CPD qualifications to remain free for teachers with extended government funding

The government has announced new funding to ensure ongoing teacher training courses will remain free for the next two academic years

Government-accredited teacher training programmes, known as National Professional Qualifications (NPQs), will remain free for teachers.

The announcement is thanks to a government investment of £184 million, with £22.6 million earmarked to help teachers in small schools.

The announcement came as part of the government’s commitment to up-skill 500,000 teachers by the end of this parliament. It’s hoped this will help ensure every pupil in England has access to excellent teaching, with the aim of levelling up education across the country.

The government also announced that they intend to make improvements to the online training platform for early career teachers.

Smaller schools targeted with fund

As of 20 April, 29,153 teachers have started NPQs since autumn last year, data released on 23 May shows.

The courses are typically delivered via a blended learning model. The majority of the teaching and resources are available online, making the courses more accessible for all teachers throughout the country.

The additional new £22.6 million of funding for smaller schools has been designated to help ensure that where a child lives has no bearing on the quality of teaching they receive. The Targeted Support Fund will give a grant payment of £200 per participant to schools with 1-600 pupils, for every teacher or leader they employ who participates in an NPQ. This could potentially prove most beneficial to primary schools.

The availability of NPQs is also being extended, with two new NPQs set to be introduced in early years leadership, to support school leaders in their work to ensure every child gets the best start in life.

Leading Literacy is a course that has been designed to develop school leaders’ expertise in the teaching of reading and writing. This is a step towards delivering the government’s commitment, as set out in the schools white paper, to improving literacy standards across the country.

This announcement follows the news that the School Led Development Trust (SLDT), a consortium of four leading multi academy trusts, will establish and run the new flagship National Institute of Teaching.

The National Institute of Teaching will deliver high-quality Initial Teacher Training, Early Career Framework, National Professional Qualifications and National Leaders of Education development programmes. It aims to recruit and train teachers in the most disadvantaged areas, and support levelling up by creating more than half of its new jobs in the North West and North East, and recruit 20% of staff from the least socially mobile areas in the country.

Melanie Renowden, founding CEO of the National Institute of Teaching, said: “The National Institute of Teaching is uniquely positioned to create a bridge between evidence and education practice. As a school-led consortium, we are perfectly equipped to translate evidence on best practice into action that can be implemented in schools up and down the country.”

Online training platform for early career teachers to be improved

Separately, having listened to sector feedback, the government is making improvements to the online training platform for early career teachers, intended to reduce the workload for teachers, schools, delivery partners and the appropriate bodies overseeing teacher training.

Alongside this, research is being published on the experiences of early career teachers, mentors, and induction tutors, following the first term of the national rollout of the ECF-based induction programmes for early career teachers.


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