Inspectors fail Derby on teacher training

December 26, 1997

ONE university faces losing teacher training funding and three other institutions have a year to get their courses up to scratch following official inspections.

The Teacher Training Agency announced that it is considering withdrawing accreditation for primary teacher education from Derby University after it was given two fail grades in an Ofsted re-inspection of teacher training.

Durham University, Warwick University and Bath College of Higher Education were also found to be failing in the second wave of inspections. They have been given a year to improve because of good grades in the first round.

A question mark also hangs over the future of secondary teacher training at Greenwich University, which was judged unsatisfactory in preparing students for specialist teaching in history, mathematics and English. Greenwich is awaiting a TTA decision.

Three institutions - South Bank University, Sussex University and West Hill College - have been saved from the threat of losing accreditation by being promoted out of the bottom quality category for primary teacher training to the middle one.

Derby University may take legal advice on whether to challenge the TTA's decision as its courses were judged to be "sound" in the first inspection round. No one at the university was available for comment this week.

A 50 per cent cut in primary teacher training places will be applied to Derby from next year. This is the penalty for being placed in the TTA's bottom quality category. Derby has to produce an action plan for improvement in a month and it will be reinspected within a year. The TTA could withdraw accreditation and funding if it is not satisfied.

Top-quality primary teacher training providers are to be rewarded with an extra 700 funded places next year, but as many places are to be lost in shortage subject areas in secondary teacher training. The extra places are the result of revised government recruitment targets and over-recruitment and low-quality penalties imposed by the TTA.

Most of the extra places have been allocated to institutions in the TTA's top two quality categories.

The number of funded places for secondary teacher training in science and in modern foreign languages is to be cut by over 7 per cent next year, with cuts of over 4 per cent in mathematics, technology and religious education.

Institutions are allowed to submit comments to the TTA on provisional allocations before they are finalised in February, together with forecasts for the next two years.

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