Chief executives report _B 0523_ - March 2005

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					Date: 16 March 2005                                              Number: B 05/02/3
Location: Portland House                                         Item: F


CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S REPORT


SUMMARY

1.     This paper records significant TTA activity since the last meeting which is not
covered elsewhere on the agenda.

RECOMMENDATION

2.      That the Board notes:

                -   the Chief Executive’s summary (paragraph)

                -   the full report of activities (paragraphs)


CONTACT POINT
3.      Ralph Tabberer (tel: 020 7023 8011; e-mail: tabbererr@teach-tta.gov.uk)



CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S SUMMARY

4.      Campaign and recruitment activities have remained strong through the lat month,
as attention to our new remit has increased. The Education bill has passed through the
Lords without significant amendment to the TTA/TDA sections. Staff have been allocated
to new Groups which reflect the planned organisational structure for TDA. On the national
agenda, greater emphasis is being given to behaviour issues and to working with parents.



RECRUITMENT

5.       The Teaching Information Line has seen a year on year increase of 34 per cent in
registrations from first time eligible enquirers (31,075 enquirers against 23,146 last year),
with an increase of 49 per cent in registrations by eligible enquirers expressing a preference
to teach Mathematics (an increase of 793 registrations) and 42 per cent by those
expressing a preference to teach Science (an increase of 811 registrations). The service
has reduced the time taken for web registration by enquirers from six minutes to four
minutes, with plans for further reductions. Consultants have made 23,472 successful
outbound contacts to eligible enquirers who wish to teach priority subjects, aiming to
convert this interest into applications.
6.       Design and copy of direct mailing (DM) communications, aimed at converting
interest into RE and MFL applications, are being finalised. The RE mailer will be targeted at
enquirers with a range of humanities degrees, who may not have considered teaching RE,
in addition to those who have expressed an interest in teaching the subject. Research
indicates that 61 per cent more people applied for ITT after receiving DM. A detailed plan
for contacting enquirers by telephone/email and DM is being developed. This is based on
the impact of previous TTA customer relationship contact.

7.       25 additional taster courses have been commissioned for 2005/2006. Initial work
has been undertaken on a provider extranet for taster courses, to include best practice
materials, the use of online evaluations and the allocation of leads for individual providers,
generated by Teaching Information Line consultants. A Newsletter is being issued to taster
course providers, advising them on course promotion and reminding them of
invoicing/evaluation requirements.

8.        A pilot School Experience Programme is currently being developed to commence in
early April. The programme will support career changer ITT applicants to secondary
priority subject courses. It provides the opportunity to gain extended school experience prior
to ITT. University of Leicester, St Martin’s College and Edge Hill are involved in the pilot
and, if successful, the programme will be rolled out nationally from September.

9.      25 additional contracts have been awarded across different regions and subject
areas for subject knowledge booster courses. An external evaluation report for 2004-05
was received at the end of February and is currently being analysed.

10.    Three bids were received to run two pilot communication courses in London
(2005-07) and it is anticipated that contracts will be awarded by 11th March.

11.     An advertising campaign specifically promoting the merits of teaching RE will begin
in mid-March, aiming to boost the number of eligible RE enquirers and applicants,
supporting providers to recruit to target.

12.      The Training to Teach in London Event (4-5 February) attracted 4,124 attendees.
A full evaluation of the event, including eligibility and new enquiry analysis (i.e. of those not
currently registered on the TIL database), was due on 3 March. The seminars proved very
popular, and all those who were unable to attend one on the day have been pointed to the
event's web page, via e-mail, to view the presentations. This event also provided our first
opportunity to pilot the new mystery shopping questionnaire. A report on these findings is
due in March.

13.     The online events programme will continue in 2005; the first event agreed for the
new financial year (on 28 April) will address those interested in teaching RE.

14.     Regional Careers Advisors have been trained by their national association
(NICEC) to improve the quality of evidence contributing to the wider RCA programme
evaluation.

15.   A letter about the funding of the new Schools Workforce Adviser and Recruitment
Manager roles was sent to CEOs in January.

16.     The first cohort of Overseas Trained Teachers on four year work permits is
coming up for renewal. Those who have not gained QTS will not have their permit renewed
under current arrangements. Recruitment Managers are working with DfES colleagues to
ensure employers and OTTs have access to appropriate information.

17.      Despite the integrated marketing campaign, returners course providers continue to
find recruitment challenging. The Returner Course Provider Focus Group, scheduled for
April, will review the returners’ course evaluation, strengthen recruitment practice to ensure
courses are full and discuss changes in provision designed to increase the number of
secondary returners places. The April edition of Return magazine will have a stronger
focus on case studies and a call to action encouraging attendance on returner courses.



QUALITY & FUNDING

18.     An outline proposal workshop has been held for potential new providers whose
executive summaries were evaluated as being of the required standard for further
development in the 2005 accreditation cycle. An informal meeting was also held with
potential new providers to discuss potential provision in the Essex area.

19.      Work continues on developing new systems for the administration of the Golden
Hello scheme, which will operate from April 2005, subject to satisfactory comfort on vires.
Details of the transition of the scheme from DfES to the TTA have been agreed. LEAs will
be notified of the planned arrangements in March 2005.

20.    The first strategic planning meeting of 2005 takes place on 16 and 17 March in
Cambridge; since the beginning of the year, TTA staff have also held 18 face-to-face
meetings with providers to discuss strategic planning.

21.      The TTA is working with the Higher Education Regulation Review Group (HERRG)
regarding ITT inspection processes, as part of the agenda on reducing bureaucratic
burdens. HERRG is comprised of senior HE figures, and meets six times a year with the
remit of scrutinising government’s HE regulation and data management processes. It is
seeking a concordat approach to quality assurance and inspection in higher education, with
no overlap in inspection between organisations. The TTA has signalled to HEERG the
significant reduction in the number of days providers spend on inspection since 2002, and
how rigorous ITT inspection has been highly effective in raising the quality of ITT overall.




TEACHER TRAINING STRATEGY AND SUPPORT

22.     The TTA has continued working with the DFES on the workforce implications for
changes to the 14-19 curriculum. The White Paper was published on 23 February 2005.
The proposals have limited implications for the Schools Workforce at present. There are no
plans for increasing allocations of places for QTS to meet additional needs of the 14-19 age
phase.

23.      As of 1 March 2005, 31,932 candidates from the current cohort of final year
trainees have registered for the skills tests and 24,016 candidates from this cohort have
taken the tests. These figures exceed those for the previous cohort at the same time in
the testing year. A total of 14,319 trainees from the current cohort have met the skills tests
Standard to date.

24.    The specification for impact evaluation of the Student Associates Scheme to date
has been finalised. Advertisements inviting expressions of interest have been planned for
the TES/THES on 4 March and Guardian on 8 March.

25.    Teach First has been granted permission to carry out a two-year pilot extension to
Manchester for a maximum 60 trainees starting in September 2006. Discussions between
Teach First, DfES and the TTA are under way regarding this development.
SUPPORT STAFF DEVELOPMENT GROUP
                                                                                  th
26.      Registrations for HLTA training and assessment have reached 7883 (4 March
2005). External moderation exercises took place in late February/early March. An oral
report of the outcomes will be presented at the Board meeting. A contract for the provision
of a registration and data management system for HLTA from April 2005 has been let to
EWA. A bidders’ conference and a series of interviews have taken place involving
organisations who have shown interest in the piloting of training and assessment of
secondary Mathematics and Science HLTAs.

27.     The School Workforce Strategy Group held its second meeting on 22 February
2005 and discussed two main items: the one-year interim plan for support staff and the
TTA’s response to the Secretary of State on the future of teachers’ CPD. Subject to
Ministerial approval, the plan will be ready for distribution in mid-April.

28.     The School Workforce Development Board held its sixth meeting on 11 March
2005. At the meeting, PMDU presented initial findings from their review of the training and
development of the school workforce. An oral report of the main findings will be presented
at the Board meeting.

29.       A set of proposals are being considered with Microsoft as part of their international
initiative, ‘Partners in Learning’. Microsoft has recently supported the Specialist Schools
Trust and is looking to establish a few projects with us, under a memorandum of
understanding.




COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING
30.      The ‘boardroom to classroom’ story has continued to excite media interest, with
a steady flow of feature articles based on case studies. The London Evening Standard and
The Sunday Times were among those who devoted substantial space to the subject. We
have also seen unprompted references in careers stories in national newspapers, including
in the Financial Times and The Independent.

31.      Our advertising campaign was the core of a discussion about public sector and
recruitment advertising on the BBC Radio 4 programme The Message. Geof Webb by-lined
a short article on the campaign for Media Week, and also wrote to the Times Educational
Supplement pointing out that interest in becoming a teacher has never been higher, to
correct the impression given by a headline and article reporting latest GTTR application
figures. The Chief Executive gave interviews to the Times Educational Supplement and
Public Servant magazine, mainly on the expanded remit. We issued a news release to
announce the increase in funding for IT providers agreed at the last Board meeting.
Throughout March and April, the Agency will be exhibiting at union conferences, attending
the NCSL conference and the Education Show on 17 - 19 March.

32.     The web strategy has now identified the audience segmentation and a host of new
features that will ensure the website is more dynamic and interactive. The strategy identifies
features that will be shared across directorates to make sure that value for money is
achieved across the build of the new site. Phase 1 of the new website will be launched in
September 2005.

33.      The business case for the new headteachers service is being finalised. This will
be a flagship service to school management teams providing human resource and
organisational development guidance. Audience research has demonstrated an
overwhelmingly positive response to the proposed service. An options appraisal for the
funding basis, business plan and procurement strategy for the required services are now
being prepared.
34.      The communications strategy group has drafted a ‘core script’ and answers to
frequently asked questions, to keep current stakeholders informed about the transition of
the TTA to the TDA. An action plan and script is being prepared for new stakeholders. A
draft stakeholder positioning report has been completed. The final report will be made
available to the Agency in the second half of March.


35.      A contract has been let to introduce 'cascade briefing' to the Agency. This is a more
formalised internal communications method to inform staff of key issues through their line
managers, and offers the opportunity for staff to feedback comments to senior managers.
An intellectual property policy has been developed that gives staff guidance on copyright
issues, sponsorship, endorsement and working in partnership with other organisations.




STRATEGIC PLANNING

36.      The third follow on event with ITT providers on futures took place on 2 and 3
March. It took the form of a colloquium in which six papers were presented by experts from
such diverse areas as Teachers TV, neuroscience and children’s social policy. There was
also an international dimension with contributions from teacher educators from Australia
and the USA. These papers and the discussion they provoked will be published in the early
summer to add to the growing resource available to ITT providers for their strategic
thinking. The small group advising on this project will meet after Easter to confirm the next
steps which will involve bringing the focus of this work a little closer to the present and
broadening it to cover the training and development of the whole school workforce. In this
form the project aligns closely with the new Strategy Directorate that is being formed in the
new TDA.

37.      The second survey of ITT providers’ perceptions of TTA services got under way
at the start of March. It covers similar territory to last year’s survey with some additional
questions to include more of the services that providers experience. The results will
become available in May. Much of this information relates to the performance indicators in
the Corporate Plan and will be included in the Annual Report published in July.

38.      We have initiated a study into the possible burdens that the training and
assessment of HLTAs may place on schools. The report, due before Easter, will be shared
with the government schools red tape watchdog, the Implementation Review Unit in early
summer.




CORPORATE SERVICES

39.     The results from our annual staff survey, conducted during December and
January have been received and made available to all staff. The survey was conducted
during a period of uncertainty for many staff and while our programme of organisational
development was under way to prepare us for the transition to the TDA later this year. We
were anticipating a dip in satisfaction levels, but, overall, the results have held up
comparatively well. We will be considering the results in more depth over the next few
weeks, to identify corporate priorities and expedite appropriate action. We will prepare for a
new drive to strengthen our own training and development approach.

40.     Final preparations are being made to the Agency’s submission to the Department
for approval to its revised pay and grading system and a proposed three-year pay
settlement.
41.     Progress towards implementation of the first phase of the new finance system is
on target, with staff training into its third week and the start of parallel running taking place
on 1 March.

42.     All teams within the Group are heavily involved in the transition of the NRT, with
work strands for each being progressed under the control of the Transitional Project Board,
whose members include representatives of the TTA, NRT, NCSL and the Department. A
number of key logistical issues have been identified and resolved, for example, in relation to
best value provision of ICT services and expansion of accommodation. Much work remains
to be done to ensure that support is in place to avoid disruption to NRT delivery, while
bringing the NRT comfortably within TTA governance. The major challenge in the weeks
ahead is to settle the specification and agree the contract for the main contractor delivering
the NRT’s agenda in 2005-06.




Teacher Training Agency
March 2005

				
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