Initial teacher training placement capacity in English schools: Analysis for MillionPlus

Jack Worth

22 July 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 caused unprecedented challenges for society, the economy and also for education systems. The initial teacher training system was affected in a number of ways, including an increase in applications as well as schools reducing their offers of training placements to ITT providers. However, there remains a lack of high quality data on the extent to which schools offer training placements, how many, and what factors explain why schools do and do not engage with the ITT sector.

NFER was commissioned by MillionPlus to conduct an independent analysis of data from a survey of school senior leaders, which was conducted in autumn 2020 with support from the Nuffield Foundation. The analysis provides fresh insight on the questions about placement capacity in the school system.

Key Findings

  • There are significant geographical differences in ITT placement capacity. Primary schools in large cities outside London and small coastal areas offer more placements per school than schools in other areas. Secondary schools in large cities outside London offer more placements per school than schools in other areas, while secondaries in London and those in small coastal and non-coastal areas offer fewer placements per school.
  • Local authority maintained secondary schools have a lower average number of placements compared to secondaries that are single-academy trusts or in multi-academy trusts.
  • Secondary schools with less deprived pupil demographics tend to offer more placements, compared to schools with higher pupil deprivation levels.
  • The most-cited strategies that would support senior leaders’ schools to offer more placements were increased financial support from Government, incentives/ recognition for providing trainee placements and increased support from ITT providers.

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