Monday, 20 Oct 2003

MEDIA RELEASE Monday 20 October 2003 Promoting teacher quality in the UK A program of reform in England’s Initial Teacher Training (ITT) led to measurable improvements in the quality of teaching and helped to build a stronger teaching sector according to the chief executive of the Teacher Training Agency, Mr Ralph Tabberer. Mr Tabberer is in Melbourne this week to present a keynote address at Research Conference 2003 hosted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) on the role of the Teacher Training Agency in promoting teacher quality in England. Mr Tabberer will present a case study of the reform of England’s Initial Teacher Training (ITT) program for which the TTA has been responsible since 1994 when it was given its defining powers to fund and allocate places for all initial teacher training in England, according to quality. A framework of ITT reform has since been put in place. ITT providers are formally accredited, clear quality standards and course requirements are set out in regulations that specify standards that all trainees should achieve. In addition, a system has been established for inspecting ITT quality deploying Her Majesty’s Inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education (OfSTED). Mr Tabberer says that measurable improvements followed the reforms. “OfSTED’s inspection records now show that in 2001-2002, 93 per cent of newly qualified secondary teachers were judged to have given satisfactory or better lessons, compared with 95 per cent of experienced teachers. In the same year, 95 per cent of newly qualified primary teachers were judged satisfactory or better compared with 97 per cent of experienced teachers. In 2003, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector described the new teacher cohort as the best ever.” During the same period, TTA presided over a substantial, year-on-year upsurge in teacher recruitment. Mr Tabberer says the evidence from England indicates, that marked improvements are available to all of us concerned with teacher education, teacher quality and teacher numbers. “On the basis of stronger sanctions and incentives, through the 1990s, a better focused and more accountable sector was built. “ITT quality in England has been improved by strengthening the partnership between all sides involved in training, by hard and focused work on everyone’s part and, ultimately, by avoiding setting any one side against the other.” ******** ENDS ******** Further information regarding the Teacher Training Agency can be found at www.tta.gov.uk