New entrants into QTS

Buried on the government website is the Annual Report and Accounts of the Teacher Regulation Agency for 2020/21. This is the agency that handles all teacher regulation matters in England, including registering Qualified Teacher Status, maintaining the register of Qualitied Teachers and handling the disciplinary process against teachers where misconduct is an issue. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teaching-regulation-agency-annual-report-and-accounts-2020-to-2021

However, since the term ‘Teacher’ isn’t a reserved occupation term, the Agency can only restrict where individuals may work as a teacher, and not the complete use of the term by anyone. For many years, I have felt that teachers deserve parity with other professionals in the protection of their well-earned rights to be called a teacher. So far, governments haven’t agreed and teacher associations haven’t be seen to put the issue on behalf of their members. I think that is a pity.

The Agency’s Annual Report notes that:

During 2020-21, the TRA received 628 teacher misconduct referrals. The TRA took no further action on 138 referrals received due to them not falling within the TRA’s jurisdiction and/or not meeting the threshold of serious misconduct. The TRA referred 286 cases of alleged serious misconduct to an independent hearing in 2020- 21.

During 2020-21, the Agency held 58 virtual hearings resulting in:  

39 teachers being prohibited from teaching:  

13 hearings where unprofessional conduct was found but did not result in a prohibition  

6 hearings where facts were found but there was no finding of serious misconduct.

 All hearings were postponed between March and August 2020 due to COVID-19, this alongside the many complexities of cases, meant that the median time to conclude teacher misconduct cases referred to an independent panel was 66.29 weeks, against the target of 52 weeks.

This is a commendable achievement in the face of the unprecedented challenge presented by the covid pandemic.

On the registration side of the Agency’s work the notable change during the year resulted from the exit of the European Union of the United Kingdom.

Registrations from different routes are shown in the table

2020/212019/20Change
QTS awards3207431752322
Assessment route11911432-241
Wales1069104326
Scotland/NI46038377
OTT route29403868-928
3773438478-744

No doubt the covid pandemic played some part in the reduction of Overseas Trained teacher registrations that was not fully offset by the small increase in QTS awards.

The reductions for certain countries are shown in this table

2020/212019/202018/19
Spain77611501365-589
Greece292368478-186
Australia152443467-315
USA56047349565
Change over the period-1025

The effect of covid on the labour market for teachers, often noted by this blog, can we seen in the reduction from 467,084 to 325,209 in the number of pre-employment checks by employers using the Agency’s on-line service. This is a reduction of 141,875 checks or around a third on the 2019/2020 figure.  

This is a small Agency with an important function in the smooth running of our school system. If I have one very small nit-pick it is that in a profession dominated by the number of female teachers the front cover of the Annual Report features two men and only one women, albeit with a positive BAME balance.

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