Lack of trust in inspection regime

February 6, 1998

The teacher training inspection regime "damages quality and impedes recruitment to teaching", the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers said this week in a discussion paper.

Universities "have little confidence in the fairness" of the quality assurance system and feel decision making is ad hoc ", it said.

The paper is published as the Teaching and Higher Education Bill seeks to give the Office for Standards in Education's powers to "enter and inspect" university teacher training departments. It is already a requirement that universities allow Ofsted inspections, as a prerequisite for Teacher Training Agency money.

Author Jim Graham of the University of East London criticises the TTA for spending too much time on inspections and too little on "the real crisis", teacher supply. "HEIs are in a desperate quand-ary. Should they recruit poor-quality applicants and be pilloried for poor quality, or turn them away, compounding teacher shortages and triggering funding clawback?" The TTA replied: "The country can't afford to have its future teachers trained at poor quality providers. We are increasing the proportion of trainees trained at high-quality providers and taking action against those whose standards leave a lot to be desired."

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