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Making Judgements on Trainee Progress

NB. This information relates to Tracking a Trainees' Progress.

Each phase of training has a formal review of trainee progress, which is captured in Phase Review forms. This is an opportunity to celebrate the strengths and detail the areas for development drawing upon all the evidence accrued during the placement experience to date.

The most effective reviews take place with the ITT Mentor consulting and negotiating the judgements of progress with the trainee based on the evidence the trainee provides.

The Professional Mentor’s role is to ensure that the judgements regarding progress for each trainee, is internally moderated and that all trainees within that establishment are treated consistently and that evaluating progress is secure.

What is the purpose of each Phase Review Form?

Phase 1 Review Form asks school tutors to indicate whether the trainee is making expected progress and should continue into Phase 2. It focuses largely on professional expectations and acts as an early warning if there are concerns. For Salaried trainees, Phase 1 review forms will review each of the Teachers' Standards.

Phase 2 and Phase 3 Review Forms require ITT Mentors to review the minimum expectation benchmark descriptor with the trainee for each of the standards in both Part 1 and Part 2 of the QTS Teachers’ Standards at both the interim and final stage and to make comments on:

  • Key strengths and areas for development (linked to each standard);
  • Personal and professional conduct;
  • Subject knowledge development;
  • Progress made against targets set.

The minimum expectation standard descriptors in the LJMU ITT Tracker, and the trainee’s reflective comment for each standard, should provide a stimulus for discussion and decision making regarding the trainee’s progress. The ITT Mentor should use the minimum expectation benchmark for each standard in the LJMU ITT Tracker, to identify strengths and areas for development for each standard. An indication of the overall progress will be captured on the Phase Review form to indicate if the trainee is on track to achieve QTS by the end of the training programme, or not. As evidence for the Teachers’ Standards is collected, it is collated and summarised on the LJMU ITT Tracker.

Preparing fully for each Phase Review Meeting

All Phase Review forms should be based upon professional dialogue between the ITT Mentor and the trainee, it should be a collaborative process within an open and honest and reflective meeting. In order to facilitate this discussion, trainees might be asked to complete a draft placement Phase Review form based on the evidence recorded in their LJMU ITT Trackerand previous weekly target setting. However the final Phase Review form at each Phase Review point, MUST be completed by the ITT Mentor.

ITT Mentors should consider whether the trainee has met the minimum expectation benchmark for each standard based on the evidence from weekly meeting reviews, lesson observations/analysis and other supporting evidence particularly the audit section of the LJMU ITT Tracker.

Effective review meetings are normally a minimum of one hour in length in an appropriate room where the trainee and the ITT Mentor can have an open and honest professional dialogue regarding the trainee’s progress. It is important that the review meeting is seen as part of the evaluation and reflective process and will aim to identify strengths and future areas for development including those for the CEDP (at the end of Phase 3 of the training programme).

All judgements made must be based on evidence and related to the achievement of the minimum expectation benchmark descriptors for each of the Teachers' Standards, at an appropriate level for QTS to be recommended at the end of the training programme.

What is the Final Phase 3 Review Meeting and how should it be conducted?

The Final Phase 3 review meeting or Triangulation takes place with the Liaison Tutor providing support for the ITT Mentor and the trainee in moderating the final judgement against the minimum expectation benchmark descriptors.

This meeting normally takes 2 hours and validates the recommendation for QTS through a combination of scrutiny of the evidence provided by the trainee, the trainee’s articulation of their progress in response to questions and affirmation of the outcome by the ITT Mentor.

What needs to be assessed?

The standards are presented as separate headings, numbered 1 to 8, each of which is accompanied by minimum expectation benchmark statement. A holistic judgement needs to be made about each standard and due consideration given to Part 2 of the standards at the triangulation meeting. Each of the Teachers’ Standards, including all aspects of Part 2, need to be fully met for there to be a recommendation for QTS. If further evidence is required for a particular standard, a recommendation cannot be made until the trainee has provided this and the ITT Mentor and Liaison Tutor agree to the recommendation.

When reviewing Subject Knowledge for SECONDARY trainees, only the main subject area should be considered, so for instance Science trainees’ Subject Knowledge should be evaluated taking only into account the Science specialism for which they have applied.

When reviewing Subject Knowledge for PRIMARY trainees previous placement experience should be taken into account and evidence from previous placements considered. This may be particularly important when considering Phonics.

Can Trainee Teachers be Exceptional?

The same Teachers' Standards are used to evaluate the progress of teachers in training and established school staff. However, the judgements made about the quality of trainees teachers’ skills, knowledge, understanding and practice are expected to take account of the fact that they are undertaking a training programme and not yet fully qualified NQTs.

The Teachers' Standards documentation produced by the DfE clearly states the following: “the standards will need to be applied as appropriate to the role and context within which a trainee or teacher is practising.  Providers of initial teacher training will assess trainees against the standards in a way that is consistent with what could reasonably expected of a trainee prior to the award of QTS.’ (para 6 page 3)

Given this 'reasonable expectation', the LJMU partnership’s aspiration is that all of our beginning teachers are above the minimum expectation benchmark descriptors, taking into account the early stage of their professional career, with a significant number who are exceptionally above the minimum expectation benchmark descriptors.

Those involved in making judgements of trainee progress at the end of each Phase of Training are asked to consider:

  • whether the trainee has provided evidence to demonstrate that each of the Teachers’ Standards has been met (using the minimum expectation benchmark descriptors);
  • how well they have met and evidenced each of the Teachers’ Standards;
  • whether they have evidenced Part 2 of the Teachers’ Standards;
  • indicating if the trainee is on track to achieve QTS by the end of the training programme, or not.

Those making a recommendation for QTS need to check that the minimum expectation benchmark descriptors have been met before a recommendation can be made.

LJMU ITT Benchmark Descriptors
Assessing Performance