Teachers ready to teach students with the ‘toolbox’
An independent report commissioned by the Department for Education says it is ready to give teachers the tools to make the most of their learning experience.
In its new Teaching Skills, Training and Partnership report, the Office for National Statistics said that a key focus is to “provide a high-quality and inclusive training and support system that is open to all teachers, from the beginning of their apprenticeship through to their professional career”.
The report, titled The Teacher Toolbox, will be presented at the annual National Teaching Conference on Wednesday.
It will be available to download at a later date, with a copy being made available on the DfE website.
Teachers will be given access to the following resources:* A curriculum book to prepare the teacher for the classroom environment, including information on teaching the curriculum, teaching skills and career planning* An extensive toolbox for teachers* The teacher toolkit* A list of recommended resources and resources that may be helpful for teachers in their learning journeyThe report also says teachers should be able to take on extra learning opportunities to help them make the transition to the teaching profession.
The report said teachers should not be discouraged from pursuing careers in higher education, as this will help to prepare them for teaching.
But it also recommended that the number of teachers should rise by more than 20 per cent in England and Wales by 2020.
“In the long term, it will help us to meet our ambition of increasing the number, quality and diversity of teachers in our schools,” said Mr O’Neil.
“It will allow us to provide a better quality education, one that will equip all young people to meet their full potential, to lead a fulfilling life and to create a society that is more equitable, inclusive and open to everyone.”
It also said that teachers would be better able to plan their careers by having more flexible hours and flexible work-life balance arrangements, so they are better able at preparing for the challenges they will face in the future.
The National Teaching Council, which represents teachers, welcomed the report, saying it “provides the evidence and guidance to help our national schools and colleges become more innovative, efficient and competitive”.
“The report will be an important part of the National Teachers Conference on Tuesday, and I hope it will be welcomed by all our schools and schools partners,” said Professor Michael O’Dwyer, head of the council.
“We are determined to ensure that our schools are as relevant and as successful as possible, and that teachers are able to provide our children with the most effective and sustainable learning environments.”
The National Council for Educational Research (NCER), which supports teachers in the teaching sector, welcomed recommendations to improve the training and development of new teachers.
“A high level of expertise in the subject area of teaching is needed to train and develop teachers, and to improve their skills,” said NCER director Dr Helen Wilson.
“The training needs for teachers must also be more flexible to ensure they can move up and down the career ladder and find new work.”
Ms Wilson said the report showed there were opportunities for teachers to be “part of a wider development programme that includes the provision of training in business, management, teaching and professional development”.
“This is an important step in improving our education system and ensuring that we remain a world leader in education,” she said.
Teacher training is also expected to be key to a country that has one of the highest levels of inequality in the world.
The number of young people in the workforce has increased by 4.1 per cent since 2010, but the proportion of the population aged under 25 is at its lowest level since the 1960s, with the majority of that group having already left school by the age of 25.
The proportion of children aged under five who are under-represented in the labour market has risen by 11.3 per cent, with most of that growth in the UK.
Teaching is a vital part of that progress.
“For too long we have seen a lack of support and opportunities for young people who are ready to become teachers and for those who are not ready to take up the profession,” said Ms Wilson.
She said it was important that the government recognised the importance of teachers and how they could contribute to improving society and the education system.
“I would like to see our education systems be more inclusive, more inclusive of all people and that the country is a place that welcomes and cherishes teachers and students, as well as the wider community,” she added.
Follow Paul Tomkins on Twitter: @paultomkins12