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Defining our problem statements

In our previous post on the problems with school placements, we outlined four problem areas:

  1. reporting data
  2. mentor availability
  3. school placements market
  4. scalability and standardisation

We translated these four areas into problem statements to give our team and stakeholders clarity and focus.

1. Problems with reporting data

DfE needs a data reporting service to help share data between School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITTs), Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), and the DfE.

We aren’t sharing data, so we don’t have the complete picture of school placement activity and can’t intervene when help is needed.

How might we create a data reporting service so stakeholders can report complete placement data using standardised and easily accessible platforms?

2. Problems with mentor availability

Providers need high-quality mentors for their Initial Teacher Training (ITT) trainees.

They need help finding mentors within their networks, limiting how many trainees they can recruit.

How might we support providers to find enough mentors to maximise trainee capacity?

3. Problems with the school placements market

Providers need efficient and high-quality placements in schools for trainees.

Placement challenges exist because some providers need help filling school placement capacity with suitable trainees, whereas others need help placing trainees because of a lack of school placement capacity.

How might we ensure providers can place all their trainees with appropriate placement schools?

4. Problems with scalability and standardisation

Schools need to navigate the different requirements and ways of working between ITT providers.

The lack of standardisation between ITT providers in ITT curriculum, mentor training curriculum and general processes hinders schools from maintaining partnerships with multiple ITT providers, limiting their access to a broader pool of trainees. It can also impact mentors’ ability to continue mentoring easily after relocation to a new school. This inconsistency also affects schools’ ability to ensure a consistent pool of qualified mentors.

How might we help schools navigate differences in ITT curriculum, mentor training, and foster collaboration between schools and ITT providers to address these issues effectively?