Chemistry: Teachers

Education written question – answered on 8th September 2014.

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Photo of Peter Luff Peter Luff Conservative, Mid Worcestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Education if she will extend the provision of post-ITT Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses for chemistry teachers.

Photo of David Laws David Laws The Minister of State, Cabinet Office, The Minister for Schools

For the past two years, the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) has funded a number of higher education institutions (HEIs) to deliver post ITT subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) training to support schools to address workforce capacity challenges in shortage subjects, traditionally secondary maths, physics, chemistry and modern foreign languages (MFL). The programme has provided subject knowledge training to a level that would be required to achieve qualified teacher status (QTS) to qualified teachers who did not train in their SKE subject.

The Department for Education’s vision is to work with schools to develop an education system in which teacher and leadership training, continuous professional development (CPD) and school-to-school support are delivered locally by partnerships led by the best head teachers. We are encouraging schools to find local solutions to their particular challenges and supporting teaching school alliances (TSAs) and system leaders to deliver innovative solutions to drive up standards. In line with this vision, NCTL are no longer funding HEIs in 2014-15 and instead are running a test and learn project with 45 teaching school alliances. TSAs will be responsible for designing and delivering post ITT SKE provision, focusing on secondary maths, physics, chemistry, computing, MFL and primary maths to meet their local/regional need. How they deliver the project and the subject they choose to focus on is entirely their decision and we expect to see a diverse range of approaches building on existing partnerships. This is not intended as a direct replacement for HEI delivered post ITT SKE programmes, and the opportunity remains for teachers and schools to purchase courses from HEIs to meet their professional development needs.

The National Science Learning Centre and five regional Science Learning Centre Consortia offer high quality science CPD for teachers and technicians working with pupils aged 5 to 19. Teachers are encouraged to consider the opportunities offered by the Regional Science Learning Centres, who also provide professional development bursaries (Impact Awards) that are funded by the Department for Education.

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