The Teacher Training Agency has made it clear that it wishes school-centred initial teacher training provision to be a genuine option for those schools wishing to take the lead in planning and deciding the most appropriate training for would-be teachers ("Teacher-trainer divisions widen", THES, March 7).
Our price tariff includes a modest premium of just over 4 per cent for primary SCITTs compared to other ordinary Postgraduate Certificate in Education provision.
The assertion that the TTA has cut the funding for PGCE provision to bring it in line with that for BEd provision is wrong. The Universities Council for the Education of Teachers has now accepted that this charge is without foundation.
The average price for PGCE provision in 1997/98 is almost 8 per cent higher than that for undergraduate provision, and that is the same differential as existed under old funding arrangements. The 2 per cent cut in the TTA's funding allocations is part of the efficiency savings facing all parts of the system. However, most of the reduction results from the TTA's decision to pay a full year's worth of funding in respect of trainees who drop out of their courses during the year - a decision, incidentally, that has been widely welcomed.
Chief executive Teacher Training Agency