New Teacher Training Inspections to Focus on the ITE Curriculum

Ofsted publishes new framework and handbook bringing ITE inspections in line with the education inspection framework (EIF)

Ofsted is publishing its new initial teacher education (ITE) framework so that future inspections will focus more on the substance of the ITE curriculum and how well trainees are prepared to teach, and less on outcomes data.

The new inspections will help to make sure that ITE partnerships are focusing on the things that have the most impact on a trainee’s education and, ultimately, the children and young people they teach.

The changes bring ITE inspection in line with Ofsted’s education inspection framework’s (EIF) focus on the quality of the curriculum. The new framework is tailored to the different phases of trainee education, including early years, primary, secondary and further education.

The public consultation, Ofsted’s research fieldwork and feedback from more than 30 pilot inspections undertaken this academic year have informed amendments to the final framework and handbook.

Ofsted received more than 300 responses to its public consultation from a wide range of respondents, including trainees and newly qualified teachers, ITE partnerships, headteachers and other employers. The vast majority supported the five key proposals, and many shared their thoughts on the proposed new handbook.

Two new key judgements for ‘quality of education and training’ and ‘leadership and management’ will focus on the ITE curriculum and help inspectors get to the heart of the quality of trainee teachers’ education. These replace the previous judgements of ‘outcomes for trainees’ and ‘quality of training across the partnership’.

Other changes include:

  • applying a new methodology for gathering inspection evidence

  • a single visit, four-day inspection, announced three days in advance, rather than the previous two stage process

  • an educationally focused telephone conversation with partnership leaders prior to the inspection

  • spring and summer term inspections only

The new framework will take effect from September 2020, but the handbook document has been published early so that ITE partnerships have time to familiarise themselves with it. The intention is to begin the new cycle of inspections from January 2021 but given the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on the education sector, this will be kept under regular review.

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector said:

I’m pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response to our consultation. All trainee teachers should have access to high-quality education and training and our new inspections will help to do just that.
This new framework will make sure we’re looking at the things that matter most to trainee teachers, so that they can start their career on solid foundations. Putting the curriculum front and centre of teacher training is the right thing for new teachers but above all, for children - so they get a broad, rich education that will set them up for life.