Welsh government sets out ‘radical’ plans to transform teacher training

Proposals follow recommendations in independent report

June 24, 2015

The Welsh government has outlined plans to reform initial teacher education (ITE) in the country.

Huw Lewis, the education minister, said that “radical change” would be needed following the recommendations of a government-commissioned report by John Furlong, emeritus professor in the University of Oxford’s department for education, published in March.

In his report, Professor Furlong set out nine recommendations to improve ITE in Wales, including a revised accreditation process for teacher training providers and four-year ITT degrees where 50 per cent of trainees’ time is spent in a school department specialising in their main subject.

The government’s new approach will include a revision to professional teaching standards and plans to drive up the quality of initial teacher training (ITT) courses by overhauling the teaching qualification and accreditation process.

To carry out the recommendations, Mr Lewis has commissioned an internal reference group to engage with the profession and build revised professional standards. He has also asked Professor Furlong to chair a "task and finish group" to review course accreditation criteria.

Other actions include an independent review of the financial incentives available to ensure that courses attract high calibre candidates, and the possible introduction of a targeted trainee scholarship programme to support teacher recruitment in STEM subjects.

“Professor Furlong in his Teaching Tomorrow’s Teachers report set out a series of options for transforming initial teacher training in Wales,” said Mr Lewis. “The steps I am setting out...will ensure that those recommendations are translated into tangible action on the ground and result in first class newly qualified practitioners of the future.”

Mr Lewis added that he wanted a “world class education system” built on the “enhanced professionalism of practitioners".

“We will need to prepare a new generation of professionals equipped with the qualifications, skills and resilience needed to deliver our reform agenda and build a sustainable self-improving education system fit for the future,” he said. “I see this review as an important piece of the jigsaw in making that happen.”

john.elmes@tesglobal.com

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