Child and teenage mental health reforms – importance of teacher training

Expert comment from Professor Samantha Twiselton, Director of Sheffield Institute of Education (SIoE), who was a member of the expert advisory panel supporting the Carter Review of initial teacher training (ITT) which made these recommendations:

“Child and adolescent development – ITT should provide new teachers with a grounding in child and adolescent development, including emotional and social development, which will underpin their understanding of other issues such as pedagogy, assessment, behaviour, mental health and SEND. ITT should also introduce new teachers to strategies for character education and supporting pupil wellbeing’.

We actually found many examples of ITE providers who were already doing this exceptionally well (case studies were provided in the report – see link below) but also that this was not consistently in place across the system. This was then taken up by the Munday ITT Framework that was published in July (link also below).

However it is important also to note that a very clear theme that emerged from the review is that the ITE period is very short (in some cases as little as 9 months) and there is a limit to what can meaningfully be covered. It is also and only ‘initial’ and many important aspects of teacher expertise need to be developed further in teacher’s early career. I therefore welcome this announcement and would like to see such training implemented across all school age phases.”

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