Teachers: Training

Department for Education written question – answered on 17th March 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Eaton Baroness Eaton Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that teacher training includes, as standard, specific training on teaching young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Teachers’ Standards set clear expectations that teachers must understand the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). All trainees who achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) must demonstrate that they can adapt teaching to respond to the needs of all pupils, including those with SEND.

Initial teacher training (ITT) courses must be designed so that teacher trainees can demonstrate that they meet all the Teachers' Standards at the appropriate level, including the requirement in Standard 5, that all teachers must have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils.

To support all teachers to meet these standards, the Department has implemented high quality teacher training reforms which begin with ITT and continues into early career teaching, through to the reformed suite of leadership and specialist national professional qualifications (NPQ), ensuring that teachers have the skills to support all pupils to succeed, including those with SEND.

Since 2020 the Initial Teacher Training Core Content Framework (CCF) has included content on adapting teaching to the strengths and needs of all pupils, and since delivery started from 2021, the Early Career Framework has built on that learning for Early Career Teachers. These reforms support our ambition that all new teachers starting in the profession learn how to meet the needs of all pupils, including those with SEND.

On 2 March 2023, we published the SEND and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan in response to the Green Paper published in March last year. This outlines the department's mission for the SEND and AP system to fulfil children’s potential, build parents’ trust and provide financial sustainability. We are also building a confident expert workforce, training up to 5,000 new early years Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCos). Furthermore, an over 50% increase in high needs funding to over £10 billion by 2023-24, compared to £6.1 billion in 2018-19, will help children and young people with SEND in both special schools and mainstream schools receive the right support.

As part of that plan, the department will be conducting a review of the ITT Core Content Framework and Early Career Framework together this year, which will consider further opportunities to improve how the frameworks support new teachers to meet the needs of pupils with SEND.

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