The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Lizzie Gait

Improving Initial Teacher Training: recommendations from the Carter review

The Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) was released last month, detailing Sir Andrew Carter’s recommendations for ITT moving forwards. To save you time, we’ve summarised the recommendations for you. We hope you find it useful!

The aim of the Carter review was to:

  • define effective ITT practice
  • assess the extent to which the system currently delivers effective ITT
  • recommend where and how improvements could be made
  • recommend ways to improve choice in the ITT system by raising the transparency of course content and method.

What makes good ITT practice

The most effective programmes:

  • give careful consideration to how trainees’ learning experiences are structured
  • provide trainees access to expert knowledge, as well as opportunities to trial techniques and strategies
  • encourage trainees to observe and analyse their own and other teachers’ teaching with a continuous and increasingly refined focus on pupil learning.

Recommendations – ITT course content

  • An external body – perhaps the College of Teaching – should develop a framework of core content for ITT.
  • Subject knowledge development should play a crucial role in ITT training.
  • ITT providers should rigorously audit, track and systematically improve trainees’ subject knowledge throughout the programme.
  • Evidence-based teaching should be part of a framework for ITT content.
  • Assessment, including the theories of assessment and technical aspects of assessment, should be part of a framework for ITT content.
  • Child and adolescent development should be included within a framework for ITT content.
  • Managing pupil behaviour should be included in a framework for ITT content, with an emphasis on the importance of prioritising practical advice throughout programmes.
  • Planning and differentiation should be treated as a priority in ITT training.
  • Special educational needs and disabilities should be included in a framework for ITT content.
  • ITT programmes should include explicit and ongoing content on the professional role and expectations of teachers.

Recommendations – ITT course delivery

  • Trainees should be introduced to the classroom as early as possible.
  • They should receive built-in opportunities to observe good and outstanding teaching.
  • ITT partnerships should ensure all trainees experience effective mentoring delivered by excellent teachers who are rigorously trained as mentors and are able to explain outstanding practice.
  • All schools should, wherever practically possible, seek out and participate in robust local partnership arrangements to support effective course delivery.

Recommendations – Information about teacher training

  • NCTL’s “Get into Teaching” website should be expanded and developed to signpost information that applicants should consider when making choices about ITT courses.
  • Schools and the government should ensure clear and consistent communication about how to get into teaching, and the available providers to partner with.


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