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Stop forcing universities & schools to compete for teacher training places.

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Teacher Education Under Threat from Government Policy


We, the undersigned, note with concern that places for Initial Teacher Education on
PGCE courses in universities have been drastically cut this year and will be
further reduced in 2013 -14. This government policy, which places
responsibility for ITE on schools, via the ‘School
Direct’ model, is an abdication of responsibility for the planned provision of
an adequate supply of teachers across the country.  It is an ideologically driven policy, based
on a doctrinaire belief in market forces and fundamental misconceptions about
the nature of teaching and about current, successful and well-established
routes into teaching.


are professionals who need to be research-informed critical thinkers.  There is abundant evidence that student
teachers develop most effectively where they are able to draw on the
distinctive contribution of both teachers and lecturers in education
departments.  In contrast, government policy promotes a view of teaching as a
craft and student teachers as apprentices.


In addition, government policy will:


·    force schools and universities into open
competition for student teacher places, despite Ofsted’s evidence that there is
more effective teacher education in the current system of university-led
partnerships with schools;


·    result in the closure of university education
departments and redundancies of experienced staff with devastating effects on the
quality of teacher education, educational research and innovation;


·    replace an effective national network of provision with
an incoherent, inefficient system that has no parallel in the rest of the world;


·    remove busy, dedicated teachers from their core role of
working with children and young people;


·    create a crisis in schools at a time when the
rise in the birthrate means there will be a national need for significant
increases in teacher supply.


We call on the Secretary of State for Education to secure the future
of education departments and their role in the education of tomorrow’s
teachers, recognising the value and efficiency of university-led partnerships
with schools.


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