DFE Circular 9/92 (1992)
This circular set out new criteria and procedures in England and Wales for the accreditation of courses of initial teacher training.
Note: only the circular itself had page numbers. I have shown the page breaks in the Annexes, but these pages were not numbered. I have used bullet points instead of the hyphens in the original.
Circular 9/92 was prepared for the web by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 5 October 2017.
Circular 9/92 (1992)
Initial Teacher Training (Secondary Phase)
Department for Education/Wesh Office
INITIAL TEACHER TRAINING (SECONDARY PHASE)
1. This Circular introduces new criteria and procedures in England and Wales for the accreditation of courses of initial teacher training (ITT). The new procedures will apply to training for both primary and secondary phase teachers. The new criteria will apply to training for secondary phase teachers only. Accordingly this Circular replaces DES Circular 24/89 and Welsh Office Circular 59/89 except in relation to the criteria for the approval of primary phase courses, which are currently under review and for which new criteria will be introduced later, following consultation. A parallel Circular will be issued in Northern Ireland to replace DENI Circular 89/40 following a review of teacher training in Northern Ireland which will be completed later this year.
2. The criteria and procedures reflect the Government's proposals for reform in the consultation document issued on 28 January. They take account of the responses to the consultation document and the advice of the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (CATE). They follow three main principles:
i. schools should play a much larger part in ITT as full partners of higher education institutions (HEIs);
The Purpose of Accreditation
3. In order to teach in a maintained school, teachers are normally required to have qualified teacher status (QTS). This is usually obtained by successfully completing a course of ITT approved by the Secretary of State. The relevant statutory requirements are Section 218 of the Education Reform Act 1988 and the Education (Teachers) Regulations 1989 (SI 1989/1319). The Secretary of State lays down the criteria by which he will approve courses and he is advised by CATE on whether courses meet those criteria. The purpose of these arrangements is to ensure that courses are a suitable preparation for teachers, in the context of the Government's policy objectives for schools. The approval of ITT courses is separate from their validation for academic purposes as courses leading to the award of a higher education qualification. Validation is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the Secretary of State's approval.
Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education
4. CATE was established in 1984 and reconstituted in 1990, with wider terms of reference. The Government has decided to move to a system of accrediting HEIs on the basis of five-year development plans submitted to CATE for scrutiny. The terms of reference of the Council have therefore been amended to take account of this and will now be as follows:
6. A detailed description of the new procedure is set out at Annex B. It will entail important changes in CATE's method of working and in the balance of time and effort which it devotes to different aspects of its remit. The Offices of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools for England
and for Wales (OHMCI) will arrange visits to HEIs and their partner schools to complement CATE's scrutiny of development plans. OHMCI will plan inspections in consultation with the Department for Education (DFE) Welsh Office Education Department (WOED), CATE and the HE Funding Councils.
7. Accredited institutions will be entitled to introduce new courses and to make changes to courses without submitting them for scrutiny to CATE, provided that they are within the scope of their development plans as accredited. CATE will need to consider individually proposals for new courses which are outside the scope of an institution's accredited development plan and new courses introduced before an institution's plan has been scrutinised. The Secretary of State will ask OHMCI to monitor courses during the period of the plan. CATE may recommend to the Secretary of State that accreditation should be suspended or withdrawn, where they have evidence that courses no longer conform to the basis on which they were accredited.
8. Further information on the procedure for approving courses during the interim stage, before institutional development plans are available, and on the timing of the submission of these plans, will be issued separately by the DFE and WOED in consultation with CATE.
9. The Secretary of Stare is grateful for the contributions made by local committees since 1990, but he has concluded that it should no longer be a requirement that before a course or a development plan is submitted to CATE it shall have been considered and proposed by a local committee. It will be for HEIs to consider whether they wish to continue to utilise in other ways the experience which members of local committees have gained.
10. The new criteria for courses of ITT for secondary education are set out in Annex A to this Circular. They come into force with effect from 1 September 1992. The Government expects all relevant courses to be adapted to meet these criteria as soon as possible, and not later than 1 September 1994. It may be helpful to draw attention to two points:
case for approval will be considered. It is recognised that institutions are developing their own competence-based approaches to the assessment of students.
Partnership with schools
12. The Government expects all secondary and middle schools, sixth form and tertiary colleges in England and Wales, both maintained and independent, to have an opportunity to become partners in initial teacher training if they wish to do so. Schools interested in partnership should approach HEIs. HEIs should make explicit in their development plans and to schools their criteria for the formation of partnerships, which should include the use of indicators as evidence of quality of teaching and learning.
13. Schools will be expected to describe the contributions they are able to make to the training of students and to the planning and management of courses, with particular reference to their track record in the professional development of their existing staff, school facilities, the education of children with special needs, and opportunities for extra-curricular activities. Schools should specify the subjects in which they propose to offer training, and the number of students they are able to accommodate each year. Where HEIs do not accept a school's offer of partnership, they should make clear the reasons for their decision. The Secretary of State reserves the right to withhold approval from an institution's courses of initial teacher training if there were evidence that individual schools had been treated arbitrarily or unreasonably.
14. The Government expects that partner schools and HEIs will exercise a joint responsibility for the planning and management of courses and the selection, training and assessment of students. The balance of responsibilities will vary. Schools will have a leading responsibility for training students to teach their specialist subjects, to assess pupils and to manage classes; and for supervising students and assessing their competence in these respects. HEIs will be responsible for ensuring that courses meet the requirements for academic validation, presenting courses for accreditation, awarding qualifications to successful students, and arranging student placements in more than one school. The guidance which CATE will be issuing will cover in more detail the factors which HEIs and secondary schools should take into account in the formation and development of partnerships.
15. The Government intends that the increased contribution of partner schools to teacher training should be recognised, through transfers of resources from HEIs. The actual net extra costs will vary according to the local situation and existing arrangements. Transfers should therefore be negotiated locally, on the basis of clear statements of the new roles and responsibilities of schools. The Secretary of State does not intend to intervene in the event of disagreements about the financial arrangements between HEIs and individual schools, but the costs to schools and the resources transferred to them will be monitored closely.
16. HEIs currently receive from the Higher Education Funding Councils and from fee income about £3750 on average for each secondary PGCE student in training. An additional £6 million is being made available to HEIs through the Funding Councils, in 1992-93, to meet net extra costs incurred during the transition to the new criteria, including the cost of release time and supply cover for teachers who will have specific responsibilities, both for their own preparation and for time spent training students. Additional resources are also being made available by the Welsh Office to the HEIs in Wales. Provision for later years of the transitional period up to the deadline by which all courses are to be adapted to meet the new criteria will be settled nearer the time.
To: All Local Education
All institutions which provide courses
All Headteachers and Governing Bodies
All Teacher Associations;
Other interested bodies
CRITERIA FOR INITIAL TEACHER TRAINING (SECONDARY PHASE)
1. AIM OF INITIAL TEACHER TRAINING
2. COMPETENCES EXPECTED OF NEWLY QUALIFIED TEACHERS
2.2 Subject Knowledge3. REQUIREMENTS FOR COURSES OF INITIAL TEACHER TRAINING
3.1 General4. OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES OF INSTITUTIONS AND PARTNER SCHOOLS
1. AIM OF INITIAL TEACHER TRAINING
1.1 All newly qualified teachers entering maintained schools should have achieved the levels of knowledge and standards of professional competence necessary to maintain and improve standards in schools.
1.2 The planning and management of training courses should be the shared responsibility of higher education institutions and schools in partnership.
2. COMPETENCES EXPECTED OF NEWLY QUALIFIED TEACHERS
2.1 Higher education institutions, schools and students should focus on the competences of teaching throughout the whole period of initial training. The progressive development of these competences should be monitored regularly during initial training. Their attainment at a level appropriate to newly qualified teachers should be the objective of every student taking a course of initial training.
2.2 Newly qualified teachers should be able to demonstrate:
2.2.1 an understanding of the knowledge, concepts and skills of their specialist subjects and of the place of these subjects in the school curriculum;Subject Application
2.3 Newly qualified teachers should be able to:
2.3.1 produce coherent lesson plans which take account of NCATs and of the school's curriculum policies;
2.3.7 demonstrate ability to select and use appropriate resources, including Information Technology.Class Management
2.4 Newly qualified teachers should be able to:
2.4.1 decide when teaching the whole class, groups, pairs, or individuals is appropriate for particular learning purposes;Assessment and Recording of Pupils' Progress
2.5 Newly qualified teachers should be able to:
2.5.1 identify the current level of attainment of individual pupils using NCATs, statements of attainment and end of key stage statements where applicable;Further Professional Development
2.6 Newly qualified teachers should have acquired in initial training the necessary foundation to develop:
2.6.1 an understanding of the school as an institution and its place within the community;
2.6.4 an awareness of individual differences, including social, psychological, developmental and cultural dimensions;3. REQUIREMENTS FOR COURSES OF INITIAL TEACHER TRAINING
3.1.1 Courses for the secondary phase should cover the age ranges 11-16 or 11-18;Subject Studies and Subject Application to Pupils' Learning
i. Undergraduate Courses
3.2.1 The content of the subject studies in students' courses should be at a level appropriate to higher education:ii. Postgraduate Courses
3.3 Postgraduate courses should focus on the application of students' subject specialisms to the teaching and assessment of pupils.
3.4.1 No degree or other qualification leading to qualified teacher status should be awarded unless the student has demonstrated in the classroom:4. OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES OF INSTITUTIONS AND SCHOOLS
4.1 Institutions and their partner schools should ensure that the roles and responsibilities of all the higher education and school staff concerned with courses of initial teacher training are specified clearly in course plans and should satisfy themselves that:
4.1.1 all such staff are appropriately qualified and prepared before they undertake the training of students;NOTE: All courses falling within 3.4.3 are to meet this criterion by September 1994.
4.2 In the selection of students, institutions and schools should establish procedures to ensure that:
4.2.1 candidates possess personal and intellectual qualities suitable for teaching, and the physical and mental fitness to teach;Student entry requirements
4.3 Institutions and schools should satisfy themselves that:
4.3.1 all entrants are able to communicate clearly and grammatically in spoken and written English, and where appropriate, Welsh;ii. Postgraduate Courses
4.4 In the case of postgraduate courses, higher education institutions and schools should satisfy themselves that:
4.4.1 entrants hold a degree of a United Kingdom university or the CNAA or a recognised equivalent qualification; andiii. Extended Postgraduate Courses
4.5 Certain postgraduate courses are designed to provide students with the equivalent of two years of subject study in a designated shortage subject by incorporating a year of subject study in addition to that in their initial degree. Higher education institutions should ensure that the content of candidates' initial degrees includes at least one year of full-time higher education study relevant to the appropriate subject specialism.
iv. Undergraduate Courses
4.6 In the case of undergraduate courses, higher education institutions should satisfy themselves that, subject to criteria 4.7 and 4.8, entrants:
4.6.1 fulfil the academic requirements for admission to first degree studies; and
4.6.2 hold an A level pass, or equivalent, or have successfully completed a recognised Access course appropriate to their intended main subject specialism or specialisms.v. Shortened Undergraduate Courses
4.7 Shortened undergraduate courses are designed for students with some experience of higher education below the standard of a recognised degree. Institutions should satisfy themselves that entrants have satisfactorily completed at least one year of higher education in the appropriate subject or subjects.
vi. Non-standard entry to full length Undergraduate Courses
4.8.1 Higher education institutions may admit to full length undergraduate courses mature students who lack conventional entry qualifications for first degree studies where they are satisfied as to the intellectual capacity of the student to complete a degree course successfully.
1. The procedure for accreditation of the full range of an HEI's ITT courses will in future be as follows:
2. The development plan should take as its starting point the HEI's existing portfolio of approved courses of initial teacher training, give details of proposed changes and how these will be effected, and - as far as these can be foreseen - indicate plans for new courses over the five year period.
3. HEIs' development plans, which should be consistent with the strategic plans submitted to the HE Funding Councils, will be required to demonstrate:
i. understanding of and commitment to the accreditation criteria;4. The plans should describe the ITT course design and management strategies of the HEIs and their partner schools, and specific arrangements for:
5. The development plan will form the basis on which OHMCI undertakes the work assigned to it by the Secretary of State. OHMCI will consider whether the training is effective in achieving its declared objectives, will assess the quality of students' work and performance in schools and will provide CATE with evidence about whether the structure and content of the courses meet the criteria.
6. CATE will assess whether the courses covered by the HEI's development plan meet the Secretary of State's criteria. If the Council is satisfied with the development plan, the evidence in the report of OHMCI and the institution's response it will recommend to the Secretary of State accreditation of the institution. The award of accreditation would mean that all the institution's courses existing at the time would be approved. Modifications and new courses introduced later within the scope of the development plan would be assumed to meet the criteria and would not require separate approval. At the end of the period the accreditation would be reviewed, taking account of evidence from OHMCI.
7. If there is critical evidence from the OHMCI and CATE is not satisfied with the development plan the Council may either:
i. recommend provisional accreditation, with a stated period of time for accompanying conditions to be met; orIf the second application was unsuccessful CATE would recommend the Secretary of State to withdraw approval from the institution's courses of initial teacher training.
8. Any mid-term course proposals, arising outside development plans from either national or local initiatives, will be considered separately by CATE, following advice from OHMCI.
SECRETARY OF STATE'S DECISION
9. Finally the Secretary of State will consider the recommendation from CATE and either approve or not approve an institution's accreditation and any courses which are outside the scope of the development plan. If approval were to be withdrawn it would be for him to decide when that should take effect.
10. The Secretary of State will ask OHMCI to monitor courses during the period of institutions' development plans and to submit reports to CATE. If it became clear from OHMCI reports and CATE's own visits and correspondence that an institution's courses were not meeting the criteria, as promised in its development plan, CATE could recommend to the Secretary of State that approval should be suspended or withdrawn until such time as the necessary changes were made.