Ofsted has published a new initial teacher education (ITE) framework aiming to ensure that future inspections focus more on the substance of the ITE curriculum, and how well trainees are prepared to teach, and less on outcomes data.

The changes will bring ITE inspection in line with Ofsted’s education inspection framework’s (EIF) focus on the quality of the curriculum. The new framework is tailored to the different phases of trainee education, including early years, primary, secondary and further education.

Ofsted received more than 300 responses to its public consultation on this topic from a wide range of respondents, including trainees and newly qualified teachers, ITE partnerships, headteachers and other employers.

The great majority supported the five key proposals, and many shared their thoughts on the proposed new handbook which can now be found at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/894413/Initial_teacher_education_framework_and_handbook.pdf.

This includes the ITE inspection framework, which sets out how Ofsted will inspect ITE partnerships and make judgements about the different phases of ITE training, and a guide for Ofsted inspectors on how to carry out inspections of ITE in England from September 2020.

Two new key judgements for ‘quality of education and training’ and ‘leadership and management’ will focus on the ITE curriculum and, Ofsted said, will help inspectors get to the heart of the quality of trainee teachers’ education.

These replace the previous judgements of ‘outcomes for trainees’ and ‘quality of training across the partnership’.

The new framework will take effect from September 2020, but the handbook document has been published early so that ITE partnerships have time to familiarise themselves with it.

The intention is to begin the new cycle of inspections from January 2021 but given the impact of Covid-19 on the education sector, this will be kept under regular review.

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, said: “This new framework will make sure we’re looking at the things that matter most to trainee teachers, so that they can start their career on solid foundations.”

Other changes in the new publication include:

  • applying a new methodology for gathering inspection evidence;

  • a single visit, four-day inspection, announced three days in advance, rather than the previous two stage process;

  • an educationally focused telephone conversation with partnership leaders prior to the inspection; and

  • Spring and Summer term inspections only.

Last reviewed 25 June 2020