Two new alternative routes into teaching submitted by the Open University Partnership have been accredited by the Education Workforce Council’s (EWC) ITE Accreditation Board following a rigorous accreditation process.
Due to launch in April 2020, the programmes will provide a salaried route for staff currently working in schools and a part-time PGCE route.
Dr Hazel Hagger, Chair of the ITE Accreditation Board said: “By harnessing the power of cutting-edge learning technology, the OU in Wales is able to reach out to every part of Wales with these flexible, national ITE programmes.
“Aspiring teachers, for whom conventional courses are not feasible, will now have the opportunity to embark on a course of teacher preparation.
“These two innovative programmes will make a significant contribution to the Welsh Government's commitment to increased diversity within the teaching profession and to enhanced learning opportunities for all. The introduction of the alternative routes represents another exciting step forward in the education reform journey in Wales.”
In March 2019, Welsh Government appointed The Open University in Wales to develop the programmes.
Education Minister Kirsty Williams said: "A sufficient supply of high quality, well-qualified teachers is required to underpin our national reform journey in Wales.
“I have made a clear commitment to attract and retain more high-quality graduates into teaching as we look to build and encourage an enthusiastic, committed and dedicated teaching profession, representative of the communities which they serve.
“A key way of doing that is to introduce more routes into teaching, widening access to people from other professional backgrounds so that we can continue to raise standards for all pupils and meet the needs of talented potential teachers, whatever their background and circumstances.
“I welcome today's news and would like to congratulate all involved in securing this accreditation.”
Nine programmes were accredited to start in September 2019, and a further two programmes have been accredited to start in September 2020.
Since December 2017, 21 full-time programmes of ITE have been submitted for accreditation. These all underwent a rigorous process which included committees of the ITE Accreditation Board hearing presentations from partnerships, followed by a robust professional dialogue and site visits to partner schools.
A list of all programmes accredited by EWC through its ITE Accreditation Board is available here.