We want government to recognise the important role universities play in training and educating teachers, and to support them in their provision of teacher education programmes, co-delivered with partner schools, and ensure their continued viability.
Since 2010, successive government reforms to how university initial teacher training programmes are delivered in England have affected both the scale and scope of university provision. In some cases, the rapid pace of reform has meant that the viability of courses has also come into question.
The change in the teacher training delivery model towards a school-led system has helped strengthen many university-school partnerships. However, we are concerned that a rapid pace of change continues to affect universities' ability to plan strategically in this area of their provision. This is compounded by an uncertainty over what the landscape might look like in the future. Such an environment does not work in the interests of schools, applicants, universities or teacher supply.
We want government to keep training provision viable by enabling universities and all other teacher training providers to plan their expected levels of student intake over a three-year period rather than one, by granting minimum guaranteed allocations. Continuing to adopt a short-term approach to recruitment risks making some teacher training provision unsustainable.
Universities are a fundamental partner within the teacher education landscape in England. Their teacher training faculties are staffed predominantly by qualified and experienced teachers, who bring with them significant levels of expertise. The sector has a long-standing record of working with schools to successfully train and deliver tens of thousands of trainee teachers each year.
It is vital that all initial teacher training providers can operate in an environment in which they are confident that their provision is sustainable, in the interests of securing a sufficient, high-quality supply of teachers in the years to come.