The chief executive of the government agency in charge of apportioning teacher training places to universities has left his position to join the Ministry of Justice.
As reported in Times Higher Education’s sister publication, TES, Charlie Taylor has left the National College for Teaching and Leadership to reunite with justice secretary Michael Gove, who was the education secretary at the time of Mr Taylor’s NCTL appointment in 2013.
During his tenure, Mr Taylor was tasked with overseeing the introduction of the school-led system of teacher training School Direct, a controversial initiative in which trainees are recruited by schools that then buy in training from a university or school-centred provider of training.
Despite the government throwing its weight behind the programme, it managed to fill just 61 per cent of its places in 2014, and 68 per cent the year before. This compares with 90 per cent of places filled at university postgraduate certificate in education courses. As a consequence of the policy shift, universities have been left with fewer core places to fill each year, placing them under added financial pressure. School Direct’s under-recruitment has also fuelled fears of a teacher supply crisis.
Mr Taylor’s departure comes a little over a month after he announced that university initial teacher training (ITT) providers would be able to recruit as many students as they want for the next academic year. He said at the time that this would give providers “the freedom and flexibility to recruit the trainees you need”.
It is understood that Mr Taylor will oversee the youth justice brief and will look to inform policy on young offenders, with expertise gained when he was headteacher of The Willows, a special school for children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.