What evidence of validation do partnerships need to provide in programme submissions?
Evidence of Validation, such as a confirmation notice or official validation letter must form part of the programme submission on 01 December 2017.
What documentation, or references to documentation, need to be included in the submission?
The submission guidance states that no appendices or hyperlinks should be included. However, references to documents, even if this involves some repetition, is acceptable.
Will programme submissions be marked against a scoring system to ensure consistency and quality assurance across all partnerships?
To ensure consistency all programme submissions will be assessed against the Accreditation Criteria and through the Accreditation Process (Written Submission, Partnership Presentation, Partnership Meeting and Partnership Site Visits) with quality assurance a key element. No other nation uses a scoring system but do use common descriptors such as commendation, recommendation and condition, which will be used to develop similar for EWC.
The submission guidance states that programme submissions should not exceed 100 pages. What font and spacing should be used to ensure consistency?
All submissions should be written in Calibri font in size 11, with 1.15 spacing, to ensure fairness and consistency in all programme submissions.
What programmes can be submitted?
The Accreditation Criteria sets the minimum standard for programmes to be accredited by the ITEA Board, it is for the partnership (HEI & Schools) to determine its programmes for validation, accreditation and then provide the evidence to meet the criteria for accreditation via the accreditation process.
How often do EWC require an update on staffing levels in partnerships? Is the 15:1 staffing ratio, as detailed in 4.4.1 of the Welsh Government criteria, advisory or a rigid rule?
The 15:1 ratio is very general in scope based on an understanding of how other university based professional programmes (e.g. in Health) are staffed and aims to provide wide-ranging influence and effect. There are changing staffing structures implied by the new model and we would advise partnerships to ensure that overall, 15:1 is the amount of dedicated resource devoted to their ITE programme as a whole, wherever they are taught. Where some of the resource is passed over to schools then there will need to be explicit counting of it, school based staff should be devoting their time explicitly to ITE work in this respect.
How will impartiality be maintained when reviewing a programme submission?
Previous experiences, politics, geography or other external factors will have no bearing on the review of programme submissions. When reviewing submissions, EWC’s ITE accreditation Board will consider only:
- the Criteria
- the proforma / submission guidance
- partnership/programme presentation/s
- partnership/programme meeting/s
- partnership/programme site visit/s
EWC officers will also consider the variation of Board members, and the avoidance of conflicts of interests when convening accreditation panels.
Which element of each standard should be the focus when constructing a programme; the descriptor or action?
The ITE programme should be aligned with the standards at the level pertaining to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Further advice on the design of programmes has been provided to partnerships by Welsh Government as appendix 3 of the Accreditation Criteria document in September 2017.
Allocation of funded student numbers
What is the timetable for the allocation of student numbers?
EWC will issues a letter to inform all partnerships of the Board’s decision on accreditation. This letter will also include details of the indicative funded student numbers assigned to each programme for 2019-20 by 30 June 2018. These funded numbers will have been identified by the Welsh Government and EWC will confirm funded numbers for a programme for 2019-20, by 01 September 2018.
Accreditation assessments and site visits
What will the accreditation assessment involve?
The whole accreditation assessment will take between 2 and 5 days, depending on the number of programmes submitted by a partnership. The assessment will be made up of private panel meetings, professional dialogue with the partnership, presentations from the partnership (both an overview, and one presentation for each programme), and a site visit.
When will accreditation assessments begin?
All partnerships are asked to prepare for an accreditation assessment and site visits for the end of January 2018. The accreditation assessments and site visits will take place between January and May 2018.
How long will partnerships have to prepare for the accreditation assessment?
Each partnership will be given at least 20 working days’ notice ahead of assessment.
Piloting and marketing programmes
When can partnerships begin marketing programmes?
Accredited programmes can be marketed officially from 01 July 2018. Should partnerships wish to prepare marketing material prior to this date, they can do so, however the material should note that the programme will be
Can partnerships run or pilot programmes before September 2019?
In short, the accreditation arrangements do not allow for programmes to be marketed and delivered before September 2019, as part of the new accreditation process that will be completed by the EWC in June 2018.
Under the Education Workforce Council (Accreditation of Initial Teacher Training) Additional Functions) Order 2017, EWC has a statutory responsibility to:
- accredit programmes of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) delivered by a Higher Education Institution (HEI) and its partners (“the Partnership”);
- monitor compliance of accredited programmes against Welsh Government accreditation criteria;
- withdraw accreditation of programmes if it considers it appropriate to do so.
In doing so, EWC seeks to ensure that programmes of ITE are professionally appropriate, demanding and lead to student teachers meeting the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) standards in Wales.
Any Partnership seeking to run an ITE programme that leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in Wales from September 2019 must first ensure that it has been accredited by EWC, through its Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Accreditation Committee (“the Board”).
The EWC document ‘ Submitting a programme of ITE to EWC for accreditation ’ sets out:
- the procedures and timescales for a Partnership to submit a programme for professional accreditation; and
- the process EWC will follow in deciding whether to accredit a programme or not and how / when Partnerships will be informed of the decision.
It applies to all ITE programmes which will run in Wales from September 2019 and programme submissions must be made to EWC in line with the timetable in section 4. Information is also provided (section 4) about transitional arrangements for existing programmes that commenced before September 2019 but are due to conclude after this date.
Under regulation 7 of the School Teachers’ Qualifications (Wales) Regulations 2012, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) hold the function of accrediting an institution for the provision of courses or programmes of study of initial teacher training. Provision is accredited at institutional / centre level rather than at programme level.
The provision under the 2012 Regulations shall continue to have effect for any programme which commenced in or prior to September 2018.
Is the proposal that student teachers have access to the PLP from the beginning of their undergraduate/PGCE courses?
Yes. The new, enhanced PLP is an online portfolio available exclusively to Education Workforce Council registrants. The Passport is a free tool, funded by Welsh Government, developed to support your personal and professional learning, with the aim of improving your practice and the outcomes for learners. The PLP is not mandatory (except for newly qualified school teachers maintaining their induction profile) and so it can be used in a way that works best for practitioners.
Will student teachers have to pay for registration to EWC in order to access the PLP?
No. Student teachers will only start paying the EWC registration fee when they obtain qualified teacher status (QTS) and want to work as an education practitioner in Wales. For more information about who needs to register with EWC, please click here.
Will all university staff have to be registered with EWC in order to have access to their student teachers’ PLP, so they can monitor their progress against PTS?
No, this will not be required.