During the current state of change and controversy it is probably a good time to look at some basics.
ITT will always be a key activity for schools and their partners. High standards have been achieved by many partnerships but OFSTED judgements tend to be narrowly focussed and overlook some of the bigger, related issues. The current system is typically cumbersome, inconsistent, often wasteful and over centralised. It does not deliver a truly personalised experience and it does not consistently deliver high quality, qualified staff to where they are needed most. The role of mentoring has yet to be universally established as a pinnacle of professional practice.
What is needed is a system that allows an interested candidate to access locally, a proper ‘taste of teaching’. Candidates then need to be guided towards and selected for the right training programme by specialist schools, who can also arrange for cluster based training. Local supervision is needed to ensure the best fit for each trainee by selecting from a range of tutor, mentor, on line resources and classroom experiences in contrasting schools. Employment opportunities would be linked to training and the needs of the cluster. The NQT year, with continued support, should be available within the cluster. Schools should not be excluded from engagement with ITT and where additional support is required it should be linked to support for whole school improvement. Clusters should commission on the basis of capacity and need.
Schools should be the main drivers in all of this. It can be done in partnership (and is being done) without diluting the professional and academic foundations or the dynamic and creative tension that springs from the twin concepts of teaching as both an art and a skill.