Sheffield Hallam's Sheffield Institute of Education (SIoE) has called on the government to address Early Years Teaching Status and emphasised the role of South Yorkshire Futures in proposed reforms.

The statement was made in an official response to the Department for Education's recently concluded consultation on Strengthening Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and Improving Career Progression for Teachers.

The consultation set out the government's initial proposals for a strengthened QTS, including an extended induction period with QTS awarded at the end, development of a structured early career content framework setting out what all teachers need to know and areas for development, and a stronger mentoring provision for new teachers.

The consultation also set out the government's proposals to expand professional qualifications to include specialisms to promote specialist career pathways, embed a culture of continuing professional development, and pilot a fund for work-related sabbaticals.

In an official response to the consultation, SIoE considered the government's proposals and examined ideas for how to support teachers in the early years of their career and facilitate their career progression.

The official response submitted to the Department for Education has drawn on the views of staff across Early Years, Primary and Secondary specialisms, was informed by research on continuing professional development and mentoring, and is based on SIoE's long-standing experience of ITT that encompasses Undergraduate, PGCE, School Direct, Teach First, and SCITT routes into teaching. The partnership works across South Yorkshire, Yorkshire and the Humber, and other locations in England, providing over 850 new teachers for the school system each year.

Dr David Owen, head of department of teacher education at SIoE, led on calls for the government to address Early Years Teaching Status in its proposed reforms.

Dr Owen said: "The government's consultation presents an opportunity to correct the present disparity in teacher status between those with Early Years Teaching Status and those with QTS."

"We have put forward our view on the future of the Chartered College of Teaching and on the vital role of collaborative communities of practice in developing and supporting teachers throughout their careers."

"With proper implementation, this model of a strengthened QTS could have a really positive impact on teaching practice, retention and morale."

"A generation of new teachers coming into the profession on this high quality model of support has the potential to, over time, bring about cultural change so that there is an expectation that schools will organise themselves and operate in this way."

"Teachers will feel they have an entitlement as reflective practitioners to carry on learning even after they become practitioners. Schools will offer a consistent experience to all NQTs, enable teachers to experience other contexts outside the classroom and develop themselves in a number of ways, and be institutions where teachers reflect on and discuss practice."

"At a regional level, we have also emphasised the need to integrate our work through Partnerships for Attainment, part of the South Yorkshire Futures initiative, on recruiting and retaining teachers in South Yorkshire with the government's developing national approach to the profession."

Click here to view Sheffield Institute of Education's full submitted response to the Department for Education.

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