13 Jan

Initial Teacher Training

There seems little coherence to the training of teachers to work in special schools at a national level.  At the same time, we are seeing an increase in the range and complexity of needs of pupils in our schools.  So are those working in special schools being sufficiently well prepared for the challenges ahead?

There is no real information about training to work in Special Schools on the Get Into Teaching website and no inclusion in the film produced.

Capacity to train in SLD/PMLD is reduced as a result of some providers being unwilling to place primary trainees with secondary age pupils in special schools, despite the curriculum content often being comparable and the placement providing a range of additional opportunities around age appropriate learning, preparation for adulthood etc.

There appears to be no data on the number of Special School teachers required nationally despite DfE publicising an increase of Special School places over coming years.

There is no overall professional development strategy to enable and support the progress of Teaching Assistants to become teachers.

We need to hear your views….

  • Are you able to fill vacancies?
  • Should we market the opportunities of teaching in Special school teaching better?
  • Is there a ‘skills gap’ experienced by those new to special schools?
  • Does the lack of SEN ITT routes devalue the expertise needed to teach in a special school?
  • Is ‘on-the-job training’ the most relevant way forward, or should there be access to a more academic style?
  • Is the appraisal system facilitating the identification and acquisition of SEN professional development post ITT?
  • What strategies could we use to improve retention?
  • Are teaching assistants effectively moving though to qualify as teachers? Do they know what they need to do to develop?
  • Is ITT based in Teaching schools making a difference?

Wouldn’t it be exciting if…..

  • Initial teacher training was part of a coherent framework of professional development so that colleagues working in our school at whatever level have clear ‘next steps’.
  • Access to bursaries/financial incentives to support the targeted recruitment into special schools. There is no bursary available despite the proportionate number of unfilled or temporarily filled positions in Special School being higher than the Mainstream sector.