Nothing new in schools' scheme

September 29, 1995

New school-centred teacher training schemes are too much like those run by higher education institutions, according to a report published this week.

In-house courses managed by schools consortia have been unimaginative in their imitation of HE programmes, and do not represent a significant departure from the traditional model, says the report from Warwick University's Institute of Education.

Despite the Government's enthusiasm for shifting more initial teacher training from highereducation into schools, it gave school-administered programmes, launched in 1993, a lead-in period of just six weeks - resulting in many significant weaknesses.

Course designers in schools closely followed the format of existing training run by higher education in partnership with local schools, but the end product was less comprehensive. Rather than exploiting opportunities for a greater variety of training among schools consortia, they restricted students to two practice placements instead of the three offered by higher education.

"In respect of school practice placements the school-administered programme was not, we feel, maximising its full potential. It was being unimaginative in its imitation of the typical higher education system, and was not utilising the full complement of consortia schools as effectively as possible," the report says.

The report suggests adopting a more holistic approach. "The development of real alternatives, instead of imitation, should be encouraged in order to bring about innovation and models of good practice," the report concludes.

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