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Ofsted Excellence

As well as inspecting schools, Ofsted also inspect initial teacher education providers, generally on a 6 year cycle. Our last inspection was in 2017. We also recently participated in a pilot inspection to help inform changes to the new Initial Teacher Education Framework starting in 2020/21.

Each year, about 450 Primary and Secondary trainees, including those on the School Direct route, qualify to teach through the University of Exeter. In our most recent inspection (in 2017) the University of Exeter was graded as Outstanding in every category by Ofsted, reinforcing the University’s long term reputation for excellence in Teacher Education.   

Inspectors, who completed a rigorous two-stage inspection, which also included visiting newly qualified teachers in schools, found trainee teachers on our PGCE programmes had “exceptional qualities” and “high academic calibre and exemplary professional attitudes” and said their work was “met with universal praise by schools”.

“Trainees obtain a depth of learning that enables them to exceed the minimum teaching standards considerably. Importantly, this is especially the case where trainees have been placed in hard-to-recruit locations and subjects or where there are teacher shortages. Receiving schools are universal in their praise of the newly qualified teachers (NQTs) they employ."

Trainees’ high academic calibre and exemplary professional attitudes make for a powerful combination that is met with universal praise by schools. Such exceptional qualities typify the University of Exeter’s trainees and former trainees.”

The University’s PGCE partnership has forged strong relationships with local teachers, who inspectors noticed were “very proud” to be involved with the University of Exeter and were “universal in their praise of the newly qualified teachers they employ”.

They praised University of Exeter-trained teachers for their “high levels of professionalism; drive, resilience and an ability to manage themselves independently’; meaning our NQTs make rapid progress in their careers as new teachers and gain confidence in teaching children with a diverse range of needs.”

"The long-standing reputation for excellence commands exceptionally strong loyalty from employing and partner schools. Trainees and NQTs display the professional qualities and attributes that make them resilient and driven in their work."

"Strong collaboration between all members of the partnership produces highly employable teachers who confidently apply theory to practice in class. Every trainee receives the individual personal and academic support they need to achieve their best and reach their full potential."

Ofsted said the training programmes were “extremely well designed” and "intellectually rigorous", and made “excellent use” of the educational specialists and expertise within the University and the partnership schools. The report says “every trainee receives the individual personal and academic support they need to achieve their best and reach their full potential”.