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Schools: Teacher Training

Volume 715: debated on Wednesday 9 December 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Morgan of Drefelin on 9 July (WA 172–3), what is the recommended proportion of initial teacher training that is concerned with enabling teachers to select appropriate educational resources; what support is in place to help teachers, especially newly qualified teachers, gain value for money in their selection of educational resources; and whether they take into account teachers' ability to assess what materials most effectively support their teaching. [HL271]

The Government do not prescribe proportions of time to be spent on individual activities within initial teacher training (ITT). The Secretary of State has laid down the qualified teacher status (QTS) standards against which training providers must develop the design and delivery of their courses to enable trainees to demonstrate that they can meet the standards. The Secretary of State's ITT requirements (R2.4) expect that training provision will be designed and delivered to take account of individual training needs. This means that programmes will be adapted and tailored to take account of the skills, experiences and needs of all trainee teachers. The requirements also expect (R2.3) that providers will make available to trainee teachers a range of suitable resources to support them in meeting the QTS standards throughout course provision.

School leadership has a strong focus on helping teachers with value for money considerations in the selection and deployment of resources. This is typically devolved to departmental level in secondary schools, and within curriculum areas in the primary phase where middle leaders are expected to monitor value for money closely. There is a wide range of high quality resource material currently freely available to schools, including through the Teacher Training Resource Bank, Behaviour4learning, Multiverse, the Special Educational Needs portal and the subject resource networks.

Resources are also available through the national strategies, Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA), specialist schools and academies trust, the exam boards and all of the curriculum and subject associations.

In addition, there is a vast range of commercially available print and online materials available to schools. Through their subject training in ITT teachers will be taught how to discriminate and to make effective use of resources to support their teaching.

The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) makes available to trainers and teachers a wide range of resources to support their professional development and their classroom practice through subject resource networks, links with the QCDA and the national strategies. The agency has developed a web-based database of professional development opportunities for the whole children's workforce in schools.

This contains nearly 5,000 development opportunities which are delivered by a range of organisations including schools, universities, subject associations, and private companies.

The TDA also provides online guidance to schools to support the effective impact evaluation of professional development. A review of the guidance is currently underway and the TDA is working closely with interested bodies on that.