Recruiting and Retaining Teachers: Understanding Why Teachers Teach

By Anne D. Cockburn; Terry Haydn | Go to book overview

Chapter 3

What factors influence the quality of trainees' school experience?

Having trainee teachers in school

Schools vary widely in the extent to which they are involved in the training of new teachers. In discussions with one (very successful) school, which was not until recently part of our ITT partnership, or any other form of ITT, the head explained that the school did not consider that teacher education was its 'core business' and that any financial remuneration would not compensate for the amount of staff time that would have to be diverted away from the education of pupils.

This position is, however, unusual and schools not involved in any form of ITT are now the exception rather than the rule. A study by Allebone et al. (2002) of the participation of schools in ITT in the London region found that 92 per cent of secondary schools were involved in ITT in some way and 67 per cent of primary schools. The introduction of the Graduate Teacher Programme, together with continuing problems in recruiting in some subjects, would suggest that this figure is likely to have increased since 2002.

The recent diversification of routes into teaching means that many schools now run a 'mixed economy' of ITT students, with involvement with PGCE and GTP trainees, and sometimes with school-based training consortia (SCITT schemes) as well. This may be in part due to DfES pressure, with involvement in teacher education now a condition for most forms of distinctive school status and the extra funding associated with such status, or it may be a recognition of the difficulties involved in guaranteeing a consistent supply of high-calibre replacements for staff who are retiring or moving on.

A survey of secondary heads within our own partnership suggested that this was not the primary reason for engaging in ITT activity. The most commonly cited reason for taking trainee teachers was that it was

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