Newly-qualified teachers in FE colleges could have their lessons observed by Ofsted as part of its inspection of teacher training organisations.

Ofsted has launched a consultation on plans to change the way it inspects teacher training programmes so inspectors also watch former trainees teach near the start of their employment.

Ofsted is consulting on its proposals and we will be contributing a full response into it.”

In its consultation document, the education watchdog explains plans to introduce a two-stage approach to inspections of initial teacher education (ITE) partnerships from May.

Under the proposals, the first inspection would take place in the summer term, and the second would happen “relatively soon” after the end of training and focus on observations on former trainees and newly-qualified teachers.

“We believe that this will allow a sharper focus on trainees’ outcomes and how well they are prepared for teaching and the rigours of the classroom. We would then publish the inspection report,” said an Ofsted spokesperson.

The proposal has been welcomed by the Association of Colleges (AoC) and Institute for Learning (IfL), and both organisations have called for a focus on the importance of training and recruitment.
Joy Mercer, policy director at the AoC, said: “The issue we are keen to encourage Ofsted to look at is the benefit of training on the job.

“We know it has been focusing on the training of teachers in its inspections from September to December last year and we will be encouraging Ofsted to note the important role colleges play in training teachers who have come from strong vocational backgrounds to become dual professionals.

“Ofsted is consulting on its proposals and we will be contributing a full response into it.”

Toni Fazaeli (pictured), IfL chief executive, said: “There has been a finding from inspections so far that often the workplace and subject mentoring for newly-trained teachers is lacking in quantity and quality. Ofsted’s attention may help eradicate this gap.

“It is striking that Ofsted is focusing on newly-qualified teachers being properly prepared for the ‘rigour of the classroom’. Clearly, it is doing so because initial training and qualification and support are so important.”

The consultation runs until May 6, and documents and an online questionnaire can be found on the Ofsted website.

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  1. Radcliffe Downes

    I think this idea can only benefit the teaching profession in the most positive of ways. It would not only look at the individual’s application of theory in a live class situation, but on the institutional support, monitoring and leadership of the educational centre. The whole on-boarding process of a new recruit to any role, no matter what the sector, is one of the most challenging processes for individuals and this would be a warranted and constructive aid for all parties involved.

    My only slight caution is whether this needs to be publicly reported, or whether the result would be used purely for institutions and the individual NQT, at least for an initial period (perhaps a year or two), for the benefits to be assessed.