In-depth analysis on the DfE’s QTS consultation

Education Executive reports that the DfE has launched a consultation on Strengthening Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and Improving Career Progression for Teachers. What might this mean for the education sector? The National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT) has responded and here executive director Emma Hollis shares some of their key points.

The objective of the consultation is to support teachers, ensure the right structures are in place at the beginning of a teacher’s career, improve access to high-quality professional development and improve progression opportunities for all teachers throughout their careers.

In the first half of the consultation sets out the DfE’s proposal for a strengthened Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which includes:

  • an extended induction period with QTS awarded at the end;
  • development of a structured early career content framework setting out what all teachers need to know and areas for development;
  • a stronger mentoring provision for new teachers.

In the second of the consultation the DfE has set out how they could support career development for teachers once they’ve gained QTS, which includes:

  • expansion of professional qualifications to include specialisms to promote specialist career pathways;
  • a range of options to help embed a culture of continuing professional development, building on work already underway;
  • a pilot fund for work-related sabbaticals.

Over a series of questions, Emma and the team at NASBTT pose and answer some essential questions on the proposals:

Do you think that QTS should be awarded after a period of sustained professional practice rather than the end of ITT?

No. We strongly believe that QTS should remain where it is, at the end of the ITT year, and that ‘Endorsed QTS’ should be awarded after a period of sustained professional practice.

How else can we improve the quality and quantity of mentoring for all new teachers?

One of the main barriers to effective mentoring is that it is seen as an additional ‘burden’ rather than a natural step in a teacher’s career. Often mentors are pushed into the role by a headteacher seeking to make timetables work rather than being a self-selecting role which is recognised with higher status, financial recompense and increased release time.

In many cases, training and development are not offered and skills are assumed rather than explicitly taught.  Excellent mentoring takes great skill and should be given the recognition that is deserves. It should be, for example, one of the career pathways identified for those who seek to extend their career within the classroom context.

Read moreinformation and Q&As about QTS In-depth analysis on the DfE’s QTS consultation

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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