Promoting Quality in Teacher Education

DfE: UCET emails to DfE on Market Review (June 2022)


A list of questions from UCET members on the Market Review accreditation process and answers from the DfE (June 2022).

Email date




Is anyone aware if the response for question 1a that was submitted has to be resubmitted for the same phase and subject area? E.g. if you submitted primary but wanted to resubmit secondary History or vice versa?

DfE preference would be for you to re-submit a response for the same subject or phase you chose in the first round as this will ensure consistency across the application. However, if you would rather switch this second time round, for example, by outlining a secondary subject rather than primary, then DfE will permit this and you will not be disadvantaged.


If resubmitting 1b but not 1a, is it acceptable to resubmit the curriculum map as an additional appendix as the answer to 1b is cross referenced against 1a (which is where the curriculum map was originally included).

If you passed 1a in the first round but are re-submitting an answer to 1b, you are not required to re-submit any information from 1a, such as the trainee curriculum map. More generally, if you decide to reapply in round 2, you only need to resubmit responses that did not meet the quality bar in round 1, as set out in the feedback letter.


Could you consider allowing providers to respond to just those aspects of their original submissions that were thought to need addressing, rather than resubmit the entire question? This would remove the risk that, by remaining within the word count constraints, providers supply additional information at the expense of removing other information, which they are then penalised for not including?

We have considered this, but we prefer the applicant to resubmit a response to the whole question. The response from those who had missed out an element of 1c showed that it was possible to rework a response and still meet the word count. We say this in the How to Apply Guidance 'if you are re-applying you should submit a full response to the question within the word count, addressing all the bullet points within the question rather than just focusing on the areas highlighted in feedback'.


Will resubmissions be looked at by the same individuals, and will the resubmissions be looked at alongside the original submissions?

Where possible, the same DfE and Ofsted officials will assess the re-submission but this might not always be the case. If this is not possible, the assessor looking at the re-submission will certainly be fully aware of how they scored in the first round across all questions. However, we will be making sure, as we did last time, that assessors are assessing to the same standard, so it will neither advantage nor disadvantage a provider if the same person assesses their round 2 application. As a reminder, applicants re-applying should submit a full response to the question within the word count, addressing all the bullet points within the question rather than just focusing on the areas highlighted in feedback.


Will exactly the same criteria be used to judge round 2 applications? Is there any scope for DFE to clarify any of the criteria in the light of round 1 responses?

Yes, the assessment criteria for round 2 will be the same as round 1 (as confirmed in the How to Apply Guidance, published on 23 May). However, we have amended an element of question 1c to make it clearer than the round 1 version.


Were there any criteria in addition to that made public used in the consideration of round 1 submissions and, if so, will these be used in round 2 as well?

No, assessors scored the applications against the published assessment criteria in round 1, and will do the same for round 2.


Did cross-referencing responses to other answers or other material work to provider's advantage or disadvantage?

Questions 1a-1c are linked, and so we expected applicants to reference earlier answers, when responding. However, the most important thing for applicants is answering against the application questions, so this should be the focus for applicants when answering within the word count.


Did the assessors use word-checks to search for key words or phrases (e.g. 'CCF', 'workload' etc)?

No, they assessed each response in full, based on its merits, against the published assessment criteria.


How in round 2 can providers respond to concerns about 'capacity, 'expertise', etc when information about such things were not initially requested?

These terms come from the assessment criteria and applicants can demonstrate them through their answers to the question.


There is a lot of anger and suspicion about the providers who were able to submit more detail for 1c.

Those whom we contacted had omitted to address the ‘exemplification’ element of the question, and we were not able to reach a judgement on the score for that question without it. Those who were not contacted were not disadvantaged. And just to mention that we have changed the wording of the ‘exemplification’ element of q1c, to make it even clearer what we wanted.


A lot of disquiet over the lack of expertise (perceived or otherwise) of the people reviewing the applications

Ofsted assessed questions 1a and 1b and they have expertise in ITT curriculum matters. DfE colleagues assessed questions 1c and 2, and all assessors received thorough training in advance. We also standardised at the start and carried out moderation during and after the assessment process. Ofsted also moderated their scores.


Are you confident that the process will ensure that the very best providers are accredited as opposed to the best bid writers?

The questions reflect the key themes of the Market Review’s Quality Requirements and answering them well will give us confidence that those applicants will be able to deliver ITT in line with the Quality Requirements, as reflected in the 2024/25 ITT Criteria.


The quality of the feedback has been generally called into question as not specific enough and in many cases, unclear and confusing.

The feedback followed a template with introductory and closing sections which reflected the score that the response received, in the context of the assessment criteria. The middle section of the feedback focused on the individual application and was designed to focus on the key reasons for why the response attracted the score it did.


A number of people raised significant concerns that they have worked collaboratively on questions and submitted the same, or near to the same, answers and received different scores.

We have looked into that one specific region and we are satisfied that the individual responses were very different from each other, and merited the different scores that they received as a result. if other specific examples want to be put forward for review, we will look into them. We would also point out that the process is designed to show the applicants’ individual plans for delivery from 2024, so we would not expect to see identical applications being submitted.


Is it possible to give the ‘how and why’ when the ‘what’ is, in itself complicated. This is difficult to do in a small number of words without losing some of the detail that they felt you wanted to see.

The questions did have a number of elements to cover within the word length. While this was challenging, the fact that so many applicants were successful shows that it is possible to provide sufficient detail in the responses and still keep within the word length.