Back to Insights
27 April 2023

What is Intensive Training and Practice?

The National Institute of Teaching has published the findings of an important new study evaluating Intensive Training and Practice.

The National Institute of Teaching has published the findings of an important new study evaluating Intensive Training and Practice.

There are big changes coming to initial teacher training (ITT) curricula from September 2024, and ITT providers across the country are gearing up to implement them.

One of those big changes is ‘intensive training and practice’ (ITAP). Trainees will have to spend 20 days of their postgraduate training year on this component (30 days on undergraduate routes).

With all ITT providers expected to introduce this component by September 2024, and with our own ITT making the change a year early, the National Institute of Teaching conducted a pilot study to inform practice across the sector.

Calum Davey, Executive Director of Research and Best Practice at the NIoT, said:

“We want to share what we learned in the hope of being useful, by providing real-world examples of ITAP and offering considerations we hope to save ITT providers and schools time, money, and effort, and contribute to more effective ITAP designs.”

There are different ways to interpret the DfE’s guidance on ITAP, and different ways to implement it.

Strengthen the link between evidence and classroom

Trainees can embed their learning by practicing what would happen in the classroom, and then by receiving feedback in real-time. The topics that ITAP will cover are ‘foundational areas of learning’ – the key things that trainees need to know about and be able to do before they finish their training year.

Calum added: “It’s designed to strengthen the link between evidence and classroom practice. It differs from other areas of the ITT curriculum because of the ‘intense focus on specific pivotal areas’.

A 'laser-focused look'

“Put simply, it’s taking a laser-focused look at key aspects of teaching to make the link between the theory and practice in a short time, with live feedback to help trainees develop rapidly in foundational areas that the rest of their practice can then be built upon.”

Our pilot study involved trainees from four providers: Harris Federation Initial Teacher Education, Huddersfield Horizon SCITT, Liverpool Hope University, and Star Teachers SCITT. Four ITAP models were created, each focusing on the topic of questioning. The pilot was independently evaluated by Oxford MeasurED.

A five-stage framework was used to support providers in designing their models – introduce, analyse, prepare, enact and reflect. Providers chose activities that matched each of the five elements, including lectures, assigned readings, lesson observations, instructional rehearsals with mentors, and instructional coaching. Two used digital approximations, where trainees practiced questioning using software, which facilitated feedback and helped refine their questioning before being observed with pupils.

Evaluators looked at the feasibility, acceptability, and evidence of promise of the ITAP models. The picture was positive, with evidence of promise for each of the models and for the principle of ITAP overall. It seemed from the providers’ and the participants’ perspectives that the intense focus on a single area of teaching with activities that joined up theory and practice was different from usual training and could have the effects intended.

Read the reports

What is intensive training and practice?

Find out more at our webinar

Share with:
We use cookies to provide certain features, enhance the user experience. By clicking on "Agree and continue", you declare your consent to the use of these cookies. Below, you can change the settings or revoke your consent (in part if necessary) and these will be saved for future use. For further information, please refer to our Privacy Policy.