How the GTP operates in Wales - Roles and Responsibilities

How the GTP operates in Wales - Roles and Responsibilities

The Trainee

Your first task is to find a school in Wales willing to support you through a Graduate Teacher Training Programme.  The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) is unable to do this for trainees because the employment and deployment of school teachers is ultimately a matter for Local Education Authorities, schools and their governors.  WAG does not hold lists of participating schools.

For information on teaching vacancies you could: -

  • contact the Local Education Authority for the area you wish to teach in to enquire about opportunities to teach within schools;
     
  • look at the Times Education Supplement.  This is a good source of job vacancies, as are the local newspapers for the areas you are interested in teaching in. 
     
  • contact schools in your area.  To find school contact details view the NGfL Cymru Website at http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/6-0-0-0_schools_in_wales.htm .  When you have selected a list of schools click on the school name to reveal the school contact details.  .
     

Documents and forms to read. 

Once a school has agreed to support you they will assess you and complete their application form which includes as an annex “Graduate Teacher Programme - Priorities and Procedures in Wales for 2010-11”. 

If you require more detailed background to the GTP read the official guidance

For a detailed explanation of the standards a teacher must meet by the end of the GTP programme read Becoming a Qualified Teacher: a Handbook of Guidance -2009

For a simple list of the standards look at annex A of the Qualified Teacher Status Standards 2009 

GTP trainees are employees of a school and cannot participate in the programme as students or unpaid volunteers.  GTP trainees have the rights and duties of an employee and can only participate in a GTP programme if they have a contract of employment with a school and are paid, as a minimum, a salary set out in the unqualified teachers’ pay scale which starts at approximately £15,400.

The School acting as a Recommending Body

For most secondary applications the school will be acting both as the trainee’s employer and also as the “Recommending Body”.  This means that the school will complete the GTP application form and submit it to the Welsh Assembly Government, manage the day to training, and recommend the trainee for Qualified Teacher Status to the General Teaching Council for Wales when the trainee has successfully completed the programme. 

The school, not the trainee, are responsible for carrying out all of the necessary pre-employment checks relating to the trainee either directly or through the Local Education Authority. 

Once the programme is approved the school owns the delivery of the programme and management of the employee.   If they believe that a trainee should be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status they will ask the Welsh Assembly Government to appoint an independent assessor to moderate their judgement.

If a trainee’s conduct and performance falls below acceptable standards the school is responsible for terminating the programme and the trainee’s employment contract.

Within a school different staff members will have different roles in supporting the trainee.  A school mentor will usually prepare the application.  A more senior staff member will provide periodic oversight to ensure that the trainee and the training programme are on track.  The head teacher and Chair of Governors will provide assurances to the Welsh Assembly Government that the trainee will be paid on the correct salary scale and that they will provide the resources and training described in the training plan.  Named senior school staff will also be available to investigate any grievances the trainee has during the programme

The Recommending Body

In some programmes another body, usually an accredited initial teacher training (ITT) provider such as one of the university schools of education, may act as the Recommending Body (RB).  The RB will prepare the application and oversee the training.  They will work with the trainee’s mentor in the school who will provide day to day feedback for the trainee.

The RB will receive any training grant that is provided for a GTP programme by the Welsh Assembly Government. 

For 2010-11 several accredited ITT providers have chosen to participate in the primary GTP programme and will make their own arrangements to select and put forward to the Welsh Assembly Government up to 25 primary GTP applications. 

Accredited university schools of education acting as RBs can recommend a trainee for Qualified Teacher Status to the General Teaching Council for Wales based on their own assessments and their decision is not subject to moderation by independent assessors appointed by the Welsh Assembly Government. 

The RB will decide in discussion with the employing school if a programme should, for any reason, be terminated early.

The Welsh Assembly Government

The Welsh Assembly Government’s (WAG) GTP administration team receives GTP applications from Recommending bodies.  They ask independent advisors to assess the applications.  When the WAG team have received assurances from its advisors on the quality of the application and from the school/LEA that all necessary pre employment checks have been carried out they issue written programme approvals to the recommending body.  These approvals may include the provision of salary and training grants.

WAG has no powers to move trainees between schools or intervene in the running of programmes as that is a matter for the school/employer/recommending body. WAG will not find places for trainees on training programmes.  

If WAG receives more applications than it has funds to support it will ask its independent expert advisers to score and rank the applications.  WAG then uses this advice to inform its selection of the applications.

WAG produces the legislation and guidance documents that govern the programme.  Each year officials will put proposals to ministers on the priorities for the coming academic year.  Once ministers have approved the proposals they are published as an annex called “Priorities and Procedures” which appears at the end of the GTP application form.

The Independent Programme Advisor

The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) contracts with independent expert advisors to look at all GTP applications from Recommending Bodies. The advisors will offer advice and support to help schools put together soundly based training programmes.   They will recommend to WAG if a training programme should be approved or recommend changes that would make it acceptable.  In some cases WAG may also ask them to provide a support visit to a school to explain the requirements of the GTP to mentors and trainees. 

The QTS Assessor

If a recommending body is not an accredited provider of initial teacher training they must invite in an external independent assessor to moderate their own judgement that a trainee has reached the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) Standards.  

These external assessors are contractors to the Welsh Assembly Government to visit the school for up to two days; and then make a written recommendation to the school as to whether the candidate has met the QTS standards.

If the trainee is successful, the RB makes a recommendation to the General Teaching Council for Wales that the trainee should become a qualified teacher. QTS is confirmed by the GTCW who will send a certificate to the trainee.   No other additional qualification e.g. a PGCE is conferred for completing a GTP programme.

Click on the links below to access the Qualified Teacher Status Standards 2009 and the Becoming a Qualified Teacher: Handbook of Guidance 2009.

The Local Education Authority

The HR team in the local education authority will need to carry out all the necessary pre-employment checks – health and CRB checks.  They will verify that this has been done on a signed declaration that the school will send to WAG.  It is the responsibility of school officials, not the trainee, to ensure these checks are carried out and the declaration sent to WAG.  In a foundation, voluntarily aided, foundation special school the governing body is the employer and in such schools this declaration to WAG must be signed by the Chair of Governors.

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