Wales is denied its PGCE aid

January 12, 2001

Teacher training chiefs at two Welsh higher education institutions fear college teaching courses may have to close following a minister's decision to exclude their students from receiving grants.

Staff and students at Cardiff University and the University of Wales College Newport, the only two Welsh institutions to offer full-time training for further education teachers, took their protest against the decision to the Welsh Assembly before Christmas.

They are waiting to hear from the assembly's new education minister, Jane Davidson, whether the £6,000 incentive grants given to English students studying for the postgraduate certificate in education this year - including those training for further education - will become available to Welsh students in future.

David Egan, chair of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers in Wales, said that creating differences between England and Wales for what was a single labour market threatened to destabilise teacher training. Students who might have considered training in Wales were likely to apply instead to an English institution.

"If these courses fail to recruit, there is a real possibility that they will have to close. We will then be storing up serious problems for ourselves for recruitment into FE teaching in Wales," he said.

A spokeswoman for the Welsh Assembly said the decision had been made because there was no shortage of further education lecturers in Wales. But she added that the minister was looking at the decision again.

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