University of Leicester provides outstanding teacher training, says Ofsted

Credit: University of Leicester

University of Leicester’s initial teacher training programmes have been deemed outstanding by Ofsted, the government’s regulatory body for education.

This means that the University’s School of Education, which offers both primary and secondary teacher training, adheres to the highest standards set by the Department for Education.

Each course allows students to acquire a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE). More information about PGCE courses at University of Leicester can be found here. 

Ofsted inspected University of Leicester’s School of Education between 5 February and 8 February 2024. The report of Ofsted’s findings was published at the beginning of the month (2 April 2024). The full Ofsted report can be found here.

According to the report, “Trainees are exceptionally positive about the high quality of training they receive. They benefit from an ambitious curriculum, delivered by experts, and supported by relevant, up-to-date research. Trainees have ample opportunities to integrate theory and practice. They learn to be instinctively reflective, and this helps them to decide the beliefs and values they will hold as a teacher.

“Trainees gain rich experiences in schools with different contexts. Primary trainees secure an in-depth understanding of early reading and phonics. Secondary trainees develop their detailed subject-specialist and pedagogical knowledge. Trainees hone their ‘noticing’ skills to enable them to create inclusive learning environments where all pupils get the support they need.

“High levels of mutual respect mean that staff always have the trainees’ best interests at heart. Trainees’ views are listened to, and their suggestions make a positive difference. They know that their well-being is prioritised.

“School leaders recognise that trainees are remarkably well prepared for the rigours of the profession. As a result, trainees often secure their first teaching post in a school that works with the university.”

About University of Leicester’s School of Education, the report said: “The provider has a long-established reputation for training high-quality teachers. Despite this, there is absolutely no sense of complacency. The curriculum is continually reviewed to ensure that it remains responsive to the changing educational landscape. The recently trialled intensive training and practice modules have served to enhance an already successful programme. This proactive and ambitious strategy provides trainees with the best possible experience.

“The provider is unashamedly rigorous in its recruitment and selection processes. University tutors support each successful applicant through the exacting demands of the course and help them to secure their first teaching posts. Many trainees stay in touch with their tutors long after they embark on successful teaching careers.

“The curriculum is thoroughly thought through. Trainees develop a complex understanding of how pupils learn. Every opportunity is taken to enhance trainees’ subject and pedagogical knowledge. This includes a strong emphasis on the importance of phonics for trainees in the primary phase. Trainees’ understanding of how to adapt the curriculum to meet pupils’ needs is a particular strength. One trainee explained that, by doing this, ‘Every child can achieve greatness.’

“The university- and school-based training are intricately aligned. Highly skilled mentors/cotutors guide trainees through a precisely planned programme…[and]… visits by university tutors during school placements reinforce the excellent and effective work that takes place between mentors/co-tutors and their trainees”.

“Additional and timely support gives any trainee who needs it…[and]…the vast majority of trainees successfully complete the course, gain qualified teacher status and are awarded their PGCE.

“School leaders and local partners are highly complementary of the provider’s outward facing, collaborative approach. As one professional typically explained, ‘We work in genuine partnership with the sole purpose of creating the next tranche of really good teachers.’ Another simply stated, ‘I am proud to be associated with a provider who works tirelessly to meet the needs of local schools and of the pupils in those settings.’”

Jenny Bosworth, Director of Teacher Education at University of Leicester said: “We are very proud of the University of Leicester PGCE teacher training provision. The collaboration between our partnership colleagues, university tutors and our trainee teachers is what makes our partnership so successful. The positive impact that our trainee teachers have, and will continue to have, on the pupils they work with and learn from, will remain throughout their career and begins with the foundations our partnership provides them with.”

Professor Christopher Wilkins, Head of School of Education at University of Leicester said: “This is well-deserved recognition of the excellence of our PGCE Partnership, and the unwavering commitment of School of Education tutors and our partner schools to give our students the best possible start to their teaching careers.  I am proud of the impact our PGCE has on the teachers of tomorrow; our children – all of them - deserve outstanding teachers, and a University of Leicester PGCE provides the springboard for our students to become amongst the very best.”

Professor Liz Jones, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education at University of Leicester said: “At Leicester we are proud to deliver research-inspired education of the highest quality. Our students benefit from being taught in an environment where world-leading research takes place. We pride ourselves on our supportive and inclusive education, and the effects of this are evident in recent successes such as this outstanding Ofsted result, and our rating of Gold in the 2023 Teaching Excellence Framework exercise.”