National training plans to be reviewed

May 16, 1997

Plans for a teacher training national curriculum are under review by the new Government, education secretary David Blunkett said this week.

The Teacher Training Agency's highly criticised core curriculum for initial teacher training is due to be implemented by September. Labour will not scrap the plans, but will reconsider the detail.

Mr Blunkett's pledge came as a professional teaching body, The College of Preceptors, added its name to a lengthening list of dissenters.

The college warned that the "over-hasty" introduction of a national curriculum would be a grave mistake.

It has urged the TTA to consult more widely, criticising its "competence-based approach" and its enthusiasm for school-based training at the expense of higher education.

* Failing school-based teacher training schemes are still looked on favourably by the TTA, the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers has argued.

UCET chairman Ian Kane this week pointed to three school-based teacher training schemes deemed "unsatisfactory" by Ofsted inspectors, including the Mill Hill Consortium, a group of seven London schools.

"In the school-based schemes there is a significantly higher proportion of failing courses," said Mr Kane. "But the TTA only make noise if they have a higher education victim in their sights."

A TTA spokesman said: "It really is time that Ian Kane let go of this particular hobby horse. Once providers are up and running they are all treated equally, school or HE-based."

Letters, page 15

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