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The University of Exeter highly values working in partnership with some 300 schools across the South West (and in London). The relationships are strong and seen as key strengths by Ofsted who praised the collaborative nature of the partnerships. 

More about Partnership.

Coronavirus Covid-19

In these constantly changing and challenging times…..

The information here is accurate at this moment in time but the world of Initial Teacher Education still has some unresolved questions; we will try to update you as and when things change!

Our summer term provision for the current cohort of Trainees:

All of our trainees are continuing to study with us using online training materials, peer teaching, tutorials, framework tasks etc. There is flexible provision which enables our trainees to juggle their caring responsibilities. We are aware that some trainees are volunteering in local schools (and in the case of some school direct trainees, continuing with elements of their placement) but this is not the norm nor do we expect them to do this. Those who are volunteering are the responsibility of the school for the DBS and insurance etc as this is not part of the university course and will not form part of any assessment. This is unlikely to change.

The award of PGCE with QTS: please note: this is a generic summary provided so that schools are aware of what we are doing. It is not intended to be guidance for trainees who have been given much more specific and personalised support and detail.

The PGCE with QTS award is considered in two parts. It is possible to be awarded QTS without the PGCE element if the trainee fails their M level assignments but meets the Teachers’ Standards for QTS*. It is also possible to pass the M level elements of the course (and be awarded a Post Graduate Certificate in Professional Studies in Education; this is not a PGCE but has the equivalent Masters level credits) and fail to meet the Teachers’ Standards for QTS* This is how it always is and so will not change

*Meeting the Teachers’ Standards for QTS

The DfE have directed that any trainee who was judged to be on trajectory at their last assessment point before schools closed, and who has continued to engage with the course in the interim, should be recommended for the award of QTS at the end of the course (late June/early July). QTS isn’t something that the University awards, but the DfE would not refuse to award someone that we had ‘recommended’.

We have used the evidence provided on the FRAP (Formative Reflection on Achievement and Progress) 3 document, to judge whether trainees were ‘on trajectory’ at the point at which placements were disrupted. (For those unfamiliar with the Exeter Model of Initial Teacher Education, FRAP 3 is a formative assessment point which falls just before the end of the spring term. In brief, school based tutors assess trainees progress against the Teachers’ Standards for that point in the course and indicate whether they have met the expectation for that phase, still have some to meet or are a cause for concern.)

Those trainees where the school indicated that they had met all of the expectations for that phase, we consider to be on a trajectory to meet the standards and so will recommend (provided they engage with the summer term course and uphold Part 2 standards inc professional behaviour) for QTS. This is in response to the DfE directive and so is highly unlikely to change.

For those trainees where the school indicated that they still had to meet some aspects of the standards for that phase, we have looked at other evidence (UVT visit records, the specific standards, the impact on pupil learning etc).  For some of these trainees it is possible to set specific tasks for them to address those issues and we anticipate be able to recommend them for QTS with the above proviso and their achievement of these tasks. Others will not be able to address those aspects without further time in school and we consider these trainees to not be on trajectory to meet the standards. This is in response to the DfE directive and so is highly unlikely to change.

Those who are issued with a cause for concern at FRAP 3 we do not consider to be on a trajectory to meet the standards and so will not recommend for QTS. This is in response to the DfE directive and so is highly unlikely to change.

For those NOT on a trajectory to meet the standards, it will be necessary for them to have a further school based work placement. We are awaiting guidance from the DfE about whether it is in their best interests (financially) to continue with the course now and do an additional placement next academic year or to interrupt their studies at this time and return to the course for an additional placement in the future (within two years as possible/appropriate) We are still waiting for DfE guidance on this and so this may change.

If you are appointing NQTs or have already done so:

How each provider has made the decision will vary between providers, but the directive to award QTS to those considered to be on a trajectory to meet the standards will be common across providers. If you have appointed someone or are considering doing so then asking them if they are on a trajectory to meet the Teachers’ Standards for QTS would be both a reasonable and necessary question, although references from us would give you this information. Because we have based our decisions on evidence from placement schools, we are as confident as we can be that, alongside your own rigorous recruitment processes, it will be possible to appoint very good trainees into NQT posts. There is no reason not to appoint someone who is on the trajectory to meet the Teachers’ Standards for QTS by the end of the course. We have a few trainees who will need further time in schools before we are able to recommend them for QTS; if any already have jobs we have advised them to make contact with the school at the earliest possible opportunity.

Will they need additional support as NQTs?

All NQTs will have less classroom experience than usual and there will be a greater gap between that and the start of their NQT year than usual too, so yes we would anticipate that they will need more support than usual. We are expecting the DfE to offer guidance about this and have yet to hear whether we will have a role in that or not. We anticipate that many will need encouragement and practical help as well as further mentoring particularly at the start of the year, but we’re confident that within that supportive environment they will quickly develop any confidence and skills that may be lacking and swiftly reach the standard that you would expect of an NQT.

Our summer term programme is closely focused on preparing trainees for the practical demands of teaching as best as possible, for example, many are designing schemes of work, undertaking assessment standardisation exercises, exploring, creating and critiquing teaching resources, and enhancing their subject and curriculum knowledge. We will also be looking at practical strategies for managing workload and wellbeing in their first years of teaching.

We were expecting a trainee(s) in the summer term, and with them some funding, are we getting any?

In short yes! We recognise the time that goes into preparing for a trainee and the commitment of staff time that has to be planned in the long term rather than at the last minute. We will be writing to our summer term placement schools about the specifics of this soon.

The General Data Protection Regulations came into effect on 25 May 2018 and the ITE Partnership Office has specific Privacy Policies that relate to the data we hold for both our trainees and also the school staff who work with them.

Partnership Office Privacy Policy (Trainees)

Partnership Office Privacy Policy (School Staff)

The University of Exeter is a data controller and the privacy notices explain how the University processes and uses the personal data we collect.

If you have any queries in relation to this please contact the Partnership Office on 013920 724841 or via

ITEC Information