Stefanie Sullivan, Director of ITE at The University of Nottingham

We have a well-established, vibrant and dynamic ITE partnership where we work closely together to offer the best possible preparation to our beginning teachers and contribute to the education of young people in the region. 

The strength of our partnership has been exemplified in our response to the pandemic where three principles have underpinned every decision we have made: 

  • ensuring our beginning teachers have a coherent and fit-for-purpose ITE year; 
  • supporting our partnership schools to continue to engage with teacher training; 
  • establishing creative ways of working that enable UoN beginning teachers to be part of the solution as schools respond to the Covid-19 crisis. 

Sticking to these principles, all of our beginning teachers have had two different school placements which have kept as close as possible to usual structures. Our partner schools and their mentors have been phenomenal in offering creative ways of working with our students, and our students have been exemplary in the professional approach they have taken to every hurdle they have faced. This year feels like a true testament to the quality of our provision! 

We have a carefully constructed ITE curriculum based on a framework of interwoven strands of knowledge and phases of development which map out the journey of a beginning teacher and the specialised knowledge they are developing over their ITE year. With a strong focus on subject knowledge for teaching, and beginning teacher identity, our provision enables our beginning teachers to become inquiring professionals who are able to adapt their knowledge to a wide range of contexts. 

Well-established ITE partnerships, that understand their local context and the needs of the schools and young people in their region, are central to developing the next generation of teachers. As we emerge from the pandemic, these partnerships can support creative approaches to our schools and communities beginning their recovery and nurturing young people to move past the deficit rhetoric of ‘lost learning’ and a ‘failed generation’. 

Looking ahead to the future, I would like the Department for Education to give providers space to recover from the pandemic and continue to provide high quality provision without having to navigate any new national changes.