Last straws and red herrings

July 12, 1996

The report (THES, June 28) of financial concerns over initial teacher training contained a number of inaccuracies and red herrings.

There is no doubt that providers of primary initial teacher training face another tough year, but this is because of 5 per cent drop in the number of student places required by teaching, not because of imagined quirks in the TTA's funding system.

It is certainly a principle of that system that we do not fund students who are not at the institution, but surely it would be odd if we did? It is fantasy to suppose that institutions have lost "millions of pounds" by failing to fill their forms in correctly. The reality is that this was always going to be a hard year for primary providers, and harder for some than others. That is why we said back in February that we would look carefully at the case for one-off "buffer" funds to take the edge off the worst losses and why we have followed through by making such funds available.

ANTHEA MILLETT Chief executive Teacher Training Agency

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