Gain by aiming high

August 5, 2005

Your leader column is right to point to the advantages of higher education-based teacher education, ("Help teachers aim higher", July 29).

While employment-only routes can have a limited role, inspection evidence from Ofsted and elsewhere demonstrates that courses run by higher education institutions - in partnership with schools - are of much better quality.

As you point out, these courses give prospective teachers experience of a greater variety of school settings. They also help teachers to respond flexibly to the many challenges they will face in their careers and provide the academic base that will allow them to undertake valuable higher education-level continuing professional development.

Top-up fees might, of course, affect recruitment, but increased bursaries should mitigate this for those training in the shortage subjects.

James Rogers, executive director, Universities Council for the Education of Teachers

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