A new accreditation system to recognise teachers’ ability in the classroom rather than just their completion of a training course is part of a new vision for schools. In a new white paper, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has set out proposals to “transform” England’s schools.
The white paper outlines significant changes to teacher qualifications which will recognise teacher expertise and give teaching the same status as doctors and lawyers.
A new, “more challenging” accreditation will replace qualified teacher status (QTS) and will be awarded when a teacher has demonstrated classroom proficiency, including areas such as behaviour management and subject knowledge. The decision whether to accredit a new teacher will be made by headteachers themselves.
Alongside this are plans to ensure the next generation of school leaders are working where they are needed most. To ensure leaders are not discouraged from working in underperforming areas, the white paper is proposing the introduction of new improvement periods during which schools will not be inspected by Ofsted.
For schools which have been judged as requiring improvement, an improvement period of around 30 months will be applied. Where schools have been taken over by a new sponsor following a period of underperformance, Ofsted will not re-inspect until their third year to give heads the chance to bring about improvement before being inspected again.
Other reforms outlined in the white paper include a commitment to support an independent college of teaching by making available up to £5 million as the college demonstrates its credibility and support within the profession.
A new parent portal will provide information on school performance, guidance on how the school system works and information on specific aspects such as complaints and admissions systems.
The white paper also confirms the government’s plans for all schools to either become academies, or be in the process of converting to academy status, by the end of 2020.