Teacher training allocations a ‘slap in the face’

Universities denied extra places in favour of schools and SCITTs

January 22, 2015

Universities have been dealt a “slap in the face” by the government in the form of the latest initial teacher training allocations update from the National College for Teaching and Leadership, it has been claimed.

In a message sent to initial teacher training providers last week, the NCTL, which is the Department for Education agency that funds teacher training, invited schools and providers of school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) courses to bid for extra places through its School Direct training scheme. However, it did not offer more teacher training places to higher education institutions.

“We are now able to offer more School Direct places to schools if you have already filled your places in a particular subject and have more candidates to whom you would like to make an offer,” the NCTL said. “Please note that these places are only available to schools and SCITTs that have already filled their initial allocation in that subject.”

James Noble-Rogers, executive director of the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers, said the decision made little sense, and added that the extra places would have been filled quickly had they been given to universities for qualifications such as the postgraduate certificate in education.

“This is a slap in the face. Despite best efforts to work collaboratively, NCTL goes out and offers extra places to School Direct, while again ignoring higher education institutions,” he said. “This is despite the fact that HEIs have greater success in recruitment than School Direct.”

Mr Noble-Rogers added: “This is not all about self-interest. If the government wants to avoid a teacher supply crisis, it should offer extra places to all providers that can fill them, not only to a selected group.”

Pam Tatlow, chief executive of the Million+ group of universities, said the decision “defies common sense”.

“The predilection of NCTL and the Department for Education to make decisions that will undermine the sustainability of teacher educational departments and future teacher supply is startling,” she said.

A DfE spokesman claimed that in “most cases” schools had fewer teacher training places than universities “and therefore, have more chance of filling them quickly”.

“We will continue to monitor recruitment and make further allocations if needed,” he said.

john.elmes@tesglobal.com

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Reader's comments (1)

This government will be remembered for its allegiance to dogma over evidence. How sad that its legacy of poor decisions regarding teacher supply will disadvantage the life chances of a generation.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Laurel and Hardy sawing a plank of wood

Working with other academics can be tricky so follow some key rules, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations