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 Our last event



What do new teachers need to know?

A Battle of Ideas satellite event

Thursday, 8th October 2015, 6.30pm

Tickets are available here  

Pimlico Academy (Primary), Lupus Street, Pimlico, London, SW1V 3AT 

Initial teacher training underwent significant, perhaps fundamental, reform under the previous Coalition administration. Initially it seemed a practical experience-based approach was going to be favoured. Former Education Secretary Michael Gove argued teaching should be understood as a ‘craft’ that was ‘best learnt as an apprentice observing a master’. Following this, funding shifted decisively to school-led programmes, in the belief that these would provide a common-sense alternative to the overly theoretical or ideological approach of many university-based programmes. At the same time a fleet of Teaching Schools was launched, while the heads of Academies were given the right to recruit unqualified teachers directly. Simultaneously the professional standards by which new teachers are judged were also rewritten, giving greater priority to the key teaching skills many believe are essential to effective and authoritative classroom practice.

More recently, however, there seemed to be a shift in emphasis, with greater significance being attached to the idea that new teachers need to adopt an open, flexible and evidence-based approach. The Carter Review, which recently examined the future of initial teacher training for government, concluded that debates over the location of initial teacher training were not ‘terribly helpful’. Instead it advocated a mixed economy, similar to clinical training, in which both schools and universities play a part, with new recruits being offered both the ‘crucial elements of knowledge, skills and understanding that all teachers need’ and the opportunity to ‘learn from our best teachers’. Critically Carter concluded that the very best initial training ensures new teachers have strong subject-knowledge, an awareness of subject-specific pedagogy, as well as the ability to ‘access… evaluate and challenge research findings’.

So what knowledge, skills and experiences do new teachers need? Does it help be understand teaching as a craft, a science, perhaps even an art? What balance should be struck between theory and practice? Do we need a new College of Teaching to act as a professional gatekeeper? And with increasing numbers of Academies now employing unqualified teachers, do teachers really need formal certification beyond their first degree?

Dr Peter Kent
ASCL immediate past president headteacher, Lawrence Sheriff School

(more details about the Association of School and College Leaders can be found here

Leila MacTavish
head of initial teacher education, Future Training, Future Academies


Angela McFarlane
chief executive & registrar, The College of Teachers

(more details about The College of Teachers can be found here)   

Carolyn Robson
executive headteacher, Rushey Mead School, Leicester; CEO, Rushey Mead Educational Trust; Vice-Chair, Teaching School Council  
(more details about the Teaching School Council can be found here)  


Dr Alex Standish
senior lecturer in Geography Education, University College London

  (Dr Standish's latest book can be found here)

The full programme of education events at the 2015 Battle of Ideas can be found here  


This event has been organised with the kind support of the Pimlico Academy


Fifth Annual Professionalism Conference 

Professionalism and Knowledge

Tuesday 13th May 2014 

University of Derby 

Sponsored by SCETT  

Opening keynote speaker:

Professor Michael Young, author of Bringing Knowledge Back In

Other sessions included:

Knowledge in the Lifelong Learning Sector

Knowledge in Teacher Education

Comparative Education: What do we Know?

Knowledge and Emotion 


Authority, Trust and Teachers

Authority conference

March 8th 2014





Opening keynote  

The Crisis of Authority within Education   

 Professor Frank Furedi

Associate of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies, University of Kent, author of

Wasted: Why Education Isn’t Educating




First roundtable 

Authority, Trust, Regulation and Teachers  




Munira Mirza

Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture, Greater London Authority


James Park

Director of Progressway, DEMOS associate and author of

Detoxifying School Accountability    


Katharine Vincent 

Programme Leader, Secondary PGCE, Institute of Education, London  


Ralph Surman

Chair, SCETT, Executive Member, Association of Teachers and Lecturers


A reflection on the discussion by speaker James Park can be read here  




Second roundtable

Evidence-Based Pedagogy: Teachers' Authority Reborn?




Louise Bamfield

Associate Director, Education, RSA, author of

Born Unequal: Why We Need a Progressive Pre-Birth Agenda  


Francis Gilbert

teacher, founding member of the Local Schools Network and author of 

I'm a Teacher Get Me Out of Here     


Professor Dennis Hayes

University of Derby, co-author of 

The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education  


Dr Jonathan Sharples

Senior Researcher at the Education Endowment Foundation and author of

Evidence for the Frontline




The Teacher of the Future 

Thursday 10th October 2013

7.00pm until 8.30pm

Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD

Battle of Ideas satellite event sponsored by SCETT



Tom Burkard

research fellow, Centre for Policy Studies;

visiting professor of education policy, University of Derby;

project leader, Phoenix Free School of Oldham


Kevin Rooney

head of social science and deputy head, sixth form, Queens' School, Bushey;

IoI Education Forum;

founder, Fans for Freedom


Frankie Sulke

executive director for children & young people, LB Lewisham


Brett Wigdortz

CEO and founder, Teach First 




Professionalism, Reflection and Criticism

Tuesday 25 June 2013 at the University of Derby

The Centre for Educational Research is pleased to announce the fourth annual ‘professionalism’ conference sponsored by the Standing Committee for the Education and Training of Teachers (SCETT)

Keynote Speaker: Professor Stephen D. Brookfield




SCETT Knowledge Summit: What Should We Teach?

 Friday 23rd November

Sessions included: 

Is Subject Knowledge Power?


Who Hung the Humanities?


A Curriculum of the Dead, for the Living, or Perhaps No Curriculum At All?  


Speaker Jo Saxton's blog on Who Hung the Humanities? 

can be found here

   A write up of our previous event on subjects and knowledge can be found here  



Professor Dennis Hayes

(University of Derby)

Dr Seán Lang

(Anglia Ruskin University)

Professor David Lambert

(Institute of Education, London)

Professor Richard Pring

(University of Oxford) 

Dr Jo Saxton 

(Director, The Curriculum Centre,

author Twenty-two Things Excellent Schools Do)

Alka Sehgal Cuthbert

(PdD researcher, education, University of Cambridge)

Tim Oates

(group director of Assessment Research and Development,

Cambridge Assessment)

Professor Michael Young

(Institute of Education, London)   


Defence of Subjects 

a satellite event of the

Institute of Idea's 

Battle of Ideas 2012

  Thursday 11 October


  A report of this event can be found here

  So should the return to a subject-based education be applauded? Does it represent backward-looking nostalgia or an attempt to democratise access to powerful knowledge? Do those who wish to ‘bring knowledge back’ have the intellectual and social capital required to be successful or are we about to witness another passing edufad? How might teachers be prepared to teach their subjects?



Daisy Christodoulou

managing director, The Curriculum Centre;

author, Skills and Knowledge in the English Curriculum (forthcoming)

Martin Johnson

deputy general secretary, Association of Teachers and Lecturers;

author, Subject To Change: new directions for the school curriculum

Tim Oates

group director of Assessment Research and Development, Cambridge Assessment; formerly head of research, Qualifications and Curriculum Agency (QCA)

Alka Sehgal Cuthbert

English teacher;

PhD researcher, education, University of Cambridge


Centre for Educational Research (CER) 3rd Annual Conference

in association with SCETT

Perspectives on Professionalism

Thursday 28 June 2012, University of Derby

Teacher ‘professionalism’ is now viewed from different ‘perspectives’ and may seem fragile because the connection with subject knowledge has become looser. 

Speeches included:

Dr Ben Kotzee


'Teaching disciplinary knowledge as an issue of educational justice'



Professor Christopher Winch

(King’s College)

''Epistemic ascent' in curriculum design'

click titles to access podcast


  A podcast of another recent event 

Back to the Future: Ilea, the Mayor and London's Schools

click title to access podcast

as well as some coverage of the event here 



Teacher Education: Past, Present and Future

SCETT’s 30th Anniversary Annual Conference 2011


Friday 25 November 2011



 This conference will assess the current state of professional preparation in an age of austerity and ask: ‘Is there a future for teacher education?’




Landmarks in Teacher Education – An Overview

The Past: The experience of teacher education over three decades

The Present: Self education and development - strategic moves in a time of austerity

The Future: The end or beginning of teacher education? 



Should England's schools become 'engines of social mobility'?

a SCETT / IOI Education Forum panel debate,

Thursday 6th October 2011 


Christine Blower, general secretary, National Union of Teachers; Professor Stephen Gorard, director, College of Social Sciences Think Tank, University of Birmingham; Sally Millard, founder member, IoI Parents Forum and opinionated mother of two; David Skelton, deputy director and head of research, Policy Exchange; Siôn Humphreys, policy advisor National Association of Headteachers and chair of SCETT.

  Read the Programme Development Secretary's blog here 



SCETT Annual Conference 2010

Friday 26th November 2010 

In Defence of Teacher Education

a write up of the event for the Escalate website 


Is passion for their subject all that teachers need? Can a bright graduate be a good teacher without having any teacher education or training? Don’t we owe it to our children to ensure they are taught not only by the best and the brightest but by those who know about the subject of education?

The Coalition government and many academics are critical of the standard driven teacher training of the past twenty years. So what is the way forward for teacher education and training?

Panel 1: What do teachers want from teacher education?

Speakers, in this order: Darren Northcott (NASUWT), Dr Mary Bousted (ATL) and Russell Hobby (NAHT)

Click here to listen to a podcast of the introductions 

Panel 2: Who will lead the fight for teacher education?

Speakers, in this order: James Noble-Rogers (UCET), Lee Davies (IfL), Professor Dennis Hayes (SCETT),

Click here to listen to a podcast of the introductions 

Panel 3: What role has higher education in teacher education?

Speakers, in this order: Professor Gary McCullough (IoE, London), Dr Shirley Lawes (IoE, London) and Professor Michael Young (IoE, London)

Click here to listen to a podcast of the introductions 

Some useful readings associated with this event can be found here


Free Schools: do parents or teachers know best? 

organised with the Institute of Ideas Education Forum

Monday 4th October 2010 



An audio file of the event can be found by clicking on the link below