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Professional education

​​Universities are committed to the renewal of the teaching profession through provision of excellent training programmes which produce the teachers our education system needs.


We want government to recognise the important role universities play in training and educating teachers, and to support them in their provision of teacher education programmes, co-delivered with partner schools, and ensure their continued viability.

Reforms and risks to tea​​​cher education

Since 2010, successive government reforms to how university initial teacher training programmes are delivered in England have affected both the scale and scope of university provision. In some cases, the rapid pace of reform has meant that the viability of courses has also come into question.

The change in the teacher training delivery model towards a school-led system has helped strengthen many university-school partnerships. However, we are concerned that a rapid pace of change continues to affect universities' ability to plan strategically in this area of their provision. This is compounded by an uncertainty over what the landscape might look like in the future. Such an environment does not work in the interests of schools, applicants, universities or teacher supply.

Our goals for teacher ​​​education

We want government to keep training provision viable by enabling universities and all other teacher training providers to plan their expected levels of student intake over a three-year period rather than one, by granting minimum guaranteed allocations. Continuing to adopt a short-term approach to recruitment risks making some teacher training provision unsustainable.

Universities are a fundamental partner within the teacher education landscape in England. Their teacher training faculties are staffed predominantly by qualified and experienced teachers, who bring with them significant levels of expertise. The sector has a long-standing record of working with schools to successfully train and deliver tens of thousands of trainee teachers each year.

It is vital that all initial teacher training providers can operate in an environment in which they are confident that their provision is sustainable, in the interests of securing a sufficient, high-quality supply of teachers in the years to come.

Universities UK’s response to the government consultation, 'Schools that work for everyone'

12 December 2016
We support the government’s wish to raise standards and attainment in the school system and in doing so improve social mobility. This can be achieved through a number of partnership and engagement mechanisms with schools.

Training new teachers

2 March 2016
Submission of written evidence from Universities UK to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee inquiry on ‘Training New Teachers’

Inquiry on the supply of teachers

20 November 2015
Submission of written evidence from Universities UK to the House of Commons Education Committee’s inquiry on the Supply of Teachers

Report cover

The impact of initial teacher training reforms on English higher education institutions

30 October 2014
Analysing recent trends in recruitment following the changes and discusses the specific impact on institutions.

Initial teacher training briefings

7 November 2013
Briefings expressing universities' concerns about the impact of the next round of initial teacher training allocations on their ability to sustain teacher training provision


Is skills education higher education's problem?

10 February 2017
Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK & Core Markets, argues that the higher education sector is ideally placed to deliver on the industrial strategy.

How should universities work with schools? Green Paper response

12 December 2016
UUK's director of policy blogs on the government's Green Paper Schools that work for everyone

The team

Daniel Hurley

Dan Hurley

Programme Manager
Universities UK

Samuel Roseveare

Samuel Roseveare

Policy Researcher
Universities UK