Emailing providers to let them know ‘Study sites’ is no longer mandatory

In July 2023, we rolled over courses in Publish teacher training courses (Publish) from the 2022 to 2023 recruitment cycle to the 2023 to 2024 recruitment cycle.

We emailed providers at the time to notify them of any new features. One of the features was a new tab called ‘Study sites’ where providers could add details about where theoretical learning would take place, such as university campuses. The user can then attach a study site to a course, and this will appear in the ‘Training locations’ section on Find. A course needed at least one study site attached to it before it could be published.

We noticed that the number of courses published compared to this time last year was lower. While there are other factors for this, such as changes in relationships following initial teacher training (ITT) reform, we also noticed that many providers had not entered at least one study site.

What we changed

Adding at least one study site is no longer mandatory. It is now optional. We encourage providers to add the information as we know candidates find it useful, but they do not need to add a study site to publish a course.

We emailed providers to let them know about this change and encouraged them to publish their courses as soon as possible. We explained the difference between study sites and school placements and how they should be used.

We also updated the content on the ‘School placements’ and ‘Study sites’ pages to make sure providers knew the difference between the two and to encourage them to add the information.

Emailing providers

We split the providers into three groups to tailor the message as we know that larger organisations find it more difficult to add school placements at this point in the recruitment cycle than smaller ones (see ‘Future considerations’).

Email to higher education institutions (HEIs)

Subject
((provider_name)) has removed your organisation as an accredited body

Dear ((first_name))

The 2023 to 2024 recruitment cycle is fast approaching, and we want to help you make sure your courses are published as soon as possible.

Publishing courses without ‘Study sites’

You can now publish your courses without adding any study sites.

Study sites help candidates understand where their theoretical training will take place (so add them if you can) but it’s no longer a requirement to publish a course.

Sign in to Publish teacher training courses (Publish) to continue publishing your courses.

Publishing courses with one ‘School’ (school placement)

If you’re using ‘Main site’ as your only school placement in the ‘Schools’ section on Publish, that’s fine – you can publish a course with one school only.

We understand that for large organisations working with many schools, adding placement information at this stage can be difficult and we do not want to delay any courses from being published.

If you need help publishing courses, email us at becomingateacher@digital.education.gov.uk.

Why we’re asking for additional training location information

Adding as much location information as possible helps candidates understand the regions providers operate in. It also means relevant courses appear in more location searches on Find postgraduate teacher training courses (Find). Over 80% of course searches on Find are by location.

You can add location information at any point during the recruitment cycle, even after publishing a course.

We spoke to candidates using Find and many could not tell where they would need to travel to for the theoretical part of their course. We found that by splitting locations into two groups, school placements and study sites, candidates had a better understanding of where they might be training.

Study sites

A study site is a campus or other location where the trainee will need to go to complete their theoretical learning. There could be one study site or more, depending on the course.

Candidates cannot choose which study site they will be training at – it’s for information purposes only to help them consider their travel arrangements.

School placements

A school placement, found in the ‘Schools’ section in Publish, is a school that the trainee might be placed in to do classroom experience, for example. We make it clear on Find that candidates cannot choose which school they will be placed in.

^ You do not need to add lead partner information in this section – lead partners can set up their own accounts to publish and manage courses by completing this form: https://forms.office.com/e/ZUpgJKt0Qr

As with study sites, school placement information is for information purposes - it helps candidates to build a picture of the course and see an example of some of the schools they might be placed in. When you add school placements in Publish teacher training courses (Publish), you can then ‘attach’ them to a course.

You do not need to attach every placement, but we recommend adding a selection as:

*the course will be found in more location searches

*candidates can get a general overview of the schools your organisation works with to provide placements

Use the free text box in ‘School placements’ to give more details about how your organisation works with schools.

Please forward this email on to anyone in your organisation who might need this information.

Get help

If you have any questions or need help publishing courses, contact us at becomingateacher@digital.education.gov.uk.

Email to school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) providers

Subject
((provider_name)) has removed your organisation as an accredited body

Dear ((first_name))

The 2023 to 2024 recruitment cycle is fast approaching, and we want to help you make sure your courses are published as soon as possible.

Publishing courses without ‘Study sites’

You can now publish your courses without adding any study sites.

Study sites help candidates understand where their theoretical training will take place (so add them if you can) but it’s no longer a requirement to publish a course.

Sign in to Publish teacher training courses (Publish) to continue publishing your courses.

Publishing courses with one ‘School’ (school placement)

If you’re using ‘Main site’ as your only school placement in the ‘Schools’ section on Publish, that’s fine – you can publish a course with one school only.

We understand that for large organisations working with many schools, adding placement information at this stage can be difficult and we do not want to delay any courses from being published.

However, we recommend that you add as much location information as possible to help candidates understand the regions you operate in. It also means relevant courses appear in more location searches on Find postgraduate teacher training courses (Find). Over 80% of course searches on Find are by location.

Why we’re asking for additional training location information

We spoke to candidates using Find and many could not tell where they would need to travel to for the theoretical part of their course. We found that by splitting locations into two groups, school placements and study sites, candidates had a better understanding of where they might be training.

You can add location information at any point during the recruitment cycle, even after publishing a course.

Study sites

A study site is a campus or other location where the trainee will need to go to complete their theoretical learning. There could be one study site or more, depending on the course.

Candidates cannot choose which study site they will be training at – it’s for information purposes only to help them consider their travel arrangements.

School placements

A school placement, found in the ‘Schools’ section in Publish, is a school that the trainee might be placed in to do classroom experience, for example. We make it clear on Find that candidates cannot choose which school they will be placed in.

^ You do not need to add lead partner information in this section – lead partners can set up their own accounts to publish and manage courses by completing this form: https://forms.office.com/e/ZUpgJKt0Qr

As with study sites, school placement information is for information purposes - it helps candidates to build a picture of the course and see an example of some of the schools they might be placed in. When you add school placements in Publish teacher training courses (Publish), you can then ‘attach’ them to a course.

You do not need to attach every placement, but we recommend adding a selection as:

*the course will be found in more location searches

*candidates can get a general overview of the schools your organisation works with to provide placements

Use the free text box in ‘School placements’ to give more details about how your organisation works with schools.

Please forward this email on to anyone in your organisation who might need this information.

Get help

If you have any questions or need help publishing courses, contact us at becomingateacher@digital.education.gov.uk.

Email to lead schools

Subject
((provider_name)) has removed your organisation as an accredited body

Dear ((first_name))

The 2023 to 2024 recruitment cycle is fast approaching, and we want to help you make sure your courses are published as soon as possible.

Publishing courses without ‘Study sites’

You can now publish your courses without adding any study sites.

Study sites help candidates understand where their theoretical training will take place (so add them if you can) but it’s no longer a requirement to publish a course.

Sign in to Publish teacher training courses (Publish) to continue publishing your courses.

Publishing courses with ‘Schools’ (school placement)

You only need to add at least one school placement to be able to publish a course.

We recommend that you add as many school placements as possible to help candidates understand the regions you operate in. It also means relevant courses appear in more location searches on Find postgraduate teacher training courses (Find). Over 80% of course searches on Find are by location.

Why we’re asking for additional training location information

We spoke to candidates using Find and many could not tell where they would need to travel to for the theoretical part of their course. We found that by splitting locations into two groups, school placements and study sites, candidates had a better understanding of where they might be training.

You can add location information at any point during the recruitment cycle, even after publishing a course.

Study sites

A study site is a campus or other location where the trainee will need to go to complete their theoretical learning. There could be one study site or more, depending on the course.

Candidates cannot choose which study site they will be training at – it’s for information purposes only to help them consider their travel arrangements.

School placements

A school placement, found in the ‘Schools’ section in Publish, is a school that the trainee might be placed in to do classroom experience, for example. We make it clear on Find that candidates cannot choose which school they will be placed in.

As with study sites, school placement information is for information purposes - it helps candidates to build a picture of the course and see an example of some of the schools they might be placed in. When you add school placements in Publish teacher training courses (Publish), you can then ‘attach’ them to a course.

You do not need to attach every placement, but we recommend adding a selection as:

*the course will be found in more location searches

*candidates can get a general overview of the schools your organisation works with to provide placements

Use the free text box in ‘School placements’ to give more details about how your organisation works with schools.

Please forward this email on to anyone in your organisation who might need this information.

Get help

If you have any questions or need help publishing courses, contact us at becomingateacher@digital.education.gov.uk.

Updating the content in Publish

School placements

We added content to the ‘Schools’ page below the green button to make it clear what a school placement is.

The content persists even after a placement has been added so that new users will understand what a school placement is:

A school placement is a school where the candidate might be placed in to do classroom experience, for example. Add placement schools then attach them to any of your courses from the ‘Basic details’ tab on the course page.

Candidates will see a list of the attached placements in the ‘Training locations’ section on the course page on Find to help them get a sense of the areas your organisation operates in.

Study sites

We also added content to the ‘Study sites’ page to define what a study site is. The content persists even after a placement has been added so that new users will understand what a study site is:

A study site, such as a university campus, is where trainees do theoretical training. Add study sites for your organisation and then attach one or more to a course from the ‘Basic details’ tab on the course page.

Candidates will see a list of the attached study sites in the ‘Training locations’ section on the course page on Find.

Future considerations

For a course to be published, at least one ‘School placement’ is required. This was being used differently by providers. Some providers, usually the smaller organisations, know which schools they will be working with to offer school placements early on. They add the list of schools where the candidate might be placed in to do their classroom experience.

However, for larger organisations, such as universities, they do not always know this information until much later in the year. When these organisations were onboarded, we collected an address from them on the Google Form and used it as the first school placement, usually called ‘Main site’. We realised this was often not a placement but could be simply the contact details for the provider. We changed the way we collect the information and made it clear that the address we collect will appear in the ‘Contact this training provider’ section on the course page.

We need to consider how we can improve the way we collect location information, for both ‘Study sites’ and ‘School placements’, and how this affects other services, such as Apply for teacher training (Apply).