Promoting Quality in Teacher Education

UCET Easter Newsletter 2024

7 March 2024


Easter Chicks

The second term of the academic year saw some significant policy announcements from DfE in England. These included publication in January of the new Initial Teacher Training and Early Career Framework (ITTECF), which brings together the previous CCF and ECF documents, and which can be found at: There is also a ‘change-log’ to help ITE and ECF providers identify where ITE programmes need to be amended from September 2025 which can be found at: 15643-5.i.-ITTEC_CCF-change-log-(February-24).docx ( While we think it is sensible to bring the two frameworks together, and some of the amendments are welcome, UCET continues to believe that the approach to, and principles underpinning, the new framework are misplaced. Approaches to ITE and early professional development should be developed and agreed by a consensus of relevant professionals from across the education sector, based on principles consistent with the UCET Intellectual Base of Teacher Education (IBTE) report Intellectual Base of Teacher Education report (updated February 2020) | UCET. A copy of the statement issues by UCET on publication of the ITTECF framework can be found at: News: DfE: the new CCF and ECF (January 2024) | UCET.

The new degree level apprenticeship scheme was published on 5 February, alongside details of a funded pilot in secondary mathematics News: DfE: Teacher Degree Apprenticeship and funding pilot (February 2024) | UCETNews: DfE: Teacher Degree Apprenticeship and funding pilot (February 2024) | UCET. UCET is represented on the Task Group, overseeing the development and implementation of the apprenticeship and we will keep members informed of all future developments and issue advice and guidance as required. The UCET apprenticeship group will provide a forum within which issues can be discussed.

DfE has published the outcome of its consultation in teacher education in the FE and skills sector. The documentation, which quotes UCET, can be found at: We welcome the proposal to restrict public funding for pre-service programmes to those either delivered by or in partnerships with HEIs but have reserved judgment on other proposals (e.g. those relating to accreditation). We are also pleased that bursaries for pre-service programmes in STEM (£30,000), English (£15,000) and SEND (£15,000) will continue to be available in 2024/25, although support for student teachers in the FE & Skills sector should of course be on all fours with those on QTS programmes, and that funding should be issued to all eligible student teachers rather than on a first come, first served, basis. UCET members are continuing to work towards the launch of the new Diploma in Teaching (DIT) qualification later this year, and we were pleased to run a workshop in February supported by Howard Pilot from the Education and Training Foundation (whose expertise, support & advice will be missed when he moves to pastures new).

OfSTED inspections of ITE are continuing, and the latest version of the inspection handbook can be found at: Initial teacher education (ITE) inspection framework and handbook - GOV.UK ( OfSTED’s response to the coroner’s report into the tragic death of Ruth Perry has implications for all OfSTED inspections, including those of ITE: UCET stands ready to advise and support ITE providers that are being inspected, and if you receive the OfSTED call and would like any advice please get in touch with us. Minor changes have also been made to the ITE criteria, with details at:

The attention of much of the country is, of course, focussed on the forthcoming General Election and the possibility of a change in the UK government. UCET has, as reported in last term’s bulletin, been in contact with politicians from each of the main parties. We have also published a briefing paper Manifesto Briefing paper (February 2024) | UCET on the role of universities in teacher education, which we will use nationally, and which can also be used (amended as necessary) by UCET members to inform any local or regional discussions they might have with politicians and decision takers.

The UCET CPD forum has established a new sub-group to consider issues relating to Climate Change and teacher education, and we are pleased to report that (following a meeting between JNR and DfE), DfE officers with responsibility for climate change and sustainability will soon be meeting with members of the group.

Equality & diversity has been the key item for discussions at UCET morning symposia, and we plan to continue the practice of identifying common themes each year for all morning symposia, with other (for example practical and regulatory) issues covered in either the afternoon meetings or in separate events. The work of the Equalities Group (a sub-group of the Research & International Forum) has been continuing, and it is pleasing to note that membership has increased to above 70 following the plenary presentation at last year’s UCET conference. Key things covered by the group have included: the ITE student survey, which has received more than 800 responses; the Open University on-line training platform (scheduled for launch in the Spring of 2025) to support people from under-represented groups who might be interested in a career in teaching.; the further roll-out of the anti-racism framework for ITE (; the launch of the anti-racist teacher educator network; and the development of an ITE programme of sanctuary. The group, as well as other UCET forums and committees, will also be considering the implications for ITE of the recent NFER report into ethnic diversity in the teacher workforce (

USCET Cymru has, at the request of the Welsh Government, produced a paper explaining the pressures faced by ITE partnerships in Wales. The paper covers ITE recruitment, school partnerships and funding. It also continues to make USCET’s case about the unsustainable regulator pressures that are faced by ITE partnerships and suggests a number of possible ways forward.

In Northern Ireland, UCETNI has provided the Department of Education with information about the internal quality assurance mechanisms that exist within university education departments to inform the reaccreditation of ITE programmes. A working group, including UCETNI and each of the providers, has been established to take the accreditation issue forward. Also in Northern Ireland, concern has been expressed about the impact on the teacher education infrastructure of the delivery of iQTS programmes in Northern Ireland. JNR has briefed the DOE and the Northern Ireland Higher Education Liaison Group (NIHELG), and iQTS in other parts of the UK has been discussed at the new UCET group on iQTS and IPGCE. Discussions are also taking place in Northern Ireland about the planned re-launch of the Learning Leaders strategy (

The 2024 UCET conference, registration for which will open soon, will take place on 12-13 November at the Queen’s Hotel in Leeds. The theme of the conference, which will be reflected in all keynote sessions, will be: ‘A space in which to celebrate and create inquiry-rich teacher education’. Confirmed keynotes so far include Christine Counsell, Adam Vasco and Jospeh Mintz. We would also welcome volunteers from UCET members to lead workshops and symposia, and these should be sent to: Please note that workshops and symposia should not include any kind of commercial angle (stalls in breakout areas are available for such purposes), and all workshops and symposia should include a brief abstract summarising their content for inclusion in the conference programme.

UCET staff and officers have, as ever, attended a number of meetings on behalf of its members. As well as the regular catch ups we have with DfE and NASBTT, other DfE meetings have covered: international recruitment, and ways to address issues arising from the massive increase in international applications providers have experienced; international relocation payments for student teachers; an event on flexible ITE delivery; and recruitment to shortage secondary subjects. Other meetings have taken place with Ambition Institute, the ICET finance group; and the ETF ITE stakeholder group.

Wishing everyone a happy and relaxing Easter break.


March 2024