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Promoting Quality in Teacher Education

Education Policy and Research Service Blog September 2022

3 October 2022

A PDF of the report is also attached below.

I loved the summer – sunshine, annual leave, long evenings. Summer also gives us some breathing space to engage with jobs which have been on the ‘to do’ list since the previous September! One of the summer jobs which I actually quite enjoy, as director of the Education Policy and Research Service, is the
chance to look back over the previous academic year, 2021-22. I also spend time updating the EPRS toolkit, cataloguing new policy and research documents and writing discussion/guidance materials based on them which can be used by ITT providers, ECT mentors, and school colleagues delivering CPD.

The toolkit is a key part of the EPRS service – my hope is that subscribers will use it more over the next academic year. My colleague Jackie produced an end-of-year report which shows, among other things, which
summaries most caught subscribers’ attention in 2021-22. I share this information with you – it may prompt you to revisit these key reports, or, if you are not yet a member of the subscriber community, it may prompt you to have a look at what we offer. As in previous years, the top ten reports were mainly
sourced from Ofsted and the DfE.

Over the years, I have become more adept at predicting which summaries will hold a particular appeal for subscribers, but I will confess to being surprised that the number one slot for 2021-22 went to a report from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NfER) on what teachers do after leaving
the profession. I hope that the interest in this report is not indicative of current teacher morale. So where are most teachers going? The short answer is that they are retiring or leaving employment before retirement age. Those who move to another job are most likely to remain education, taking up roles in wider education and childcare. Pay is not a key factor for those who move, and they in fact tend to earn less than they would had they stayed in teaching.

The top ten this year was dominated by the latest in the series of Ofsted research reports - in history, English and music. These reports look at context, curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment. The EPRS
toolkit now contains guided discussion sheets for these summaries. Another Ofsted report which made it into the top ten is the strategy document for 2022-27. This document promises, among other things, to accelerate the inspection cycle, regulate care leavers’ settings, and introduce a new area SEND
inspection framework.

Special Education Needs remains a main subscriber interest, and I summarised several SEN related reports in 2021-22. Two of these make it into the top ten. The first is the government’s Green Paper, Right Support, Right Place, Right time. This paper acknowledged ongoing shortcomings in the system
and set out proposals for reform which emerged from a recent review. The other report from the DfE, SEN Support: Findings from a Qualitative Study, looks at SEN provision through the eyes of teachers and school leaders, looking at how pupils are identified and supported, and at the challenges that schools

This year the government published its long-awaited Schools White Paper, Opportunity for ALL: Strong Schools with Great Teachers for your Child. An ambitious document which deserves its place in the top School of Education, University of Bristol EPRS 21/22 Education Policy and Research Service Blog
September 2022 ten. It sets out the government’s vision for education including a fully trust-led system with a single regulatory body, interventions to target support to those who most need it, and enhanced support for
schools to develop and deliver their curriculum.

In 2021-22, the wave of reports related to the pandemic continued. One of these made it into the top ten – a report from the NfER, entitled Recovery during a Pandemic: The Ongoing Impact of COVID-19 on
Schools Serving Deprived Communities. It does what it says on the tin, providing insights from 50 leaders of mainstream primary and secondary leaders, most of whom were serving disadvantaged areas.

Jackie’s end-of-term report (mentioned above) includes a summary of subscriber feedback which has greatly encouraged me in what can at times be a solitary endeavour! It also indicates that one-third of subscribers are now opening (and I hope reading) the weekly updates emails. I shall continue to produce the updates and endeavour to increase this figure in the next academic year!

I do hope that this whistlestop tour of the top ten has given you a flavour of the service, particularly if you are not yet a member of the subscriber community! If you wish to dip your toe in the water a little
more, have a look at the free sample summaries which are posted on our website each month. https://edn.bris.ac.uk/eprs/about

Remember you are entitled to a 10% discount on the EPRS and contact us before 15th October 2022, for news of an additional offer. Email us at eprs-admin@bristol.ac.uk

Helen Aberdeen
Director, Education Policy and Research Service, School of Education, University of Bristol
Website: https://edn.bristol.ac.uk/eprs/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BristolUniDocs