Teacher training students removed from NSS

University teacher training students will be asked not to take part in this year’s National Student Survey after the government withdrew funding

January 6, 2015

A letter sent by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to universities, seen by Times Higher Education, states that the National College for Teaching and Leadership – the government agency that funds teacher training – “does not wish to fund [initial teacher training] students’ participation in the [NSS] 2015”.

“As a result these students have been removed from the list of students to be surveyed,” the letter continues. “We are asking institutions as far as is possible not to ask students on ITT courses funded by the NCTL to complete the survey.”

One vice-chancellor, who did not wish to be named, said the “unheralded announcement, days before the commencement of the NSS and without any consultation whatsoever, is an insult to each and every” ITT student and called it a “disgrace”.

Pam Tatlow, chief executive of Million+, the body representing post-92 institutions, said the move represented another “own goal” by the NCTL.

“One can only assume that NCTL would prefer prospective trainees not to be informed by evidence of the high satisfaction rates linked with university teacher training courses,” she added.

Hefce expressed its regret that it was “not possible for us to indicate that ITT students would not be participating in the NSS 2015 until this late stage” and that the decision will have an “impact on institutions’ promotion of the survey”.

John Cater, vice-chancellor of Edge Hill University and chair of the joint Universities UK/GuildHE Teacher Education Advisory Group (TEAG), said the decision was a “complete surprise and a considerable disappointment”.

“It contradicts government policy since 2005 and is in conflict with the current administration’s firm commitment to ensure that a full range of empirical evidence is available to students and trainees entering programmes of study,” he said.

“Those following ITT programmes are paying the same fee as all other undergraduates and have the same right to have their opinions heard and taken into account.” 

James Noble-Rogers, executive director of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (Ucet), said the decision was to be “regretted” as the “introduction of the government’s teacher-education reforms mean that there is a greater need to collect information about student perceptions than perhaps at any time in recent years”.

An NCTL spokesman said: “We conduct a survey of Newly Qualified Teachers each year, which is more in depth and specific to initial teacher training than the NSS.

“We have decided to focus resources on our more detailed survey, which provides valuable information about the quality of initial teacher training and how well that training has prepared NQTs for teaching.”


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

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Viewed

Most Commented

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

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham