Training providers raise concerns over DfE recuitment strategy

Training providers raise concerns over DfE recuitment strategy

Teacher training providers have raised concerns regarding meetings with Government ministers about the standards candidates must reach to gain qualified teacher status.

In previous meetings with Schools Minister Nick Gibb and DfE officials, teacher training providers were questioned over which candidates were rejected and asked to explain the reasons why.

Emma Hollis, head of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers, told the BBC: "We are asked to justify why we are rejecting people. What reasons can you give for rejecting those applicants?"

"There's a pressure on providers to deal with the problem that we are faced with, by accepting a higher proportion of those we interview, even when experience is absolutely telling us that they might not be right.

"Whilst initial teacher training (ITT) providers are acutely aware of the recruitment pressures facing schools, it is right and proper that they must act as gatekeepers to the profession.

"Providers have always looked for potential in applicants to teacher training and have never expected 'oven ready' candidates. However, a lowering of the bar is not the solution to the recruitment crisis and our members maintain a sharp focus on quality when selecting candidates."

Recruitment targets have been missed for six years in a row. In its recently announced teacher recruitment and retention strategy, the Department for Education has pledged to explore potential changes to planning rules if it identifies enough demand for teacher housing projects.

In 2017 the Harris Federation, one of England’s largest trusts, announced that it planned to build up to 100 homes in partnership with a housing association in a bid to stop teachers being priced out of London.

In April last year, Lara Newman, LocatEd’s chief executive, said her organisation was “looking at how we can deliver housing on school sites, including teacher housing where there’s a recruitment problem”.