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Promoting Quality in Teacher Education

Welsh Government advice for ITE partnerships (updated 30th March 2020)

Summary

Please see the attached PDF and also the safeguarding poster (updated 30.03.2020) Please see the attached advice from the Welsh Government about Covid 19 and its implications for ITE. Please get in touch if you have any questions: info@ucet.ac.uk

COVID-19 Guidance for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) partnerships

Background

The Welsh Government is working closely with the other UK Governments to ensure a consistent, public health-led approach to the Coronavirus situation.

This guidance is based on existing advice, but we will update you if there are changes.

General guidance

General guidance is issued by Welsh Government and Public Health Wales on their respective websites and this is updated regularly to reflect the latest developments. This guidance is available at gov.wales/coronavirus and https://phw.nhs.wales/

The Education Workforce Council have been advised of actions that will need to be undertaken and it is considered that any changes that need to be implemented will not impact on the requirements for accreditation of programmes given the exceptional circumstances that COVID-19 presents.

This guidance sets out the general steps that ITE providers will need to undertake with particular reference to any returning students as appropriate and to the admissions process for 2020/21 cohort. Discussions will continue between Welsh Government and ITE providers on specific issues that are not covered within this document and further guidance will be issued.

Existing PGCE Students

  1. All providers are advised that student placements for ITE will cease with effect from week commencing 16 March.
  1. It is recognised that students will be unable to complete the number of required school placement weeks. This should be taken into account when undertaking the assessment for the suitability for the award of Qualified Teacher Status, and the arrangements are set out below.

Existing Undergraduate Students

  1. All providers are advised that student placements for ITE will cease with effect from week commencing 16 March.
  1. For levels 4 and 5 (typically years 1 and 2) of undergraduate programmes it is recognised that students will have been unable to complete the required level of school based assessment and Welsh Government will work with ITE providers to agree a methodology to address this shortfall in subsequent years of study.
  1. For level 6 students (typically year 3) providers will be able to undertake assessment of a student’s suitability for the award of QTS based on their academic work and teaching experience (placement) undertaken even where these do not reach the 24 weeks threshold.

Qualified Teacher Status

  1. Whilst the Accreditation Criteria include a requirement for school placements to be

 32 weeks for all four year primary undergraduate programmes

 24 weeks for all two and three year undergraduate programmes

 24 weeks for all secondary postgraduate programmes

 24 weeks for all primary postgraduate programmes

Welsh Government recognise that the existing cohort will be unable to meet these placement terms and providers will need to follow the steps set out below.

  1. ITE Providers will be able to undertake assessment of a student’s suitability for the award of QTS based on their achievement in both their academic work and teaching experience (placement) undertaken even where these do not reach the 24 weeks threshold.
  1. Where students are identified as already meeting the required standards or on a clear trajectory to meet the standards then ITE providers have the discretion to award QTS.
  1. ITE providers through the Universities and Schools Council for the Education of Teachers (USCET) will agree a common approach for undertaking this assessment to ensure consistency and fairness.
  1. ITE providers will advise Welsh Government of the numbers of students who currently are assessed as not meeting the requirements set out above. Welsh Government and ITE providers will continue to work together to develop an agreed approach to addressing the requirements of these students.
  1. The assessment of suitability for the award of QTS will be at the provider’s discretion and providers are able to undertake such assessments based on their professional judgement and expertise.

International Students

  1. There are specific requirements for International students and Welsh Government will work with providers to address these issues.
  1. Providers should notify Welsh Government of the numbers affected and the issues that need to be addressed. Further guidance will be issued.

Graduate Teacher Programme(GTP)/Teach First(TF)

  1. There are students who are undertaking the GTP and are unable to complete their training period.
  1. As with PGCE and Undergraduate students providers have the discretion to assess these students suitability for the award of QTS as at the date of their home school closure.
  1. If there are individual cases where this assessment will not lead to the award of QTS providers will notify Welsh Government and further guidance will be issued.
  1. There are students who are undertaking Teach First programmes. Although these are remote from Welsh Government the accrediting body is a Welsh provider. It is therefore expected that for these students the accrediting body applies the same discretionary assessment on the award of QTS as for others. Arrangements for any academic study and award should also be in line with guidance detailed elsewhere in this document.

Provision of QTS certification

  1. As per existing arrangements the Education Workforce Council will continue to issue certificates to those students that have been notified to them as having met the standards required to be awarded QTS.

Academic Qualifications

  1. All providers should continue to deliver all other elements of their ITE programmes through their locally arranged remote channels.
  1. Assessment of the award of academic qualifications will be at the discretion of individual awarding bodies through existing arrangements.

Individual cases

  1. Where individual students contract the virus or are required to self-isolate then providers will need to assess these cases on an individual basis.
  1. Providers should notify Welsh Government of any individual cases where students are unable to complete the programme.
  1. Any student that is unable to complete their academic qualification or achieve QTS within the current academic year will need to be assessed on an individual basis.

Admissions Process

  1. Recruitment to the 2020/21 cohort will continue to ensure continuity of provision.
  1. Welsh Government recognise that the existing process will not be deliverable under the current circumstances and for this cohort a revised process is set out below:

Application assessment – as normal

Individual interview – to be undertaken remotely

Written task – to be undertaken remotely if required. The use of a written task to support interview is at the provider’s discretion.

Group interview – the requirement to undertake a group interview is suspended

Literacy and Numeracy tests and Equivalency tests – it is expected that these would take place later in the summer if the situation at that time allows or be undertaken as early as possible in the year of study in 2020/21. The GCSE requirements set out in the accreditation criteria currently state that these should be met on entry to a programme. In recognition of the exceptional circumstances for admissions to this cohort Welsh Government will waive this entry point requirement if circumstances do not allow for this to be achieved.

  1. Following the above process for admissions ITE providers will have the discretion to offer places on programmes based on interview and written task (if used). Any offers made must include clear guidance to students that fulfilment of current entry requirements remains and failure to do so may lead to students being withdrawn for programmes.
  1. Welsh Government will issue further guidance to clarify the length of time and number of attempts that will be available to achieve these requirements.

Next steps

  1. Welsh Government will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis in line with advice from Public Health Wales.
  1. Further guidance will be issued in line with any changes to advice from the relevant bodies.
  1. Welsh Government will continue to work with ITE providers to develop further guidance where required. Welsh Government wi

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