‘Inexplicable delays’ in disclosure of teacher-training funding

The group representing university teacher-training centres has written to Michael Gove, the education secretary, to complain about “inexplicable delays” in the announcement of funding allocations for initial teacher training for the next academic year.

January 7, 2011

James Noble-Rogers, chief executive of the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers, says in his letter to Mr Gove that the continued uncertainty over funding allocations will have a “negative impact” in schools.

The delay in the announcement means that institutions have been unable to offer places because of the ambiguity over the amount of money expected from the government.

“Initial teacher-training providers are not able to offer highly qualified and potentially gifted teachers places on ITT programmes because of inexplicable delays in announcing next year’s allocations,” he writes.

The funding announcement from the Department for Education, expected next week, should give universities an idea of how far the plans set out by Mr Gove in his recent White Paper will affect the money allocated to higher education for teacher training. Proposals outlined in November include a national network of “teaching schools”, based on the model of teaching hospitals, which may see the focus of training shift away from universities.

Mr Noble-Rogers has warned previously of the potentially “damaging” effects of removing universities entirely from the process.

In his letter to Mr Gove, he says the government’s delay in announcing funding for teacher-training courses had led to universities missing out on potential students: “I have heard from a number of our member institutions that many applicants are withdrawing and seeking alternative career options,” he writes.

sarah.cunnane@tsleducation.com

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