Robin Walker MP, Minister of State for School Standards, Department for Education – Written supplementary evidence (FFF0060)

 

Thank you for inviting me to provide evidence to the House of Lords Public Services Committee’s latest inquiry; Designing a public services workforce fit for the future. I was honoured to give evidence to the Committee in my capacity as Minister of State for School Standards, and look forward to reading the report upon publication.

 

I am pleased to provide further evidence, below, as requested on 04 May 2022 by the Committee Clerk

 

The Minister identified (Q84) trends for the primary and secondary school population up to 2030. What work is being done to project trends after that point?

 

It is theoretically possible to produce pupil projections (https://explore- education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/national-pupil-projections) beyond 2030 as the ONS population projections, which are the key drivers, are produced over a much longer time horizon. However, due to the uncertainty over longer term predictions including the future number of births and potential impacts from policy changes, we only publish pupil projections up to 10 years ahead. In our latest publication this was to 2030

 

Lord Bichard asked (Q85) about data on teachers leaving the profession after the first year. Please could you send through the number and % of those leaving the teaching profession after the first; second and fifth year.

 

The most recent published School Workforce Census was taken in November 2020 and published in June 2021. This showed that 85% of teachers who qualified in 2019 were still teaching one year after qualification. This retention rate has gradually declined since 2011. In contrast, retention of teachers who qualified two or more years ago increased in 2020, a change to gradual declines seen in recent years

 

The proportion of qualified teachers still teaching after two years rose from 78.3% in 2019 to 80.5% in 2020, and those still teaching after five years rose from 67.4% to 68.6%.

 

In terms of leavers, the 2020 census showed the following:

              15.5% of newly qualified teachers (3,617 of 23,338 NQTs) left the profession within their first year of teaching – compared to 14.6% (3,488 of 23,872 NQTs) in 2019.

              19.5%% of newly qualified teachers (4,655 of 23,872 NQTs) left the profession within their first two years of teaching – compared to 21.7% (5,155 of 23,754 NQTs) in 2019.

              31.4% left (8,409 of 26,780 NQTs) within their first five years of teaching – compared to 32.6% (8,461 of 25,927 NQTs) in 2019.

 

How are you ensuring teachers are equipped to effectively engage with - or signpost to - other public services?

 

Integrated public services are particularly important for ensuring that children who are vulnerable or disadvantaged get the support that they need. For example, for children with SEND, it is vitally important that health, education and care come together to deliver effective services and support based on individual need.

 

As part of the SEND Review, we have announced our proposal to introduce national standards to improve early intervention, make clearer the support and services everyone should be able to expect, and have funding and accountability systems in place which support this.

 

In the Early Years, integrating the two-year-old progress check and the Healthy Child Programme check enables health and education professionals to work from a more complete picture of the child, ensuring early identification of children’s needs and appropriate intervention and support for children and their families.

 

We have also driven integration in the areas which need it most. In 2017, we established 12 Opportunity Areas (OAs) in some of the most disadvantaged areas of England. The OAs are working to raise educational outcomes and social mobility for children and young people. They bring together local public services and other key local partners, and work to improve schools and to build young people’s knowledge and skills, providing them the best advice and opportunities.

 

Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) is very clear what schools and colleges should do to protect children from harm and abuse including online.

 

Part one is for all staff who work directly with children. This sets out clearly what they need to do if they have concerns about a child.

 

In addition, to support staff KCSIE is clear that all schools should have a Designated Safeguard Lead (DSL). Amongst other things the DSL should always be available to support staff and discuss any safeguarding concerns. We would expect the schools Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) to coordinate and make referrals to children’s social care and the police as appropriate, but guidance is clear that if for any reason the DSL is not available then staff should progress a referral themselves.

 

Schools and colleges, as relevant agencies, work within local safeguarding arrangements – as set out by the statutory safeguarding partners (police, health, and local authority) in a local area. Schools and colleges must have regard to the statutory guidance, alongside having the duties placed on them by government as relevant agencies – and must fulfil those duties to work with the safeguarding partners to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in a local area.

 

Working Together to Safeguard Children is clear that anyone who has concerns about a child’s welfare should make a referral to local authority children’s social care and should do so immediately if there is a concern that the child is suffering significant harm or is likely to do so. Practitioners who make a referral should always follow up their concerns if they are not satisfied with the response. Local authority children’s social care act as the principal point of contact for safeguarding concerns relating to children and are responsible for offering advice and support as well as having a clear process in place for referrals.

 

What steps are you taking to ensure teachers can access meaningful training and development opportunities throughout their careers?

 

Teacher quality is the most important in-school determinant of pupil outcomes. High-quality professional development is important for teachers at all stages of their careers to ensure they receive appropriate support and to enable them constantly to improve their practice.

 

Decisions relating to teachers’ professional development rightly rest with schools, headteachers, and teachers themselves, as they are in the best position to judge their own requirements. But the department recognises that more can be done to improve take up of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in schools and is taking action to ensure teacher quality and therefore pupil outcomes by transforming the training and support it provides for teachers.

 

Our nearly £5bn education recovery funding includes over £400 million to expand teacher and early years staff training opportunities because we know teachers are the single biggest contributor to improvement of pupil outcomes. This includes over £250 million new additional funding to help deliver 500,000 teacher training and development opportunities by 2024, giving all teachers and school leaders access to world-class, evidence-based training and professional development at every stage of their career.

 

And we are delivering the biggest teaching reform in a generation – the Early Career Framework – which provides the solid foundations for a successful career in teaching, backed by over £130 million a year in funding when fully rolled out.

 

The Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Core Content Framework and the Early Career Framework (ECF) will together ensure that new teachers will benefit from at least three years of evidence-based training, across ITT and into their induction.

 

Beyond the first few years of teaching, our priority is to help all teachers and school leaders to continuously develop their expertise throughout their careers so every child in every classroom in every school gets the best start in life.

 

We have launched a new and updated suite of National Professional Qualifications for teachers and school leaders at all levels, from those who want to develop expertise in high-quality teaching practice to those leading multiple schools across trusts. Since autumn 2021, eligible teachers and leaders have been able to access scholarships to undertake fully-funded NPQs.

 

These measures will create a golden thread running from Initial Teacher Training through to school leadership, rooting teacher and leader development in the best available evidence.

 

To support this, from September 2021, a national network of 87 Teaching School Hubs (TSH) commenced delivery. These school-based centres of excellence deliver the ECF, reformed NPQs, ITT, act as an Appropriate Body and offer additional evidence-based CPD.

 

19 May 2022