Outsourcing company Capita has withdrawn from delivering the government’s flagship teacher training and development programme to new teachers.
The firm told Schools Week it decided not to bid for delivering early career framework courses starting in September 2023 and 2024.
It is currently one of six founding providers overseeing the national roll out of the scheme since 2021.
Figures from Ofsted inspections in the scheme’s first year show Capita had much lower take-up of its training course compared to the five other providers.
The firm was originally to deliver the programme on a four year framework, but has decided to not continue two years in. Capita wouldn’t comment on why it made this decision.
It will continue training for those already in their first year of the two year course, but it won’t take on new participants.
A spokesperson said the company was “proud” of what they have delivered “to support people embarking on their teaching careers, and remain committed to providing an outstanding service for our existing participants”.
Schools have three options for delivering the two-year ECF, but most tend to use the approved provider route rather than doing it in-house.
A £95 million contract document published this week shows that existing providers Ambition Institute, Best Practice Network, Education Development Trust, Teach First and UCL Institute of Education have been reappointed.
The National Institute of Teaching, founded by the School-Led Development Trust is also a provider.
Monitoring visits by Ofsted showed that across the six regions Capita worked in, there were just 578 participants on its ECT programme as of June 2022.
The remaining providers worked across all nine regions, the Ofsted reports state. Ambition had 14,615 participants, while the four other providers had between 4,000 to 5,900 teachers each in the same year.
Inspectors found Capita, which worked with the University of Birmingham, were taking “effective action towards ensuring that the ECF training is of a high standard”.
They said the firm should “enhance existing materials and resources to support facilitators and mentors in exemplifying and contextualising the learning of early career teachers (ECTs) so that it is relevant to the phase teach”.
It is not clear exactly how much Capita has been paid so far through the ECF. The initial framework of six providers was worth up to £250 million.
Capita delivers several education schemes, including most recently a flexible working programme. It also runs the SATs series in schools, which ran into several problems last year, and the Teacher Pension Service.
A University of Birmingham spokesperson said they were “very pleased” to have been involved and “look forward to continuing to work with our current ECT cohorts, expert colleagues and partnership schools developing and supporting teachers throughout their careers”.