First study comparing overall costs and benefits of new teacher training routes
10 November 2014
New research led by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and produced in collaboration with the NFER and the London Institute of Education, provides the first estimates of the likely costs and benefits involved in providing teaching training across different routes.
Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the findings suggest there is remarkable variation in the cost to central government across routes and according to the trainee’s degree class, subject, and location of training. Each trainee can cost government as little as £10,000 (some undergraduate ITT courses) or as much as £42,000 (the School Direct unsalaried route for trainees in high priority subjects such as maths and physics).
The overall net cost for each route depends not only on the cost to central government, but also the benefits and costs incurred by schools involved in the training. Looking at the net cost to schools, based on survey responses NFER collected from 291 primary schools and 196 secondary schools, the study found that:
- Schools are more likely to state that benefits outweigh costs for school-based routes than for university-based routes. This gives some support to the government’s emphasis on the benefits of school-based training, although schools’ experiences are far from universally positive.
- The overall monetary value of all benefits for schools we calculate (such as the contribution to teaching and capacity at the school) are largest for Teach First. This suggests that while Teach First may be relatively expensive for schools involved, the perceived benefits are also proportionately larger than for other routes.
- A very important issue for schools is the perceived quality of the trainee teacher with “better” ones giving larger benefits. There were few significant differences in the “quality” of trainees between routes.
- The presence of a trainee teacher in the primary school or secondary school department has no significant impact on pupil attainment, despite this being a concern for schools considering involvement with ITT.
Read more about this project on our dedicated page.