A new report says the need for reforming teacher training in Wales is ‘undeniable’ if schools in Wales are to raise standards and deliver a high quality curriculum.
The 'Teaching Tomorrow's Teachers' report was produced by Emeritus Professor John Furlong, who was appointed by the National Assembly of Wales as the Initial Teacher Education and Training Adviser for the country. He conducted the research while he was working at Oxford University’s education department.
In his 40 page report Professor Furlong sets out a series of options for change and nine key findings. These include raising standards for new teachers, strengthening research capacity, establishing a revised accreditation process for Initial Teacher Training providers, setting up a ‘Teacher Education Accreditation Board’ within the Education Workforce Council and revising guidance for school inspectors so they recognise a school’s contribution to Initial Teacher Training.
Professor Furlong also recommends four-year undergraduate primary Initial Teacher Training degrees where half of a student’s time is spent in a university department specialising in their main subject to increase their personal knowledge of subjects. The report also suggests closer monitoring of the effects of the financial incentives designed to attract high quality graduates into the teaching profession; and introduces the idea of a competitive tender process for the funding of Initial Teacher Training Institutions.
Professor John Furlong said: 'In producing this report I have gathered a range of evidence about the current strengths and weaknesses of teacher training in Wales. I have spoken to senior colleagues in Wales’ ITT centres, to regional Consortia, to schools and to all the national bodies with a stake in the current provision.
'It is my view that if the Welsh Government, national agencies, schools and higher education work together on this, we can soon build a teacher education and training of which we can be proud – and one that can deliver on the high aspirations set out by the Welsh Government for its children and young people.'
Education Minister, Huw Lewis said: 'In principle I would disagree with nothing contained in Professor Furlong’s report. We must now move to consider the reform options and implementation methods in greater detail and this is something that will require full engagement with the teacher training sector.'