Following the review of the national standards (see opposite), the secretary of state for education and skills has asked the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) to review the initial teacher training (ITT) requirements.

A set of proposed revised requirements is available on the TDA website (see below) and consultation is open until 14 July.

This consultation is significant for leaders of CPD partly because many of them are involved in ITT and also because the new standards make use of the standards for qualified teacher status (QTS) both as a starting point for a planned set of career steps and as a model for setting out the knowledge, skills and understanding that should be demonstrated at each stage. And, as the TDA points out, all schools are key stakeholders in this review as all schools have an interest in the supply and quality of new teachers entering the profession. The aim is that the new standards will:

  • ensure synergy with revised QTS standards
  • continue to serve as a mechanism for maintaining and improving training provision
  • serve as the basis for Ofsted’s inspection of the quality of ITT.

The purposes of the review are to:

  • ensure that the ITT requirements reflect changes to the proposed QTS standards, and that ITT provision continues to develop to meet the needs of schools
  • simplify and streamline the ITT requirements
  • ensure that requirements are up to date in the context of trainee entry, training and assessment, and partnership and quality assurance
  • acknowledge the current high quality of provision, and to raise quality further throughout all aspects of provision, and for all training routes
  • achieve greater clarity for ITT providers about expectations and regulatory frameworks.

The review does not cover all of the current ITT requirements. However, the consultation provides a box for those who wish to comment on requirements not under review.

Unexploited potentials of new technology

School pupils perform better if they use new technology for their own learning, according to research carried out by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) also funded by the GTCE. The project also suggests that the potential of technology in schools is not yet being fully exploited.

The three-year Developing Pedagogies for E-learning (PELRS) project was carried out by Bridget Somekh, professor of educational research at MMU, and her colleague Dr Matthew Pearson. They worked alongside teacher and pupil researchers in schools across the country to discover how technology could make learning more active and creative by encouraging pupils to take responsibility for their own learning.

Professor Somekh said: ‘The action research project actually transformed the ways in which pupils learn, so that together with teachers they were able to plan how learning would take place. The project changes the traditional ways in which teachers and pupils work together, and makes learning more exciting and challenging for pupils.

‘Schools are investing heavily in new technologies but the potential of this technology to provide high-quality interactive learning for pupils is not yet being fully realised.

Further information about the project can be accessed at: www.pelrs.org.uk

NRT merges with TDA

On 1 April, the National Remodelling Team (NRT) formally merged with the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA). Former NRT director Dame Pat Collarbone will lead the new development directorate as executive director. The development directorate will continue the NRT’s work.

The NRT was formed to help implement the National Workforce Agreement and encourage schools to explore the wider implications of workforce remodelling. It has also become involved in the government’s extended schools agenda.

The TDA and CPD

When the Teacher Training Agency (TTA) became the Training and Development Agency (TDA) for schools last year not everyone working in schools realised that this was an agency that would come to impinge upon all aspects of professional life. In the past the agency was known mostly for initial training and education of teachers plus the partial funding of what is now known as postgraduate professional development (PPD). The extension of the official remit of the TDA to include CPD should, by now, be well known. What is not always realised, however, is that we are now talking about the professional learning of something that is bigger and more complex than the traditional school.

CPD Update recommends that readers keep an eye on the TDA website for new developments. A good place for gaining an overall understanding of the agency is www.tda.gov.uk/about/organisation.

Visit www.tda.gov.uk/remodelling for more information about the merger of the NRT with the TDA.

IPDA Scotland

Scottish members of the International Professional Development Association (IPDA) will link up to try to establish a Scottish branch at a seminar in Edinburgh on 21 June. A number of people are also intending to establish IPDA Ireland on an all island basis. If you are interested please contact [email protected]

The IPDA provides a forum for all those are concerned for the provision of high quality CPD. It is based in the UK but its membership is worldwide.

Go to www.ipda.org.uk for details.

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