blog-Raising the bar for initial teacher training in Wales

Raising the bar for initial teacher training in Wales

Initial teacher training in Wales is changing.

New approval and accreditation criteria for providers of initial teacher training programmes (ITE) were unveiled by Education Secretary Kirsty Williams AM on 15 March.

This will affect all courses starting in September 2019.

Welsh Government says changes to ITE will build partnerships between schools and universities and increase the role of research.

The accreditation criteria include:

– An increased role for schools.

– A clearer role for universities.

– Structured opportunities to link school and university learning.

– A greater emphasis on research.

Kirsty Williams AM said the new rules are intended to drive up standards and prepare teachers for working with a new curriculum.

“This is about our schools and universities working together, using the best research available, so our teachers have the right skills to deliver our new curriculum for the benefit of all our pupils.”

“I recognise that the teaching profession can only make its proper contribution to raising standards of education in our schools, as set out in Successful Futures, if our ITE offers our future teachers the skills, knowledge and appetite to lead the change required.”

The new curriculum, Successful Futures, is due to roll-out to all schools by September 2021.

A special board of the Education Workforce Council (EWC) will accredit the new ITE programmes.

Broadly, a collaborative relationship between the University provider and the schools where trainees practice is being encouraged.  Universities are expected to provide access to research and knowledge on pedagogy, assessment and curriculum; schools are expected to provide the environment in which theory and practice merge.  Students will be encouraged to be active in research as well as becoming consumers of it.

Over time, it is expected that there will be a relatively small and fixed number of schools that are linked to university training providers, allowing them to grow the expertise and the capacity to support trainees.

The changes are a response to a highly critical report produced in March 2015 that made recommendations for reform.


Author: Robin Hughes

Robin has been a school governor for over ten years and is bilingual, Welsh and English. Before becoming a consultant and working with a number of private and public sector educational organisations, Robin had stakeholder management roles in an examination board and was Wales Secretary for ASCL, a body that represents over 16,000 senior school leaders.

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