The Costs and Benefits of Different Initial Teacher Training Routes

Caroline Sharp, Matt Walker, Rebecca Allen, Chris Belfield, Ellen Greaves

10 November 2014

Available from the Institute for Fiscal Studies Website

This project, undertaken with the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the London Institute of Education, and funded by a grant from the Nuffield Foundation, provides valuable new evidence on the impact and cost-effectiveness of teachers trained through different routes. The research involved: case-study visits to ten schools; survey responses from 320 secondary ITT coordinators; 662 secondary school heads of departments and 291 primary school head teachers; analysis of school administrative data; and a rigorous value for money analysis.

Key Findings

  • The cost of providing student finance for tuition fee funded training routes is high and variable (between £13,000 and £18,000 per trainee for postgraduate ITT and between £10,000 and £27,000 for undergraduate ITT). A teacher with typical career progression would not pay back the full value of their loan before it is written off.
  • The overall monetary value of all benefits for schools 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.
  • 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.
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