ITT School Leads - WE NEED YOU!

By Helen Woodward, @Helen_MaryG

How can we work collectively to find out what we don't know about School Led Initial Teacher Training?

In September 2012, we saw the first few hundred trainees begin on School Direct, a flagship government policy for schools to provide Initial Teacher Training (ITT). School Direct is a response to frustrations expressed by schools about local recruitment, and challenges the profession to lead itself and educate internally.

The following year in Greater Manchester the numbers on School Direct increased by 400%; I remember it well, as professional delivery lead in the North West at the time for the Teaching Agency/DfE. Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Primary and Secondary networks were established, Rebecca Dunne from Prestolee Primary School chaired the primary network. Four years on, Rebecca is taking on chairing role for the now combined network. This year, nearly half of all ITT is school led.

The first School Direct trainees are now in their third year of post qualified teaching, but there’s so much that collectively we still don’t know.

 - Where are they teaching?

 - What reflections do they have about their training year and the extent to which School Direct prepared them to join the profession?

 - What hopes and aspirations do they have for their future careers?

 - What advice would they give to someone else considering school based ITT?

ITT leads in schools around the North West are being invited to join the ITT Research Workshop at the School Led Conference 2017 to begin this new collaborative research project. The purpose of the project is to improve knowledge and understanding of the impact of school led ITT programmes and develop recommendations for programme improvement.

In addition, we anticipate the project will help develop evidence for:

Marketing and recruitment
Ofsted inspections
Teaching School impact evidence for peer reviews

The research process and tools will be shared for schools to use in following up trainees from their school led ITT. Participating schools will also be invited to a seminar where we will collectively review findings, develop themes and recommendations to share at the 2018 conference. 

If you’re interested in joining the ITT research project you can let us know by emailing 

You can also watch for news on twitter @SchoolLed where we will update as more information is available.

We look forward to working with you on the project!

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