In a letter to David Laws, minister of state for schools, James Noble-Rogers, executive director of the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers (Ucet) says his organisation is “extremely concerned” that a breakdown of allocations for 2014-15 has not been released.
He says the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) had withheld both a breakdown by either “phase or secondary subject” and individual providers’ allocations following the release of provisional figures on 1 November.
“This information has been published as a matter of course in the past,” he writes. “The only apparent reason it should now be kept secret is to prevent a timely and legitimate analysis of data before allocations are finalised.
“It should not be necessary in an open democracy for Ucet or anyone else to resort to legislation to obtain information of this kind.”
He adds that he is submitting a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act for the release of figures, should the NCTL fail to relent and provide the data.
Mr Noble-Rogers also says the allocation of places – which have showed a 14.5 per cent drop in core numbers going to university providers – shows the Department for Education had failed to take into account “pragmatic and constructive” suggestions made by Ucet in previous letters and in evidence to MPs. He writes that this was in spite of the fact that the suggestions “appeared to be welcomed at the time”.
In response, the DfE said that detailed allocations – including a breakdown by subject – will be published “in the next few weeks once they have been confirmed by universities and schools”.
“School Direct is proving very popular with both trainees and schools. Last year three candidates applied for every School Direct place, compared with 1.8 applicants per place in universities,” a DfE spokesperson said.
“Universities remain integral to teacher training. Higher education institutions are involved in 82 per cent of teacher training overall.”