OIA Scheme Members

School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) Providers

Initial teacher training trainees at SCITTs which are members of the OIA Scheme are higher education ‘students’ for the purposes of the OIA Scheme.

Which SCITTs are members of the OIA Scheme?

Networks of schools that have been approved by the National College for Teaching and Leadership to run school-centred initial teacher training courses are known as SCITTs. SCITT courses generally last one year and lead to Qualified Teacher Status. Many SCITT courses include a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) and/or master’s level credits awarded by another provider.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015, the relevant section of which came into force on 1 September 2015, extended membership of the OIA Scheme to SCITTs which run initial teacher training courses that have been designated for the purposes of student support funding from the Student Loans Company.

In practice this means that:

(i) SCITTs which only offer the School Direct salaried option do not have to join the OIA Scheme. This is because trainees on the salaried option are not eligible for student support funding from the Student Loans Company.

(ii) SCITTs which run their own (‘provider led’) initial teacher training courses and/or School Direct (tuition fee) courses are members of the OIA Scheme, since those courses are eligible for student support funding from the Student Loans Company. However, once a SCITT is a member of the OIA Scheme, all of its initial teacher training trainees will have recourse to the OIA, including any undertaking the School Direct salaried route or the ‘Assessment Only’ route.

The OIA is unable to consider complaints about employment matters. Therefore, if the OIA receives a complaint from a trainee on a School Direct (Salaried) course, it will be necessary for the OIA to determine what matters relate to his/her employment, and what matters relate to his/her training course.

A list of providers – including SCITTs – which are members of the OIA Scheme is available on our website.

The OIA’s remit is only to review complaints about the acts and omissions of its members. The OIA is unable to review complaints about the acts and omissions of, for example, a school or a group of schools with which a SCITT provides School Direct courses. In that situation, the OIA’s remit may extend to a consideration of how the SCITT had dealt with complaints made to it by its trainees about individual schools, and what the SCITT’s responsibilities were in relation to those schools, under its School Direct partnership agreement.

SCITT courses which also offer a PGCE and/or master’s level credits

Many SCITT courses also offer their initial teacher training trainees the option of studying for a PGCE or master’s level credits validated by another provider, usually a university, which is also a member of the OIA Scheme.

Trainees may be able to complain to the OIA about the SCITT and/or the PGCE validating provider, depending upon who has responsibility for the issues being complained about. It is likely that the SCITT will be responsible for recommending trainees for the award of Qualified Teacher Status and the validating partner will be responsible for the award of the PGCE or master’s-level credits. However, the agreement between the SCITT and the validating partner will set out which provider is responsible for which issues and will be our starting point in reviewing complaints from trainees on such courses.

 

We have published a section of the Good Practice Framework setting out some further guidance on handling complaints and academic appeals in the context of delivering learning opportunities with others, including where a SCITT trainee is also studying for a PGCE or master’s levels credits awarded by a university.