A government agency has confirmed that it will now be funding teacher training students’ participation in the 2015 National Student Survey despite having previously announced that it no longer wished to do so.
The decision follows the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s announcement last week that it would take the “exceptional” step to “underwrite the inclusion of ITT students in the NSS 2015”.
The latest volte-face was revealed by schools minister David Laws on 13 January in a written response to a parliamentary question from Labour MP Kevin Brennan, who asked what the reasons were for the National College for Teaching and Leadership – the Department for Education agency that funds teacher training – withdrawing teacher training students from the NSS.
“[The] NCTL has agreed to continue funding for a further year, to ensure time for a smooth transition to alternative arrangements, should the sector wish to continue receiving feedback through the National Student Survey,” Mr Laws responded.
He added that the decision to “discontinue financial contributions to the National Student Survey (NSS)” was taken to “focus resources on the annual survey of newly qualified teachers”.
“This survey is more in-depth and specific to initial teacher training than the NSS and provides valuable information about the quality of initial teacher training and how well that training has prepared newly qualified teachers for specific aspects of teaching,” he said.
Hefce said that were there to be another change of heart, its commitment to funding ITT students’ participation would still stand.