Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Future of Teacher Training under Threat

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Future of Teacher Training under Threat

Article excerpt

Anglia Ruskin latest to drop out as policy continues to favour school-led system. John Elmes reports

The "viability" of more university teacher training departments is likely to be under threat after the number of places allocated to higher education providers was cut yet again, a vice-chancellor has said.

John Cater, head of Edge Hill University and chair of the joint Universities UK and GuildHE Teacher Education Advisory Group, issued the warning as Anglia Ruskin University became the latest institution to confirm that it was closing its initial teacher training courses, stating that the "difficult decision" was taken in the light of "significant decline in demand for university provision".

The institution follows the University of Bath and The Open University, which both announced the closure of their postgraduate teacher training courses last year.

Last week, the overall share of teacher training places at other universities fell by 5 per cent from 2014-15 as the latest allocations from the government's National College for Teaching and Leadership were announced. The figures showed that the government was expanding its School Direct policy - which allows schools to select and recruit their own trainees.

The University of Leeds received no places for either core provision or through providing training for School Direct trainees, having received 103 provider-led places in the 2014-15 provisional allocations. The university confirmed that it is not currently offering places on PGCE programmes for 2015-16, "following an Ofsted inspection which judged that the course required improvement", and hoped to secure an improved grade before resuming courses.

Loughborough University's provider-led allocations dropped by 38.6 per cent, a reduction of 44 places, while there was a 32.9 per cent decrease in core numbers at Oxford Brookes University, amounting to 135 places overall. …

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