The Teacher Education Advisory Group (TEAG) is a jointly organised group by Universities UK and GuildHE representing the views of higher education providers of initial teacher education. Universities UK represents more than 140 universities across the UK and GuildHE represents more than 60 universities and colleges. Our evidence, because of our remit, concentrates on strategic options around the recruitment and retention of student teachers. Read the full evidence

Universities have a major role to play in the education of teachers. The infrastructure, focus on quality, flexibility and breadth and depth of expertise enable them to increase intakes, offer incentives and provide support to students from a wide range of backgrounds. Universities can deliver Initial Teacher Training at scale and this learning together in groups can facilitate understanding of the various elements of the curriculum and create a robust workforce. Universities also have the ability to continue to support NQTs and experienced teachers which in turn should aid retention of individuals in post. We emphasise the need for the government to look again at the consequences of the reaccreditation process which has the potential to destabilise the teaching profession further.

Teacher recruitment and retention is in crisis. This is not just a one-year issue but has been a consistent concern, particularly for some subject areas, for over a decade. In part this is as a result of successive government policinterventions all claiming to raise the quality of new teachers but which in aggregate have failed to ensure sufficiency, damaged a highly effective higher education ITT infrastructure, thrown away tools for effective management of teacher supply, and treated high quality providers with disdain. If we do not get this right the impact will be worst on the children from the most educationally and economically deprived homes and in the most challenged areas with the weakest schools.

The current approach isn’t working. Constant policy interventions from the DfE that are not evidence-based have resulted in short-termism and confusion. There needs to be a strategicstable and well-designed approach to tackling this issue and it should be led by an expert agency free from political intervention and focus on teacher supply and quality. We would propose the creation of a non-departmental public body similar to the Training and Development Agency for Schools which used to have oversight of this issue.

We also recommend a number of immediate and longer-term solutions, including:

  • Bringing forward the third round of accreditation as part of the Market Review to be completed by the end of 2023.
  • Delay the implementation of the Market Review by one year.
  • Introduce multi-year bursary offers to create greater transparency for ITT students
  • Government funding for placements along similar lines to other courses with professional placements
  • Introduce a comprehensive system of student debt write-off for teachers that stay in the profession for a given period of time.