May 16, 1997

Your In Brief item headed "UNL consortium's teaching won't do" (THES, May 2) was so brief that it gives a very misleading account.

The consortium of seven schools which was referred to was headed and organised by one of the schools, not the University of North London.

UNL was indeed the validating agency for this School-Centred Initial Teacher Training scheme in North London.

However, because we shared similar concerns to Ofsted about the quality of training provided, we terminated our involvement in the scheme in late 1996. The scheme itself has now closed down.

We continue our involvement as the validating body of another very successful secondary school SCITT in West London and are due to carry out a validation for a consortium of primary schools in Southend-on-Sea in the near future.

Our aim in providing quality assurance to such schemes is to ensure that they are indeed of high quality and, where they are not, we will say so, as we did in this case.

Ian Menter

School of education University of North London

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