Promoting Quality in Teacher Education

UCET ITT stage 2 workshop queries & DfE responses (February 2023)


DfE responses to a series of questions UCET members had raised at workshops held in the Spring term 2023. Please see the full attached document.

UCET ITT stage 2 workshops queries February 2023





First of all, the deadline of 28 February for the submission to DfE of information on partnerships needs to be significantly extended, as has been requested by a number of institutions and organisations, and not just those from the HE sector. Discussions and negotiations between, for example, accredited HEIs and non-accredited HEIs who might be interested in becoming lead delivery partners are inevitably complex. There will be a host of legal, financial, governance and accountability issues that will have to involve senior staff (including legal experts) from within both institutions. It will simply not be possible for these decisions to have been completed in the time currently allowed. The quality of the information provided – for example who does what in terms of curriculum design, delivery, mentor training and recruitment – will be much enhanced if more time is allowed. Added to that, some accredited providers will not have had their initial meetings with their DfE advisors until after the deadline has passed, while others will only have had the meetings just before. If the advisors are to be able to support and help steer the process, there will have to be time for them to engage with providers, and for providers to reflect on those discussions, before material is submitted

The 28 February date was the deadline for partnership grant applications. This is only for accredited providers who are partnering with ITT organisations in our list of 11 eligible areas which we've set out in annex A of the guidance here. For these providers, they needed to fill out a application form & provide some evidence of partnership discussions so we can get a signed grant agreement in place with them. This can be as simple as an email from both parties confirming their intent to partner. There is no wider requirement for providers to detail their partnership arrangements for this date. We are encouraging any provider with questions or concerns about the grant and the associated timeline to contact us using the mailbox.


How will the teaching apprenticeship fit into the new arrangements? A number of issues will have to be teased out about how the new apprenticeship could be made to comply with the new Quality Requirements and be delivered in a way that meets DfE and OfSTED expectations in regards consistency across whole partnerships. For example, issues in regards the length of programmes and the time allowed on salaried routes for ‘training’ Will the employing school in effect be a lead delivery partner? What scope will they have to influence how programmes are designed and delivered?

The Quality Requirements, including the minimum time allocations, apply across all courses that lead to QTS. For the PGTA, due consideration will need to be given to the timing of the end of course assessment processes to ensure that the Quality Requirements are delivered in full.

The accredited provider has full and final accountability for all aspects of training design, delivery and quality across the partnership. Accredited providers are therefore responsible for determining the roles and responsibilities of organisations within their partnership through agreement. This includes employing schools, apprenticeship providers, and any other organisations within the partnership.


On the submission of information about the distribution of financial resources across the partnership, we are assuming that it will be sufficient for accredited providers to identify the principles under which funding will be distributed rather than actual amounts? The latter would not be feasible, as the balance of responsibilities between accredited providers and delivery partners could change part way through a year, for example in response to staffing changes, external pressures on one or both of the organisations or, even, global pandemics. How set in stone and detailed will information about the apportionment of responsibilities have to be?

On the submission of information about the distribution of financial resources across the partnership, we are assuming that it will be sufficient for accredited providers to identify the principles under which funding will be distributed rather than actual amounts?

The Department are currently planning to issue two survey data collection requests requiring the disclosure of financial information. Neither of these surveys will ask for specific cost information or specific cost forecasts. If requests are made regarding this information, the survey will specify when average cost or anticipated/forecast cost is required. These requests will be in a ‘best estimate’ capacity to provide an insight into the financial side of the ITT market. The Department welcomes Providers to include principles and/or any assumptions applied in the comment boxes provided within each survey, however, it would not be sufficient to only provide this information.

How set in stone and detailed will information about the apportionment of responsibilities have to be?

The Department is aware of the context of the market and encourages providers to specify in the free-text boxes within the surveys when balances of responsibilities are subject to change, and how this may be the case for their organisation.


To what extent will providers be held to account in the future to the range of materials they submit now, taking account of the fact that programmes will have to evolve in the years ahead to reflect changing contexts and priorities? For undergraduate programmes, some aspects of the new curricula won’t be delivered until 2027, and nothing drafted now will be wholly relevant or appropriate by then.

We understand that providers have been and will continue to develop their trainee curricula since stage 1 and that therefore the curriculum map submitted in stage 1 will not necessarily be identical to the curriculum delivered in the 2024/25. Providers do not need to submit an updated curriculum map to the department, but should let their provider relationship manager (once allocated) know of any significant changes.


ITE curricula are being co-constructed with partnerships that are themselves in a state of flux and are being negotiated. Materials submitted, e.g.. in relation to curricula, partnership structures, ITAP and mentoring, cannot therefore be expected to be in their final form. School-based resources are currently being developed with existing partners (e.g. SD lead schools) who might not be involved in partnerships in the same capacity in the future. What is the scope to change such resources in the light of evolving partnerships?

Answer as in Q9 above


DfE has asked for materials etc. that were not included on approved curriculum maps and are sometimes inconsistent with material submitted in stage 1 and subsequently approved. For example, this might include a request for school-based materials for parts of a programme that are centre-based. What is the reason for this?

Our aim where possible has been to request a mixture of centre-based materials and materials supporting the exploration of the concept or area of the CCF while on the placement. The cases described above are likely to stem from a misinterpretation of the provider’s curriculum map – in cases where a provider is confused about the materials that have been requested, they should contact and ask for clarification. We do not expect providers to make changes to their curriculum based on our request, and if the material(s) we have requested do not exist or are not relevant to How Pupils Learn, we will work with the provider to find a suitable alternative.


When DfE says that material won’t be shared outside the department without the consent of providers, does this include the sharing of information with DfE ‘linked’ organisations such as OfSTED or other government agencies? What does ‘not shared externally’ entail? How wide is the definition of ‘department’?

While materials will not be routinely shared with other government agencies, there may be cases in which we share specific materials with the Education Endowment Foundation for their views. As set out in the ITT provider guidance on stage 2, if materials remain in need of improvement following the curriculum checks, we may recommend that the provider is subject to an early inspection and in this scenario, we may share curriculum materials and the feedback from our reviews with Ofsted.


There appears to be inconsistency in the level of information required from different providers by DfE. Could we agree some joint guidance to DfE associates abo