“Our sector’s willingness to work towards our common goals positively does pay off – but we have to get this review right”

NASBTT has today responded to the Department for Education (DfE) Initial Teacher Training (ITT) market review policy paper https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/initial-teacher-training-itt-market-review and announcement on a new Institute of Teaching https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-institute-of-teaching-set-to-be-established

 

Executive Director Emma Hollis said: “We are pleased that the ITT market review expert group plan to work closely with the sector in developing and testing thinking as the ITT review progresses. We have been invited to meet the group later this month and look forward to being part of an open, collaborative discussion. We expect this discussion to include the new Institute of Teaching, which we broadly welcome in terms of its focus on evidence-based approaches in teacher education, as this will further support high-quality ITT. We note that when the Institute is at full capacity it will train around 1,000 ITT trainees annually. Of course, every year 35,000 trainee teachers and their mentors must be trained. In order to achieve this, multiple ITT providers, of all shapes and sizes, are needed. 

 

Since we were formed in 2000, NASBTT – and our staff, Trustees and members – have acquired arguably unrivalled experience in school-based ITT and, as per the review’s aim, we all want to ensure the sector continues to provide consistently high-quality training, in line with the Core Content Framework, Early Career Framework and Ofsted ITE inspection framework, all of which we have been involved in developing and implementing in partnership with the DfE and some members of the review expert group. Ahead of the review’s conclusion, we will represent the views of all our members: SCITTs, School Direct Lead Schools, Teaching Schools and HEIs, and underpin these views with the evidence of the impact of their provision.  

 

Our sector’s willingness to work towards our common goals positively does pay off. It was a result of this trust that we were able to work with the DfE on a number of key policy adaptations during the last academic year and into this. This included the agreement that QTS could be rewarded based on a trainee’s trajectory, the trust given to providers to ascertain who needed retrieval placements, and the additional funding that we helped secure to support those placements. It also included the relaxations to the ITT criteria, something we worked extremely hard on with the Department, as well as the assurances that we were able to secure that trainee teachers could be classed as critical workers, allowing them to work in schools and providing reassurance to placement school headteachers. We are very positive about working in partnership with the review expert group. 

 

Clearly there is a lot at stake with this review, and we have to get this right. As we have previously said, by every objective measure, the ITT sector is performing exceptionally well. Ofsted inspections have 99% of providers rated good or better, so on that metric alone existing provision must be judged to be high quality. Whilst, as with everything, progress is to be welcomed, the ITT market is not fundamentally flawed – evolution, not revolution, is the way forward.”

 

SafeToNet and the Anti Bullying Alliance stand united against bullying

SafeToNet are proud to announce their support for Anti-Bullying Week 2020, which will take place from Monday 16 – Friday 20 November. This year’s themeis United Against Bullying, which urges the nation to come together and play their part inpreventing and responding appropriately to bullying both face to face and online.  

New statistics from the Anti-Bullying Alliance show that a third of children in the UK have been bullied in the last six months, with one in five children on the receiving end of bullying behaviour once per week or more. Heartbreakingly, the number of children reporting they have more than one close friend dropped following the outbreak, going from 91% in 2019 to 86.5% in October 2020. 

As a leading safeguarding company, SafeToNet understand the long-term impact and consequences bullying can have on children and young people and are passionate aboutplaying their part in the fight against these threats. Their mission is simple; to safeguard as many children as possible against online risks such as bullying and to educate them and their parents on becoming safe, responsible digital citizens. By joining forces andchannelling their collective ambitions, efforts, and platforms, SafeToNet and the Anti Bullying Alliance are working to beat bullying together. They believe that everyone – from parents and carers, to teachers and politicians, to children and young people – all have a part to play in coming together to make a real difference.  

The app, which is downloaded onto both the parent and child’s devices, uses an AI-driven smart keyboard to detect and filter risks and harmful content in real time, before any harm is caused. The pioneering technology has been designed specifically to pick up on a user’s psychological wellbeing, recognising signs of doubt, low self-esteem and dark thoughts, and offering support and guidance in the moment. The privacy of the children is paramount; what they are looking at, who they are talking to and what they are typing is never seen or read by the parents or by SafeToNet. 

Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, children have spent more time than ever online this year,doing everything from socialising to schoolwork online with less adult supervision than normal, creating an even greater opportunity for online bullying. In this sense, there is an even greater need for SafeToNet as a real time safeguarding solution to ensure that children have the necessary tools to navigate the digital world safely and feel comfortable havinginformed, constructive conversations with parents or guardians about online behaviour.  

Anti-Bullying Week 2020 includes a number of events and activities in order to raise awareness and highlight the issues surrounding bullying; Odd Socks Day on Monday 16 November asks workplaces and schools to encourage everyone to turn up wearing odd socks to embrace their individuality and celebrate difference, whilst the School Staff Award  

allows pupils to nominate their favourite anti-bullying member of school staff for a prize, to celebrate the adults who are standing up to bullying and making a difference. There will also be a range of online activities with resources and ideas on how parents and schools can get involved and play their part,  

Co-founder of SafeToNet Sharon Pursey says ‘We are honoured to be supporting Anti-Bullying Week again and stand united against bullying; we are all a piece of the puzzle and have our responsibility to ensure children’s safety and wellbeing. As a safeguarding tech company, our vision is to create a world where all children are automatically safe online and are protected from digital threats such as bullying, so by supporting this initiative we hope to raise some awareness and start the conversation about digital safety and wellbeing in schools and households across the UK.”  

Martha Evans, Director of the Anti-Bullying Alliance says ‘It’s clear that bullying remains a significant problem for many children across the country, and we know that these experiences can have a lasting impact well into adulthood. But this year we have witnessed the power that people can have when they unite to tackle a common challenge. If we are serious about reducing bullying, we have to harness that energy and work together. Itsespecially important that the digital world is a safe place for children and young people to enjoy, and we are delighted to team up with SafeToNet again this year, who have been at the forefront in developing software to support families. But whether it is online, in the community or in school, we all have a part to play and its time we came together, friends and family, classmates and colleagues, and unite against bullying.’