Online university teacher training courses aim to tackle retention crisis

After Coventry University’s teacher training school gained the government’s prestigious ‘institute’ status, its director hopes its online courses can help turnaround the profession’s recruitment and retention crisis.

Plans for a national institute of teaching were announced in 2021 by then-education secretary Gavin Williamson. It is part of the government’s attempts to increase continual professional development (CPD) for experienced teachers, enhance post-qualification training for newly qualified teachers (NQTs) and offer places to more trainees.

Coventry’s National Institute of Teaching and Education – launched in 2019 as the National School of Education and Teaching (NSET) – gained institute status earlier this year in what its director hopes will boost its aspirations to offer more teachers the chance to train and upskill.

We’re hopeful that our offering can help to encourage more teachers into the profession, and keep them on board for longer by enabling their pathway for progression
– Geraint Jones, NITE

The institute offers flexible, part-time courses to help aspiring teachers kickstart their careers and already-practicing progress into more senior roles.

NITE’s ambition is to relieve the recruitment and retention issues that faces the teaching profession. Latest government figures show a 24% drop in initial teacher training applications ahead of September 2022. Currently, one in six teachers quits after just a year, and a further quarter within three.

Courses include short residential training trips, where NITE students can meet up with fellow aspiring and professional teachers to master their craft and gain practical skills from industry experts.

Some teachers may also be studying with NITE for free through the levy apprenticeship, which enables schools to have fun teacher training.

Geraint Jones, executive director of NITE, said: “We’re thrilled to have been given institute status by the government, which is a real compliment to the quality of our teaching and our courses. Teaching is a vital profession, but it’s undoubtedly facing some huge challenges at the moment, both in terms of recruitment and retention.

“We’re hopeful that our offering can help to encourage more teachers into the profession, and keep them on board for longer by enabling their pathway for progression. The appetite and interest so far has been excellent and we have every confidence that we can continue to offer a truly unique and crucial service to the teaching and education industries. ”


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