DfE pledges more money on school-led teacher training

Michael Gove has reiterated his desire to move initial teacher training towards school-led providers by pledging an extra £10 million for schools to train the next generation of teachers.

March 21, 2013

Source: Paul Clarke

Addressing a conference for headteachers, run by the Teaching Agency and the National College for School Leadership, the education secretary said he was keen to move away from higher education providers determining how teacher education was delivered.

In a separate press release announcing the extra funding, he said: “Teaching schools are leading the teaching profession. They are at the forefront of driving and delivering change. The best people to teach teachers are teachers. School-led systems put schools, school leaders and teachers firmly in the driving seat.”

There are now 363 teaching schools in England. Under the new funding, all teaching school alliances – groups of schools and other partners supported by the leadership of a teaching school – will receive an extra grant of £33,000 in 2013-14.

The funding will allow teaching schools to take greater responsibility for school improvement and ensure the most talented school leaders are spotted and supported to become successful headteachers, according to the Department for Education.

However, James Noble-Rogers, executive director of the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers, said that some of Mr Gove’s comments were misleading.

“What happens in teacher training is not determined by [higher education institutions],” he said. “The content is instead agreed in partnership through schools and HEIs working together within the framework of standards and requirements set by the Secretary of State himself.

“Universities have been calling for schools to be more closely involved in ITT for some time, and in many respects have supported the school-led agenda.

“In constantly pointing the finger at HEIs, Michael Gove is attempting to slay dragons that simply do not exist.

Tanya Ovenden-Hope, head of the School of Social Science and Social Work and associate professor in education at Plymouth University, said she was “disappointed” with what she saw as Mr Gove’s lack of understanding of initial teacher education in universities.

“[It is] based, and has always been based, on partnership with schools,” she said.

“HEIs and schools have worked hard together to establish partnerships that enable promising…students to become outstanding teachers.

“It is of great concern that teachers can now qualify by undertaking teacher training in one school…with mentors who, while excellent teachers, may have little or no teacher education experience and without any kind of theoretical engagement with education to apply to professional practice.”

john.elmes@tsleducation.com

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