. If you do not mind, I will just tell you what they are: clearly defined practical and theoretical knowledge; professional autonomy and accountability; certification of qualification and standard; a commitment to the service to others before financial benefit; a commitment to keep learning and improving across their career; aspiration towards what I have rather grandly called "optimal performance", or doing your best as a teacher; and last but by no means least, collaboration with other professionals. If we can deliver a profession that is geared to those key elements, then we deliver a profession; it is not simply a group of people who are conducting the practice of teaching within a school context. These are the guiding sets of principles that we are using in the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
Q464 Tessa Munt: Very quickly, Alan, do you feel there is a difference in England?
Alan Meyrick: I think all of those things we articulated in the Code of Professional Conduct and Practice that we developed with both teachers and key stakeholders, including children and parents. Absolutely all of those principles were captured as what we believed would bring high status, standing and professionalism to teaching in England.
Q465 Tessa Munt: Lastly I want to look at career progression and talking about attracting the top graduates into teaching. Do you agree with Mary Bousted that the system "does not think about career paths for teachers who want to stay in the classroom"?
Tony Finn: No, I do not agree. Again in Scotland, we have had a system in place to try to protect those who did not wish, as I did, to become a headteacher; who wished to remain good teachers. That system was called the Chartered Teacher Programme in Scotland. It is currently being revised, and we are looking at bringing it up to date, focusing it perhaps more on masters units as well as a masters qualification, which was associated with the Chartered Teacher Programme. We are looking to focus it much more on practice as well as the academic performance that would be required to attain a masters. We are looking at different words to describe what this would mean. The word we are currently using is "accomplished". We are talking about a new standard for accomplished teaching. What we are thinking about is the vast majority of very good teachers might never have thought, "How do I keep improving?" We are trying to put something in place to make sure that they do.
Alan Meyrick: The General Teaching Council has also advocated that teachers who wish to stay in practice should be enabled to do so. We had a teacher learning academy that provided opportunities for those people who really wanted to engage in research and practice, sharing that with other colleagues, around what it means to be able to teach effectively in the classroom. There was a range of stages to that. It was evidencebased. We had a significant amount of interest in that, and that was exactly about a mechanism by which you can enable people to feel that they are developing, to be absolutely consciously developing and enhancing their practice, but without necessarily going into the routes of senior management.
Q466 Tessa Munt: Can I just ask you as a very final question-my final final question-with a yesorno answer, if that is possible: should we develop something along the Singaporean style career progression thing, where you have different routes for leaders, for classroom teachers and for specialists?
Tony Finn: In England?
Tessa Munt: Actually you can say Scotland if you like.
Tony Finn: I think plausibly that is a sound thing to do, yes.
Alan Meyrick: Yes, I think that there are teachers who will want to ensure that their careers are developed with a classroom focus. Others will want to develop their career with a management focus. It is right to provide paths for those and opportunities for those people to do that.
Q467 Chair: Is it true that we do not at the moment? Basically they try to have clarity. There are three pathways, so every teacher, at the beginning, is told these are options; you can move between them, but there is clarity about the progression you can follow and there is a clear sense of how you can achieve that progression, as well as linking into pay and conditions as well. Are we on the right path in that respect, in this country at the moment? If not, do we need to follow something, albeit tailored to our own needs and situation?
Alan Meyrick: I suspect that there is not enough clarity on how one would go down those individual routes, and then how one would move between them at a later stage, if that was something you felt you wanted to do.
Tony Finn: My own advice would be that I never set out, as a classroom teacher, to end up doing the job I am doing. That is a good illustration of the fact that you change your mind. At the point where I was simply-and I use that word advisedly-a classroom teacher, then all I ever wanted to do was be a classroom teacher, so I think we should have systems that allow different routes of progression, which are not exclusive one to the other, and allow people to move between pathways. That is important but, notwithstanding that, it is also important that people can see career routes ahead of them at the point that they are in their profession.
Q468 Craig Whittaker: Alan, Chris Keates told us that the "major problem" with the General Teaching Council in England is that it does "not regulate entry into the profession". Do you agree with her assessment and how do you think that the situation with regards to regulation will change when you join the Teaching Agency?
Alan Meyrick: I do not think that not being given the power to regulate entry was the major barrier to the success of the General Teaching Council. I do think that, had we been given that power at the beginning, there would have been more coherence around the way in which we were able to both look at those standards for those people coming into the profession, and then continue to judge people against those standards as they continued through their profession. It would have given us a greater sense of coherence to that piece as well. In terms of my move into the Teaching Agency from 1 April, the Teaching Agency should bring some of that together because, within the Teaching Agency, the responsibility for both attracting into the profession, for assuring of the standards for those people who enter the profession around the qualified teacher status, and then the regulation of the teaching profession, will all sit in one place, with the Secretary of State having control of all those matters. There will be greater coherence. It will not be professionally-led coherence. I do not say that as a criticism necessarily, just as a statement of fact.
Q469 Craig Whittaker: So a good thing or a bad thing?
Alan Meyrick: I do not think I can really comment on that.
Craig Whittaker: But you are the professional; surely you have a view.
Alan Meyrick: I am the professional in as much as, at the moment, I am the Chief Executive of the General Teaching Council, and I can see that, had we been given greater powers, our work might have been more coherent. As a future civil servant who will be going into the Department, I can see that having all of those things together in a single Teaching Agency will bring some of that coherence into one place. It does not bring with it the direct professional influence that currently is there and which is reflected in other professions.
Q470 Craig Whittaker: So a good move then?
Alan Meyrick: A different move-a different way of constructing it with a different set of accountabilities, not a set of accountabilities that sees the profession leading on it, but a set of accountabilities that sees Ministers taking that accountability directly with Parliament.
Q471 Craig Whittaker: So not a good move then?
Alan Meyrick: I am not saying it is a good move or a bad. I really do not want to be drawn on that. I think that is a really difficult question for me to answer.
Q472 Craig Whittaker: Okay, so we will leave it to the ebbs of time to determine whether it is a good move or not then.
Alan Meyrick: Yes.
Q473 Craig Whittaker: Can you both confirm to me how many teachers you have had to debar from the profession in the past five years, both on a permanent basis and also a temporary or limited period?
Alan Meyrick: Over the past five years?
Craig Whittaker: Yes.
Alan Meyrick: I can do, if I am just given a moment, yes.
Tony Finn: We remove teachers who are subject to convictions in courts. We remove teachers who have been involved in misconduct, short of conviction in court, and we remove teachers on grounds of competence. The figures in the last five years exclude those who have been on the disqualified from working with children list, because we remove them automatically. Of the ones that we have done through our own processes, in 200910, which are the latest figures that I have, there were 17. The year before that it was 15. The year before that it was 10. The year before that it was 8. The year before that it was 13. Now, we are talking about a workforce of 53,000, and 78,000 registered teachers in total. Short of removal, we also have a number of teachers who have been given other sanctions-conditions, reprimands. I can give you details of the number of cases, how they have been disposed of and worked through. If you wish the Committee secretary to get that detail from me, I am happy to provide that.
Craig Whittaker: That would be great if you could, yes.
Alan Meyrick: I can give you the figures since the Council started operating. Since the Council started operating, we have prohibited 210 teachers. We have issued 163 suspension orders, and 50 suspension orders with conditions. So that is 410plus. On the competence side, we have prohibited 16, given two suspension orders, and 12 suspension orders with conditions.
Craig Whittaker: That is over 10 years.
Alan Meyrick: That is over the 10 years.
Craig Whittaker: It is an average, therefore, of about 20-
Alan Meyrick: In the early years, the figures were relatively low. In terms of the total number of hearings, in our first year of operating, 200102, we only did 3 hearings, because of our nature. In 201011, we actually had 213 hearings. In 201112, we had concluded 260 hearings by the end of the year.
Q474 Craig Whittaker: Can I just ask then why the number is so low? Is it because your organisations only see the most serious cases or is it because teachers generally do have a high professional standard?
Alan Meyrick: I think it is a combination of both of those answers. Over the years, we have had a total of 6,600 referrals to us. About 3,000 of those referrals are for minor criminal convictions, so oneoff drinkdriving convictions. We issue letters to those teachers, but do not take them forward to a full hearing. Of the 3,000 that remain, about a third of those go forward to a hearing. You have heard the sort of numbers that end up being prohibited, suspended, etc. We also give conditional registration orders and reprimands to teachers. Occasionally of course, there is a no finding, because you would be surprised if you only found cases to be, in a sense, guilty, because that would suggest that you were only looking at the easy wins. I think it is important, in the public interest, that you look at cases where there appears to be a case to answer as well.
Q475 Craig Whittaker: Just so I am clear in my mind then, did you say 3,000 cases in the last 10 years, in total?
Alan Meyrick: If you take away the 3,000 minor convictions, then about 3,300 cases have been referred to us over that 10year period.
Q476 Craig Whittaker: In total then, because they are cases you are looking at, you are talking about 6,300 over a 10year period.
Alan Meyrick: 6,600, yes.
Craig Whittaker: On average, 6 a year.
Alan Meyrick: No, 660.
Craig Whittaker: 660 a year.
Alan Meyrick: Yes.
Tony Finn: We proportionately have a higher number of cases that we are dealing with. To go back to your question, I would say that the high standard of professional competence of Scottish teachers does have a bearing on the number that we see through to the end; so too do the processes we use, short of removal of the teacher, and indeed there are some loopholes. These loopholes are progressively being plugged, and some of them are being removed as we move into independence by the new statute. If I give you the figures from 201011, there were 269 cases; most of them were dealt with administratively. By "administratively", that might mean that somebody might get a letter indicating that we have noted a particular issue, but we are not taking it further at this time. From that group, quite a large number went to our investigating subcommittee to be discussed. Following that, something like 25, which is roughly one in 10 of the cases referred to us, went to the final stage disciplinary committee. That led to 17 being removed from the register. There were also in that year a further three who removed from the register because they had been listed with-
Chair: Can we move out of this disciplinary numeric morass?
Q477 Craig Whittaker: Tony, can I just ask you then, on average, how long does it take the Scottish section to deal with a case?
Tony Finn: We try to deal with it within two to three months, but it would be unrealistic to say that we always do.
Q478 Craig Whittaker: What is the timescale, the average time?
Tony Finn: The average case is dealt with within a few months, but those cases where there is a complication with the legal system or a complication with the health of the individual teacher can take a long time.
Q479 Craig Whittaker: Sure, but what is the average time then in Scotland?
Tony Finn: I am guessing that the average time was six months.
Q480 Craig Whittaker: Can I ask you then, Alan, why it takes over a year in England to do the same?
Alan Meyrick: It takes slightly under a year now, and in part that is because we allow timeframes for people to respond to the allegations, which themselves build a certain period of time into the framework, and then there are other factors in terms of availability of witnesses.
Q481 Chair: It does not happen like that in Scotland though, Alan.
Tony Finn: These things happen in Scotland as well. We are talking about people’s human rights, and so logically what will happen is that teachers will bring in lawyers, who will seek to try to identify a loophole.
Q482 Chair: We are interested in the differences and why, with exactly the same circumstances in both places, you do it in a matter of months, and it is taking over a year in England, on the latest figures.
Alan Meyrick: It is taking us a year for those cases that go forward and actually reach a hearing. We are able to deal with a significant number of our other cases much more quickly than that. I am only talking about a year where it goes right the way through to a full hearing and that hearing is followed to conclusion.
Q483 Chair: That is what Tony is talking about as well, and he is doing it in months and you are doing it over a year. It does not sound very good.
Tony Finn: You could find cases in Scotland where things last longer than a year as well.
Chair: We are talking on average, to be fair.
Tony Finn: I could perhaps give you some information about what we are going to do from 2 April, which might be useful to you going forward. When we become an independent body, we are going to try to streamline some of our processes, which we previously were not able to do because we were tied by statute. One of the things that we are going to do is introduce consensual resolutions so that, in those cases where a teacher knows that the conduct that he or she has committed is likely to lead to a finding, we will be offering the teacher the opportunity to accept a reprimand or to accept removal from the register without having to go through a full hearing. At the moment, in terms of national law, they have to do that. What we would do is still, in the public interest, bring it to the attention of a hearing that an agreement had been reached, but we are hoping that will speed up the process.
We are also looking at something at the very early stage, when we are investigating cases. Quite a number of cases that come to us from the public in particular, but not uniquely from the public, are trivial or vexatious. They would be an indication of somebody’s frustration within the system, which is not a professional frustration. So we have tried to streamline our process to handle that particular case. Lastly, we are streamlining our restrictions on those teachers who, at the outset of the case, we think could, if the evidence against the teacher is proven to be accurate, be a risk to pupils. In those cases, we are going to try to move very, very quickly to ensure that a teacher cannot be in front of a classroom. In most cases, we would have expected an employing authority to have taken that decision anyway, but we will take the decision.
Q484 Craig Whittaker: Alan, can I just quickly ask how many cases you expect to lose in the transfer over from where you are to the Teaching Agency?
Alan Meyrick: All of the cases where the judgment through a triage process that we have through-
Q485 Craig Whittaker: Sorry; I am talking about, in the move over, how many of those cases do you think will get lost and not be followed up?
Alan Meyrick: That is what I am trying to answer. We have put in place a triage process, whereby we are looking at cases to assess whether or not we believe they are likely to meet the new test of prohibition for the new Teaching Agency. Where those cases fall in there, they will transfer across. Serious cases will still simply transfer across to the new Teaching Agency. Where they are cases where we do not believe we will be able to complete those cases as the Council, but where we believe that the outcome would have been a reprimand or a conditional registration order, we are closing those cases down.
Q486 Craig Whittaker: As a percentage, how many of those-?
Alan Meyrick: Roughly speaking, 40% of our cases end up in prohibition or suspension order, and 60% of our cases around reprimand.
Craig Whittaker: It’s 60% then.
Alan Meyrick: Roughly speaking that’s the number that we’re filtering out of the process.
Chair: I think we probably need to move on actually, Craig.
Q487 Craig Whittaker: Can I just ask you then quickly: do you believe the new teacher standards will contribute positively to strong performance management of teachers, or do you think there is too much room for interpretation?
Alan Meyrick: I think there is significant room for interpretation, and I think that headteachers and employers need to be very focused on ensuring that, as they use those standards in performance management, there is some consistency across the piece. At the moment, they are written in a way that allows for flexibility but, in having flexibility, inevitably there is going to be some risk of divergence of practice on their application.
Q488 Craig Whittaker: Do you think that currently the performance management is robust enough in schools to tackle teacher underperformance? Should heads have greater powers to deal with incompetence themselves?
Chair: Short answers, please, to this final, final question.
Alan Meyrick: I think headteachers need to be operating performance management frameworks in a robust way, which ensures that they can identify where teachers appear to be falling behind, provide the necessary support quickly and rapidly. If it is not working, they need to-
Q489 Chair: Is what we have got good enough? The question is not what we should do; it is whether what we have got is good enough. Yes or no, are the new performance management measures brought in by Government fit for purpose? Are they good? Are they going to improve things? Are they going to make us world class, yea or nay? I know you are going to be a civil servant, Alan. It is rather invidious, but still Tony is free to say whatever he likes.
Tony Finn: I do not think so. I think that professional standards are limited in that they do not go right across the profession. They handle only the cases of teachers in state and maintained schools. Having been a secondary headteacher for 17 and a half years, I think a lot of headteachers are not sufficiently aware of what they need to do and how they need to do it in order to tackle those cases.
Q490 Tessa Munt: Very quickly, I would just like to ask you a couple of things about funding of teacher training firstly. That is: is there any evidence of which you are aware supporting the cessation of funding for teachers with lower second degrees in order to improve the quality of teaching?
Tony Finn: Sorry, I did not catch the question.
Chair: Degree class and quality of teaching, what is the link if there is one?
Tony Finn: Scotland is very strong on the need for not only a degree and a high standard of degree, but also a degree in the subject that you are going to teach. We actually give registration in the secondary sector in the specific subject area, rather than generic, which has been the case in England up to date. I would draw your attention to some research that has been done. There is a lot of qualitative research, including in the Donaldson report that I referred to earlier. In anticipation that you might ask me this question, I decided that I would have a look at our database of research last night, and thankfully I did. The US Congress, for example, has done a study on the work of what is called the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which is a body that certifies teachers at a higher standard and encourages them to attain that standard. They have found that there is significant evidence that teachers who are so certified have produced better gains for children.
Q491 Tessa Munt: Is it possible that you might send that to us?
Tony Finn: Yes, it is.
Tessa Munt: Would that be possible?
Tony Finn: Yes. I can give you two flavours of that information, but you might not have time to have it.
Q492 Tessa Munt: I am going to ask you if you would not mind sending it. You are very welcome to send your commentary to us as well. That would be lovely. Thank you very much indeed. Alan, is there anything you want to add?
Alan Meyrick: Our reading of the evidence on that is that degree class can play a part in determining the outcome for the teachers, but it is not the only part. You need well motivated people. You need to ensure that they have the right and applicable training for them. Increasingly, 30% of teachers coming into teacher training are over the age of 30. You need to ensure the teacher training that you give them is adapted for that skill and experience that they bring with them. Of course degree class can play an important part, but you do need good subject knowledge. You do need to have the right mindset and the right other set of qualities to be a good teacher, and you need to be supported and given good development throughout.
Q493 Tessa Munt: If we go back to your submission, where you said, looking at the new bursary scheme, whether it meets your criteria of being "fair and equitable" and "based on more than just degree class", can I ask you to comment? Do you feel that the new bursary scheme is or is not fair and equitable?
Alan Meyrick: The risks of it being based just on degree class potentially have some equality issues, in terms of its access to teachers from overseas, for example. I think that would be an area where we would have some concerns.
Q494 Tessa Munt: How important do you feel financial incentives are to potential teachers, knowing how much more one can get in the way of a bursary if you have a firstclass degree?
Tony Finn: It is a difficult one to answer. I believe that good teachers should be driven by their interest in public learning and a wish to do things for individual children. Notwithstanding the salary I now have, I have never been driven by salary, and I would like to think that that is what we could do to incentivise our teachers to become better teachers. Notwithstanding that, I do also accept that, at different stages in teachers’ careers, we need to be paying the right amount of money, but that is not a General Teaching Council issue.
Q495 Tessa Munt: I am really focusing on the incentive for somebody to come towards teaching from their particular specialisation. Is that the right thing for us to do?
Tony Finn: It may depend on how much need you have for teachers. It is not a question for us in Scotland.
Alan Meyrick: I have not seen any evidence; therefore, I do not think I can comment on any evidence that shows that having those sorts of financial incentives to attract people for those sorts of things, at that particular point, is necessarily the key driver.
Q496 Damian Hinds: It does not have to be the key driver though, does it? It has to be a driver, and I would suggest the entire history of economics-
Alan Meyrick: I suspect it is a driver, but I have not seen any evidence to look at that.
Q497 Tessa Munt: We might have to wait a bit for that. Looking at professional development, Alan, your submission calls for "teachers’ universal access" to CPD. You have made some comments about 100 hours. I think it was you who made some comments. Maybe it was not you; it was Tony. I heard some comments about maybe just 100 hours of CPD might not be the appropriate thing. Should there be an entitlement for each teacher? Should that be required?
Alan Meyrick: I think that there should be, but that is part of that agreement between the individual professional and the profession more widely that teachers need to be participating and, in order to participate, there needs to be some availability.
Q498 Tessa Munt: How would it work? What do we do? What do we say in terms of CPD for teachers?
Alan Meyrick: Again, it is about the type of CPD. Increasingly the evidence we have is that really effective CPD is not simply about going off on courses. I know everybody always says that, but there are ways and means of giving teachers opportunities to develop in their own classroom, in their school setting, working with other colleagues. You do need to create an entitlement to that, but alongside that entitlement comes part of the accountability of the individual professional to evidence that they are paying sufficient attention to their own development through effective participation in that. That all links back to a performance management scheme that is set against the standards that need to be in place. It is not simply about, if you give everybody 50 hours of CPD or 100 hours of CPD, you solve the problem. You need to have a structured approach to good quality CPD, evidence as to what it is makes a real difference. The evidence around that is that it makes a real difference if you are working alongside your colleagues, putting into place evidence, building on the research, sharing your knowledge and practice in the classroom with others, publicising that, etc. Those are all part of how you get to a point where teachers value the learning that comes through that, they improve their classroom practice, and their performance management against the standards is all one piece of that.
Q499 Tessa Munt: Do we actually need to allocate hours for teachers to go and watch somebody else in their school teaching or for them to learn in their own classroom? Surely that is happening every day of every week. Is it not and I am being naïve?
Alan Meyrick: I do not think it is happening consistently across every one of the 26,000 settings.
Q500 Tessa Munt: Why not?
Alan Meyrick: I am not sure I can answer the "why not?" There may be a number of reasons as to why it is not happening consistently.
Q501 Tessa Munt: That is about leadership in schools, isn’t it?
Alan Meyrick: It is about leadership in schools, yes.
Q502 Tessa Munt: I have to say I find it staggering that we should be requiring teachers to learn in their own setting, because they would; they just should. It should just be happening. I accept that there should be a requirement for a number of hours, perhaps, that might be outofschool CPD that can be validated by whatever organisation.
Alan Meyrick: I am not sure I understand which bit you find astonishing at the moment.
Q503 Tessa Munt: I find it astonishing that you are saying to me that teachers might need to have time put aside so they can learn in their own classroom-I think they do that every day of every week-or that they should learn within their own school setting. If they are not watching what is going on in other teachers’ classrooms, if we do not have a sense within our own school teams of who-
Chair: Can we get evidence from the witnesses?
Tessa Munt: Sorry; go on, Tony.
Tony Finn: I am not convinced that a specific number of hours is required, but I am convinced that there is a need for maintenance and improvement of standards. I prefer to judge teachers’ progress against those standards. I think there is an entitlement; there is an entitlement to support. The entitlement is led by the teachers’ identification of his or her needs. We need to put that responsibility very firmly on the individual teacher to say that we expect teachers, throughout their career, to keep improving. Overwhelmingly, the vast majority of teachers want to do that and are looking for opportunities to do it.
You mentioned leadership. I think there is an issue in respect of current difficulties in schools, workload issues, budget, times, but I do not think the answer is in the allocation of a specific funding figure-so much against each teacher’s head of inservice training or whatever it might be-nor do I think it is about the number of hours. In Australia, they have done some work on that particular area, and what they have tended to do is fall back on hours, because they are the easiest methodology to put in place. More complicated but more qualitative is to try to make sure that teachers get the help that they actually need to suit their own individual circumstances. That might mean watching the teacher next door. It might well mean taking a leadership role within the school, as part of your development. It might mean going down the road to an adjacent school to see how someone teaches some other children. It might mean going on a course. The evaluation of such systems depends on how successfully they are leading to improvements in teaching and improvements, therefore, in learning. That is where our focus must be.
Q504 Chair: You are saying avoiding the hours, but all of those take timetabling. All of them mean that you need to be supported by those in leadership roles to take time out in order to do it. If you do not have an entitlement to certain hours, is there not a risk that there are no mechanics in place to support the identified needs of the teachers?
Tony Finn: It is difficult to say so, but every one of us has a set of responsibilities in the discharging of our work. Headteachers have a responsibility to ensure that the needs of their staff-all sorts of needs, but developmental needs-are met. In a system where there is an efficient and supportive form of professional review and development with a teacher, where they engage regularly, where there is discussion across a year, where the headteacher knows the qualities of their staff and is able to discuss those qualities, encouraging good progress, perhaps addressing areas of development, then that can happen. It can develop.
Q505 Tessa Munt: Can I just ask you very quickly then should CPD be delivered by professional and regulatory bodies? Should it be done by trade unions, by the companies, universities or in school?
Tony Finn: It depends on what it is you are looking for your CPD to deliver. If your CPD is about a schoolbased issue, then the headteacher and leadership team within a school are probably best placed to deliver it. If it is about a wider range of responsibilities, it could be an outside organisation or a council’s own local authority provision. I am not convinced that the regulatory body should deliver. We do some CPD for teachers, but I am not convinced that that should be part of the overall system, because there might come a point where the regulatory body has to decide whether other providers are actually providing something which is appropriate.
Q506 Tessa Munt: Okay, so no conflict. Can I just ask for your comments on exactly the same, please? Is there anything different you would say?
Alan Meyrick: No, as Tony says, it is about understanding what it is you want your CPD to deliver and ensuring you have the best providers to make that happen and to make the outcome successful.
Chair: Gentlemen, thank you very much indeed for giving evidence to us this morning. If we can switch to the next panel as quickly as possible, that would be great.
Examination of Witnesses
Witnesses: Jean Humphrys, Interim Director, Development, Education and Care, and Angela Milner, Principal Officer, Development, Initial Teacher Education, Ofsted, gave evidence.
Chair: Good morning, and thank you both for now joining us. Two ladies replace two gentlemen. We look forward to another productive session. Because time is short, if all my questioners can try to extract as much as they can from the witnesses and give as little evidence themselves as they can control themselves to do, I will invite Neil to start us straight off.
Neil Carmichael: Thank you very much, Graham. I will certainly lead the charge on being brief but to the point, which I think is important.
Chair: The chance would be a fine thing.
Q507 Neil Carmichael: Thank you, Graham. We are talking obviously about methodology in Ofsted, and what I would like to know, first of all, is really what kind of background you expect your Ofsted inspectors to have, especially if they are heading into a situation where you have teacher training underway.
Jean Humphrys: A mixed background. We have at the moment people who come from the ITE background themselves; they are seconded to Ofsted. We also have people who are experts, in that they have come from headship, teachers and subject leaders and so forth, and they are also involved in inspections. Our expectation is that we would have people with the right level of skills to evaluate what is going on in perhaps a higher education institution, but also what is going on in the classroom.
Angela Milner: I have very much the same point of view. I myself come from a provider background, as a substantial amount of our initial teacher training inspectors do. Some have come from perhaps not a trainer background, but have engaged in schoolbased partnership work, have acted as assessors on a GTP scheme or have been involved in some element of partnership and, when they have joined Ofsted, they have expressed a desire to develop that as part of their skills and professional development. What we have at the moment is a specialist team of ITE inspectors, who work across either schools and QTStype inspections or the further education learning and skills sectors, and we look at the teacher training aspect of that in our provision.
Q508 Neil Carmichael: We are looking at the two routes-university and schoolcentred. Is there a mixture between the two in terms of the role that Ofsted would have? Do universitytrained teachers tend to be checked by Ofsted?
Angela Milner: It works in exactly the same way for every kind of provision, other than in the FE sector, where we look particularly at HEIled provision rather than that provided by the awarding bodies.
Q509 Neil Carmichael: Jean, do you have any thoughts? Are you happy with that?
Jean Humphrys: No, that is exactly right. That is the process.
Q510 Neil Carmichael: If you were an Ofsted inspector making a judgment on a teacher, are you likely to be a serving teacher or at least a current teacher yourself?
Jean Humphrys: Almost inevitably you will have been. We have a number of people who are current teachers, a number of people who are headteachers currently and have been seconded to Ofsted and we also have people whose backgrounds have been in education. They are trained on a regular basis to make judgments about the quality of teaching, and they will be the people who make those judgments.
Q511 Neil Carmichael: How far do those judgments go through the school? Do they get to the heads of department, the headteacher and, indeed, the governing body?
Jean Humphrys: Do you mean are the judgments passed on?
Neil Carmichael: Yes.
Jean Humphrys: Yes, the judgments will be shared with some of the people within the school, particularly the mentor, the headteacher and those responsible for trainees, but they are predominantly to look at the provision made by the provider of the initial teacher education and to make a judgment about the quality of support they are providing, through their use of the partnership.
Q512 Neil Carmichael: Does it get to the governors?
Angela Milner: It would depend very much on the school context. It would certainly be good practice for the governing body to be aware of what was going on in terms of initial teacher education in a school. Actually, one of the findings we have constantly talked about in terms of HMCI’s report and in the evidence we have provided to you is that, sometimes, people’s role in initial teacher education in schools is perhaps underplayed. They do not think about its significance and evaluate that perhaps as thoroughly as they might.
Q513 Alex Cunningham: I was just wondering about your passing information on to the governors. I agree that governors should be well equipped, but some governors are different from other governors. I just wonder what level of risk you think there is of detailed information on teacher ability passing through to all members of governing bodies.
Jean Humphrys: I think governors have a responsibility, ultimately, to oversee the quality of teaching in a school. If they are supporting a trainee programme, then they really should know what is happening. The children are there; they are being taught by trainees. Governors have an overall responsibility to ensure the quality of education, along with the headteacher, so I cannot see why they shouldn’t want to know about those things.
Q514 Alex Cunningham: Do you see a risk in that?
Jean Humphrys: I see a risk in them not knowing.
Neil Carmichael: Absolutely right, because governors are holding the school to account, critical friends and all the rest, so they do need to know. What you have just said is absolutely right and proper, thank you.
Q515 Chair: Why does it not happen? Governors I speak to say they find it very hard to get out of headteachers, let alone Ofsted, data and information on the performance of individual teachers.
Jean Humphrys: Governing bodies have a legal responsibility to oversee performance management.
Chair: They do not have the information with which to do it, which is why so many of them are pretty hopeless and are not able to do it, if you have a powerful head who basically denies them the information they need to do their job.
Q516 Neil Carmichael: We are straying into an area, which is a great interest of mine, which is the role of the performance and recruitment of governors. That is more likely to be the answer to that question than the one you are going to give.
Jean Humphrys: Hence Sir Michael Wilshaw’s announcement about his wish, from September, to start looking at the link between performance management and the quality of teaching within a school. It is primarily a responsibility of headteachers and governors to make sure that those links are clear and transparent.
Q517 Chair: Am I wrong in thinking that governors, all too often, do not have that information and therefore are unable?
Jean Humphrys: I do not think you are wrong; I think you are absolutely right. One of the things we tend to find with inspection is, if we focus on something and request particular amounts of information, then it focuses the mind of senior managers within the school.
Q518 Damian Hinds: Just to clarify, when you say governing bodies have a legal duty to oversee performance management, do they have a legal duty to oversee the fact that performance management is happening and happening well, or do they have a legal responsibility to do some performance management? Arguably, you do not need to know judgments on individual teachers to do the former. The private sector analogy would be a board of directors hires and fires the chief executive, but does not start secondguessing all the decisions they are making about their staff.
Jean Humphrys: I think you are absolutely right but, ultimately, you do have a responsibility as a governor to ensure that all children receive a very high quality of education. I do not think those two are separate. I think they are indistinguishable in many ways.
Q519 Neil Carmichael: Following on from Damian’s question, what about the role of staff governors, if they are sitting on the governing body listening to all of this discussion? The more detail they get, potentially the more difficult the position would be for a staff governor.
Jean Humphrys: Indeed. The headteacher should be expected to provide a summary of information, not necessarily giving detailed information about individual teachers, but staff governors are there for a purpose. They are there not only to represent their colleagues but also to help ensure that the school does actually provide the best possible quality of education. They have a dual function in that.
Q520 Alex Cunningham: You appear to acknowledge that school governors are not getting the level of information you think they ought to have. What is Ofsted doing about that?
Jean Humphrys: Ofsted, I have said, has made some announcements about changes in inspection that it wishes to make. We have no evidence at the moment to suggest what governors do and do not get. From our early explorations, we think they probably do not get enough information to hold headteachers to account about the decisions that are being made. We are hoping that from September, post consultation, we will be able to have a much clearer view of whether that is the case or not.
Q521 Alex Cunningham: Is it not more important to perhaps get Ofsted to report directly to the whole governing body on what is the most important thing, the training of our teachers, so that they can then teach appropriately?
Jean Humphrys: Ofsted reports primarily, when it is evaluating teacher education, to the provider of that education. The school is in partnership. If the school is running the SCITT, then that would be a slightly different matter, but it is predominantly run by a partnership, led by higher education.
Q522 Neil Carmichael: That is quite an interesting exchange, actually, about governors, I must say. We could develop that more, but I think we had better instead talk about the changing methodology that Ofsted has, because it has changed a number of times. The first question is: how do you know you have the right one now?
Angela Milner: Traditionally, initial teacher education has often had a new methodology every three years. What we are doing at the moment is we are working through the fourth year of our existing framework to ensure that, when we bring a new framework in place in September, it matches the direction of travel of the implementation plan and links in with the new standards and changes that are happening, in terms of the landscape of partnership.
In terms of our own analysis of the frameworks, we undertake those every year, and we always feel we need to raise expectations and raise the bar. Where we think we have been successful with the current framework is moving away from looking at the quality of the provision in the provider to the difference it makes to the trainee. That has been a move forward. We want to retain that move forward, with the emphasis on trainee outcomes, to look specifically at the difference it makes to how well they teach-how well they teach as a trainee and how well they teach at the start of their profession. Where it has been less successful, I think, is we need to sharpen up our evaluation criteria, because the majority of providers are now currently graded good or outstanding. The use of the word "outstanding" means to me that you should stand out; you should be exceptional. We are doing a lot of work at the moment on that, if you like, grade 1/2 boundary, and similarly on the 2/3 boundary. We are currently piloting that on a number of inspections, at the present time.
Q523 Neil Carmichael: How can you be sure that an Ofsted inspector, who is a teacher perhaps, going through this methodology you have just described, is not really just comparing the experience that he or she has themselves and not actually being properly up to date with the new approach?
Angela Milner: All ITE inspections are led by HMI. We have a mixed team of people, not only specialists in the school, FE or ITE sector as part of those schemes, but also a number of additional inspectors, who are provided by our inspection service providers. A key proportion of those are people working in the sector at the present time. That may be in schools; it may be in schoolbased ITE; it may be in a higher education institution. They are trained; they work to the same set of guidance that we work to, and they are led by an HMI, who is a specialist in that area, who quality assures the inspection work that goes on.
Q524 Craig Whittaker: We know that Ofsted inspects schools and teachers, and grades them from outstanding down to inadequate. What defines an outstanding teacher?
Jean Humphrys: An outstanding teacher generally has exceptionally strong subject knowledge and exceptionally good interactions with students and children, which will enable them to demonstrate their learning and build on their learning. They will challenge the youngster to extend their thinking to go way beyond the normal yes/no answer. They will be people who inspire, who develop a strong sense of what students can do and have no limits in terms of their expectations of students.
Q525 Craig Whittaker: It is subject knowledge and pedagogy.
Jean Humphrys: And really good pedagogy, yes-a very strong understanding of how children learn.
Q526 Craig Whittaker: On that note then, Ofsted has said that there is "no firm evidence" that "those with the highest degree classifications make the best teachers". You have just said to us that an outstanding teacher is somebody who has outstanding subject knowledge. Why do you think the Government is advocating a cessation of funding for those below 2:2s?
Jean Humphrys: There is a combination of skills for outstanding teaching. Those who have outstanding subject knowledge alone are not necessarily the best teachers and vice versa. I think we have to get the balance right. Subject knowledge enables you to challenge and ask the right sorts of questions at the right time. It has to be extensive and strong enough to enable you to cope with the age range of students that you are working with.
Q527 Craig Whittaker: We have just visited Singapore as a group. What we have seen there is that the system expects that a mastery of the subject by staff is already a foregone conclusion. Is that not the same case with what the Government is advocating here?
Jean Humphrys: Whatever system the Government is proposing to put in place is something that we would inspect and make judgments about, once it is in place. It is very difficult to secondjudge something until we actually see what is happening.
Angela Milner: Can I answer the other question you raised in terms of trainees? Clearly they are at the start of their learning journey of becoming teachers. We might inspect somebody in the November of a training year or somebody towards the end of that training year so, in initial teacher education, we develop a set of what we call "trainee characteristics". Here is a series of key things that we would expect to see if a trainee’s attainment against the standards was outstanding, if it was good, if it was satisfactory. That is another example of how we are quality assuring and making judgments. What we are trying to ensure is that the majority of people leaving that teacher training course are good or outstanding, in terms of their levels of teaching, rather than just meeting the minimum requirements.
Q528 Craig Whittaker: Would you not expect of somebody who has already been through a degree that actually the mastery level is already there? Surely your initial teacher training should concentrate not entirely on pedagogy, but surely the majority of it should be. Would you not expect that to be the case?
Angela Milner: It would depend very much on the background that people came from. There have been a variety of schemes to attract different people to represent the whole of society, in terms of the teaching workforce, and different people have had different opportunities. That is not necessarily encapsulated in having a 2:1 or a firstclass honours degree. You need to be looking at more than that. There is no automatic translation of what you have gained, in terms of an academic qualification, to the classroom. It is part of a bigger picture.
Q529 Craig Whittaker: Can I ask you then why you think that HEIled partnerships offering initial teacher training for the FE sector are so much worse at recruitment and selection than other providers? Does this translate to quality of teaching?
Angela Milner: If I can explain in terms of the context, Ofsted began looking at initial teacher education in the further education sector in 2004 to 2007, and looked at it in a different kind of way than we looked at QTS provision. Since 2008, we have looked at everybody in exactly the same way so, therefore, there has not been the constant inspection in that FE sector as there has been in the QTS sector. Since 1993 Ofsted has been going in and looking at teacher training, which has tended to drive out the weaker providers in terms of satisfactory. In the FE sector, you are working with a different group of people training to be teachers. There are people who are already employed-they are inservice teachers and trainers-and there is also a group of people who train postdegree, preservice people. Often, they are people who are already employed by a college principal, who is then looking for a teacher training route for somebody who has already demonstrated skills to them. The recruitment and selection process has been rather different than it has been in terms of QTS.
Q530 Craig Whittaker: Does that mean better or worse teacher quality?
Angela Milner: In terms of our criteria at the present time, what we are actually seeing is the link between recruitment and selection, and completion and employability, is not as strong in FE, because they do not track the trainees through that kind of process in the same way that we can see in terms of QTS.
Q531 Craig Whittaker: Is that down to the tracking or is it just generally?
Angela Milner: It is a combination of the criteria that are used for selection; it is how they are tracked; and it is also to do with the monitoring of the completions and the employability, in a rather different context.
Q532 Craig Whittaker: So it is a poorer system then.
Angela Milner: They have not driven the system as quickly in that sector, I think is what we would say.
Q533 Chair: Was that a yes or a no? I found quite a lot of that quite hard to follow.
Jean Humphrys: It is less well developed.
Angela Milner: It is less well developed over time.
Q534 Chair: On the face of it, it does not look very good compared to teacher training for schools. There is a lot about monitoring, tracking and all sorts of other esoteric concepts that do not easily fit into whether or not the training is very good or not. I am struggling to understand what you are saying.
Angela Milner: We were asked a question about recruitment and selection. That is one of the judgments we make, and we also make judgments about the quality of training. What our evidence shows is that, because FE has been less subject to the same kind of rigorous inspection over time, it is further behind. It is lagging behind the system. It is beginning to move into it and it is beginning to move and catch up.
Q535 Chair: The other part of Craig’s question was, if that means that they are not doing a very good job about who they bring in and then what they do with them when they have them, then the really important part is: does that mean there are a lot of people going out to teach people in FE who are not very good at it.
Angela Milner: It means that they are not as good as in the QTS sector at the present time. What we are doing this year is we have a fourth year of inspection; we are going back to look at anybody who was judged to be satisfactory, which is quite a lot of FE provision that we are looking at, at the present time. A number of those have remained the same; they have kind of coasted. Some have improved and, in the occasional case, they have actually not become as good at training as they were three years ago. There is a little bit of a mixed picture, which we continue to work on.
Q536 Craig Whittaker: With all due respect, I think what you are saying to us is that actually it is the teacher’s fault and not the process. Is that right?
Angela Milner: No, I am not saying it is the teacher’s fault.
Q537 Craig Whittaker: We are not looking at the outcomes of what we physically do. What we are looking at is, actually, a process of checking along the way would fix the system. That just doesn’t ring-
Angela Milner: No, we measure four key outcomes in terms of the trainees. We have their attainment-how well they achieve in relation to the professional standards. Those professional standards are slightly different in the FE sector than in the QTS sector. We look at the progress they make, so an organisation will assess their potential at recruitment and selection. Do they meet their potential? Do they complete the course? Do they gain their QTLS, as it would be in the FE sector, and do they remain in employment? So there are all sorts of thing that are involved in those trainee outcomes. What we are saying is that, in our future framework, we want to put more of the emphasis not only on those important things, but also on how well the trainees teach and how well they teach in schools.
Q538 Craig Whittaker: Surely a bigger part of that would be making sure the recruitment and selection process at the beginning is much more robust and rigorous than it currently is.
Angela Milner: It is. What you would see in our current inspection reports that come out is, particularly if you have a multiphase provider, which might be doing this very well in the primary and secondary context, but not as well in the FE context, there are recommendations in the front about perhaps what they should do about that.
Q539 Tessa Munt: Please may I just ask one question? I am aware there are some FE colleges that provide a huge amount of, for example, prison education. Therefore, if a college loses a contract after three years or five years, then you strip out £35 million worth of everything, or more or less, but that would have a very dramatic effect on one of your criteria, which is to measure how long somebody stays teaching. If it is beyond their control, how do you adjust your figures to show that it is nothing to do with the system; it is to do with contracting?
Angela Milner: We would try to take that into account in terms of the judgments we make.
Tessa Munt: How do you do that?
Angela Milner: We work on national benchmark data, which are provided to us by the sector, and work continually with BIS and the various organisations in the FE world.
Q540 Tessa Munt: Effectively what you are saying is that for FE, regardless of the contracting arrangements, that is the situation.
Angela Milner: It is, and they also have longer to gain their QTLS. At the moment, they have a fiveyear period from the end of their training programme to gain their QTLS, which is called a period of professional formation, because of that employment context or parttime context that many of them work in.
Q541 Chair: FE too often is forgotten and insufficient attention is paid to its importance in the overall education system. We, as you know, conduct inquiries, write reports and make recommendations to Government. What areas should we be looking at in making recommendations and what recommendations might we make that could contribute to improvements in the FE sector in particular?
Angela Milner: If I can say, last week I was at the House of Lords giving evidence to an inquiry led by Lord Lingfield, which is actually looking at the professionalism of the workforce in further education. There are a number of recommendations that I think will emanate from that inquiry. Very much the context was how we can bridge this gap in terms of the difference between what is going on in FE and the rest of the sector, in that sort of way. They are looking at, for example, professional standards; they are looking at qualifications. They are looking at the whole process of some of the things you have been talking to the GTC about, about registrations and completions. That work is going on in a separate way by that group, at the present.
Jean Humphrys: In our evidence, we would be saying much better recruitment, much more rigorous recruitment, higher qualifications and stronger attention on retention and support during that process.
Q542 Chair: On the recruitment front, is it not to an extent a function of who comes to you? What ability do they have to shape the quality of the people who apply? If you only get a certain quality of people applying, you can only raise the barrier in line with your ability to attract better qualified people to come to you.
Jean Humphrys: I think there is a limited field from which recruitment is drawn, and that obviously does have an impact.
Q543 Chair: I am just trying to tease out, in terms of it being a recommendation, what they need to do practically. What would it look like to do a better job of initial recruitment?
Angela Milner: Our inspections work in exactly the same way across the FE sector, and we are inspecting the HEItype provision, so those are people who are going to be what is called a DTLLS. It is diploma level, the equivalent of PGCE level, so they are likely to be people who are already graduates coming into the system. There is no reason why they are not the same kind of characteristics you would be looking for in terms of recruitment and selection.
Q544 Chair: I am not necessarily all that much the wiser as to how they are in a position to shape who applies to them.
Angela Milner: It is to do with the provider and partnership colleges working together to ensure the process is as robust as it can be. Sometimes there is a difference between people recruited to the college and then people recruited to the programme. We need to make sure that they have the same kind of criteria that they are looking for in terms of future teachers.
Q545 Craig Whittaker: Do you think some of the Teach First competencies could be used more widely to attract the best trainee teachers?
Jean Humphrys: I would think they certainly could. Teach First, from our evaluation of the programme, seems to be quite successful. Trainees have quite a baptism of fire in terms of their experience of school placements, but they also find the programme invigorating and challenging, and they learn a great deal and give a great deal, so yes.
Angela Milner: For Teach First competencies, I was part of the inspection team last year that looked at this and helped produce our report, and they certainly are very effective for the group of people that they recruit. There are particular ones that are particularly relevant to the mission and ethos of that particular training programme, but there are also others that are of use to other people. For example, one of their key characteristics is resilience. That strikes me as a very important characteristic that you would have, not only as a potential manager of the future but as a teacher, so I think there is much to be learned from the work that they do, but it needs to be applied to the context of an individual provider, not just taking one model and transposing it.
Q546 Craig Whittaker: Is it fair to say that, from the discussion we have just had, the Teach First competencies will be a great way of raising the bar?
Angela Milner: Thinking about what are the key characteristics that would make a good teacher and what you are looking for to assess that potential, yes.
Q547 Craig Whittaker: Can I ask you then what evidence you have to support the Government’s proposed preentry tests in literacy, numeracy and interpersonal skills?
Angela Milner: We are very much in favour of the move from exitlevel tests to doing them as entrylevel tests. The majority of providers will actually have their own tests in mind at the present time, and the majority of them test for literacy and numeracy. A variety of people have been experimenting with a whole range of interpersonal skills and a variety of things like the kind of management competencies that Teach First have, which would be useful. It is how that package is actually put together by an individual provider that we want to focus on, on our next inspection framework.
Q548 Craig Whittaker: Can I ask you both very quickly, if the current teachers in the system were to sit such a test to see whether they have a mastery level of particularly numeracy and literacy, what percentage do you think may fail?
Angela Milner: Nobody should because, to gain their QTS at the present time, since they have been introduced, they had to pass them.
Q549 Craig Whittaker: Nobody should but, just off the top of your head, do you have any idea of what that percentage may be?
Angela Milner: You would have to go back to pre that being an exit test. I do not know what volume of the teaching population would be there, but that has existed for the last 10 years, so we know that nobody could have gained their QTS if they had not passed those tests.
Q550 Ian Mearns: In its submission to this inquiry, Ofsted stated that it is clear that the range of routes into teaching is "one of the success stories of recent years" and claims that "different routes suit different types of applicants". What routes suit what type of applicant?
Jean Humphrys: We talked about Teach First. The young graduate who is very capable, resilient and keen for a challenge comes through that route extremely successfully, and actually a number of people stay in teaching who did not intend to. For people who work in schools and do not have those initial skills or even a degree, working through the systems that schools offer to enable them to develop teaching skills, working in supernumerary capacities, working in different capacities, also doing a degree alongside their school training and developing much more slowly, help those people to become stronger teachers, and then there are the traditional routes.
Q551 Ian Mearns: I know it is an odd question, because there are many different types of people who want to go into teaching for different reasons. It is not too long ago that Ofsted had judged 49% of HEIled training as outstanding, compared to 36% of schoolcentred training. Given the outcomes from those inspections, do you therefore believe that the Government is misguided in its desire for more schoolbased teacher training, as opposed to HEIbased?
Jean Humphrys: The key thing is that partnerships work effectively. Higher education institutes have been able to manage those partnerships very successfully. They have a great deal of expertise in doing this. They have been doing it for many years. They also have a wide range of resources at their fingertips. Individual schools sometimes find it less easy to have access to that range of skills and resources. They have uptodate information on research. They know about pedagogy. They have a wide range of sources for information, and they also have access to a wide range of schools, so that they can place their trainees in different contexts. Some schools will struggle to do that. It is not that the quality of what they provide is any better or worse; it is simply the much larger organisation with access to more resources that gives the edge. Schools that work together, and I know there are some chains of schools that are going to work together, may be able to replicate some of that themselves. I am absolutely sure that the partnership will be a crucial part of that nonetheless.
Angela Milner: There is a difference, if it helps, within the employmentbased routes. In terms of providers of employmentbased routes, the GTP schemes, the higher education provision that was GTPled by the higher education institutions was of much higher quality than that led by private companies, charities, local authorities or schools. That was where we found the biggest difference, and it was often particularly to do in, for example, the area of secondary subjects and the amount of subjectspecific feedback that they could have, because they did not have a community of practitioners in that subject to act as a peer network of support or specialists to help them develop.
Q552 Ian Mearns: It sounds like the answer to the question, in that case, is a qualified yes.
Chair: The Government is misguided to have this blind overall desire to see more schoolbased training.
Jean Humphrys: Ofsted’s role is to see, to evaluate and then to comment. We will continue to do that.
Q553 Ian Mearns: Ofsted must have a view, because one of the things that you talked about in answer to the question was the range of resources that are available to higher education institutions. Now, if all of the teacher training in the future starts being farmed out to schoolbased modes of initial teacher training, isn’t there a danger that those quality resources that are currently available in the higher education sector would be diluted because they would not have the resource base with which to support them?
Jean Humphrys: I think that is where the partnership comes in. Although schools may take on more responsibility for trainees, I suspect that they will continue to hold partnerships with higher education institutions. I suspect it will simply be the way that partnership works that changes, rather than a particular change per se.
Q554 Ian Mearns: Who is going to conduct the research into the future of teacher training and into what needs to be done next and what experience we need to draw from other countries, for instance, if it is not going to be higher education institutions?
Jean Humphrys: Schools have got access to a reasonable amount of information now. Most people can get that from the internet. I think individuals can get that from the internet. If they are determined to make teacher training work, then they will need to do that. We need to find mechanisms to do that.
Q555 Ian Mearns: As a nation, we are going to rely on the internet to look at the future of-
Jean Humphrys: No, not necessarily. There are all sorts of ways, as well you know. Schools can link with other schools; they can link with other countries. They can link together across the country, link with higher education and use higher education for the sorts of information they require. They can outsource some of this. They can look at a range of options. I suspect that, as the schoolbased education systems develop, then you will see more and different ways of working. We cannot evaluate that until it happens.
Q556 Ian Mearns: Do you have any additional concerns about the expansion of schoolbased teacher training, including School Direct? Do you agree with the Institute of Education that we should be "training teachers for the system as a whole, not for specific schools"?
Jean Humphrys: It is important to train teachers to teach. Their prime job is to teach children-to teach them specific things. Schools differ enormously, and our experience and our evidence suggests that experiencing more than one school, particularly schools that are different and enable them to experience working with students from different backgrounds and with different abilities, is more likely to prepare trainees well for becoming a good teacher.
Angela Milner: Our only real concern about School Direct at the present time is to ensure that we can capture them, as they grow and develop, to make sure that we look at them to assess the quality. I have regular meetings with colleagues in the DfE and what is currently the TDA to look at how that programme is developing, because we would not want that sector not looked at, in terms of Ofsted inspections, as it develops in the future.
Q557 Ian Mearns: In order to ensure that schools are better involved in HEIled training, do you think it would be better if the funding for ITT was actually channelled through schools themselves?
Angela Milner: Funding is changing markedly in the sector at the present time. The TDA has a responsibility and will continue to have that, in the Teaching Agency, for the allocation of places, but the allocation of funding is not quite going with that in the same way anymore, because of changes in the higher education context.
Q558 Tessa Munt: I want to look at developing teachers and ask you, from your inspection of schools and teacher training, what is the main barrier to retaining teachers?
Jean Humphrys: After the NQT year, there is much less emphasis on continuous professional development. I do not think new teachers get as much support. I do not think they are as clear about the opportunities for development, and I suspect that, in many cases, they sometimes see more attractive careers elsewhere. Also, I think they find that the circumstances in which they are working are not as supportive as they might be.
Angela Milner: Where national data would show that there is a dip is at the end of the second and into the third year of teaching. That is where there is a retention issue, and that goes beyond the standard period of induction at the present time. We do not currently look, in terms of Ofsted inspections specifically, at what is going on in that area.
Q559 Alex Cunningham: Just on the comment about teachers not getting the support that they might have expected, where is the problem? Is that in schools? Is it governors? Is it the public at large? Is it the world that does not value teachers? Where is the problem? Why are they disillusioned and deciding to get out?
Jean Humphrys: It does vary enormously. Sometimes people who go into teaching want to do so for a short period of time, so have no intention of staying much beyond two to three years. Anecdotally, and I guess from our limited discussions with young teachers during our inspections, many of them will say that it is because of the school in which they work and the lack of support that they get. This again comes down to strong leadership and management, and a good strong focus on professional development. We have heard young teachers say, for example, that they do not have opportunities to develop their subject; they do not necessarily have opportunities to develop their pedagogy; there is a much stronger emphasis on perhaps some of the day-to-day routines and systems of the school than on learning and teaching.
Q560 Alex Cunningham: Do you have an idea of how big that is, how many teachers it actually affects?
Jean Humphrys: At this stage, it would be very difficult for us to say that. We can only give you evidence from our inspection generally about the quality of leadership and management, and also the way in which teaching and learning develop across the country. We know, from our recent inspections, that we do have concerns that around 40% of our schools are no better than satisfactory. That is a term again that we are planning to remove, if we can, because we do not think that satisfactory education is good enough.
Q561 Chair: How wasteful is this? On an international comparison basis, are we peculiarly wasteful in the number of people we train who then leave the profession after two or three years because they are not getting the support they need? Can we quantify how much this is costing us?
Jean Humphrys: I do not know the answer to that but, in terms of other professions, it may not be dissimilar.
Q562 Tessa Munt: It is not a particular problem.
Jean Humphrys: From the information that I have, it may not be dissimilar.
Q563 Tessa Munt: From what you are saying about the lack of support stopping retention, are we just sort of plucking away at things? If we say "career progression", "continuous professional development" and that sort of thing, is that just the fluff that might hold some people, but actually we need to get something much more fundamental?
Jean Humphrys: I think those things are extremely important to the quality of education that children receive. I suspect that, if those things were in place and they were working effectively, then we would have a stronger commitment from teachers at that stage in their career.
Q564 Tessa Munt: So your thoughts are CPD.
Jean Humphrys: CPD and really good, strong performance management.
Q565 Tessa Munt: Can I ask you about one of my passions? It was your Chief Inspector who referred to support for sabbaticals and secondments for teachers. I just wondered how you thought we might build these into the system. I think it is brilliant, but I am not allowed to say that.
Chair: Too late.
Jean Humphrys: I think there are lots of opportunities to do that. It is much more difficult for a small primary school to release teachers on that basis, but certainly larger secondary schools could do this relatively easily. If we looked, for example, at developing networks across schools, then it might be more possible. We might, for example, identify outstanding teachers across a range of schools in a local area, teachers who perhaps needed stronger professional development, and broker some arrangement so that they could work together, perhaps exchanging working in one another’s school. Actually moving into a different type of school with a different system of leadership and approach to education is probably quite a good sabbatical in many ways. There are also the routes that are fairly traditional, in that teachers might want to take an area of study and look specifically at that in their own school, but without having the classroom responsibilities that they have currently. There are lots of opportunities there.
Q566 Tessa Munt: They could go and be Ofsted inspectors, couldn’t they?
Jean Humphrys: They could. They could absolutely come and join Ofsted.
Q567 Tessa Munt: Then we would never be in the situation where we have teachers who are out of the classroom for 20 years. I think we had one example.
Jean Humphrys: We have quite a lot of headteachers who are with us.
Q568 Tessa Munt: Not just headteachers though.
Jean Humphrys: And teachers, yes. I worked on an inspection just a couple of weeks ago, and there was a headteacher there whose school had been outstanding three times in a row. She felt that her work as an Ofsted inspector was absolutely fundamental to her ability to keep her school right at the top of the game.
Q569 Tessa Munt: Looking at the Australian longleave system, which is one for which I am a particular fan, it is just an expectation after eight years. If there was a systemic "that is what you do"-if you become a teacher, in whatever field, at whatever age group, you know that, after 8 or 10 years’ service, you are going to get three months off-that would cure the rural primary and middle schools’ problem, wouldn’t it? If there is an expectation that that teacher is going to go away for three months, it also allows people to testrun school management and decide whether they want to go that way or not.
Jean Humphrys: You would have to test it out to see how effective it was. It is not simply a teacher being out of the classroom for three months. It is parents, children and what their views are of that, and how the small village school manages the change, and whether the person who replaces the person out on secondment is as good as the one there.
Q570 Tessa Munt: I will place that in the context of the lack of retention. If it is something that holds teachers in for another few years or whatever, it might be good. Lastly, I want to return to the Teach First side of things and look at the real retention rates for Teach First teachers and what your thoughts are on that. Are the reported rates of retention an accurate reflection, do you think?
Jean Humphrys: We have no reason to think otherwise.
Angela Milner: We found them to be so on the inspection we had last year. They did vary a little from region to region but, as the scheme has developed, there are more people who want to stay longer in the classroom, but there is also evidence that the people who leave actually return to some kind of role in education as well. Long term, it is sustainable, but there were perhaps some initial difficulties in terms of showing that retention, which have now been improved.
Q571 Tessa Munt: Would that justify expansion of Teach First?
Angela Milner: It is difficult to say, because funding goes to one particular programme. It is used in a particular way and we have judged that to be outstanding. We judge other providers, which do not have the same kind of funding levels, to be outstanding against the same criteria.
Q572 Tessa Munt: I just wondered whether any particular routes or providers had particularly strong retention rates, if we move away from Teach First and look at the comparisons.
Angela Milner: The TDA has that data and it publishes it on an annual basis in terms of retention and employability. It varies a lot from year to year, from subject to subject, from age phase to age phase. We take that into account, both during our inspections and also in our risk assessment process, deciding on which inspections are more high priority than others.
Q573 Tessa Munt: When we look at retention rates, should we look at three years after training, five years after training or 10 years after training? What is realistic?
Jean Humphrys: It is very difficult to put a number on it, in that sense, because an outstanding teacher can make such a significant contribution in a very short space of time. Someone who is very unhappy and not teaching well can do a lot of damage in the same period of time, so it is quite difficult to give a hard and fast rule on time.
Q574 Tessa Munt: It is quite interesting, isn’t it? If you qualify as a solicitor, train as a dentist, become a doctor or you are an accountant, that invariably-not exclusively but invariably-is a career of 40 or 50 years.
Jean Humphrys: I suspect you will find the same in education. Some people who are really strong classroom practitioners and do not want to leave the classroom will develop their skills in pedagogy. Those who are perhaps looking more towards management will move into management roles and so forth, but predominantly I am pretty sure that most teachers who start in education will remain in education, in some form or another.
Q575 Chair: We looked at Singapore; we were discussing with the earlier panel clarity over three distinct routes for teachers to be able to pursue. Do we provide enough for our ambition? Regardless of whether you want to go into management, good people are very often competitive. They want to rise up; they want to spread their wings. Do we have enough clarity and steps and options for people who want to stay in the classroom?
Jean Humphrys: I think there are a lot of assumptions about what teachers can and cannot do, and I think clarity would help. It is quite important to set out what steps teachers might need to take to follow different routes, and I am not convinced that they are as clear as they could be.
Q576 Chair: You said you did not think that, comparatively, the early churn in teaching was particularly higher. I am struggling-I do not have the data to hand-but I cannot imagine that many doctors drop out. I cannot imagine that many engineers quit or accountants leave accountancy. Can you tell me if I am wrong? According to the Good Teacher Training Guide 2011, they say that our system is "very wasteful". You guys inspect it. If you cannot tell us some objective idea about whether it is good or not, and our job is to inspect the Government-
Jean Humphrys: We look at retention in courses and those people who-
Chair: Sorry, I should have stopped speaking myself, when the bell came, to help the fine people from Hansard. Carry on.
Jean Humphrys: We focus on retention in courses when we are looking at ITE, and we can give you information around that. That is what we will be saying in terms of our retention: that it does not seem significantly different.
Angela Milner: The national benchmark data we have is, if you like, how many start a course, how many complete the course and get their qualification, and then how many move within a certain period to employment. We would compare that with national norms when we are looking at an individual provider.
Q577 Tessa Munt: Those national norms are not against accountants, doctors and dentists.
Angela Milner: No, they are against other teachers training in the same kind of way.
Q578 Tessa Munt: That is not very helpful, is it?
Angela Milner: That is the information that we have at the present time, which we can draw on.
Q579 Chair: Do we know how we compare internationally? The Government is very fond of international comparisons.
Angela Milner: There are not many systems that actually have initial teacher education inspections going on within them. The most comparable system to our own inspection is in Holland, in terms of initial teacher education. We can look into that and find out.
Chair: Will you write to us? Given the title of our inquiry and the limited public resource there is available, we need to find out whether this is a wasteful system and, if so, how we could make it less wasteful. If you guys who inspect and look over this system do not know, you are not asking the right questions. If you could write to us that would be very helpful. It might inform recommendations we make in our final report. Thank you both very much for coming along and giving evidence to us today.