Select Committee on Education and Skills Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) (SQ05)

  This note relates to "Teacher training, development and supply" (pages 82-92 of the Chief Inspector's Report).


    —  The effect of skills tests on the quality of training.

    —  Weaknesses in new courses and routes, especially the Graduate Teacher Programme.

    —  The difficulty of finding sufficient secondary schools that are models of good practice.


  The skills tests in literacy, numeracy and ICT are expensive to administer, a source of great stress and uncertainty to trainees and, we think, of dubious validity. There appears to be no evaluation in the report of their contribution to the quality of training. We would urge the Committee to enquire what OFSTED intends to do to evaluate these tests.

  We appreciate the need to find new sources of recruits to teaching but are alarmed at the catalogue of weaknesses in new courses and routes, especially the Graduate Teacher Programme. We would like the Chief Inspector's view on the causes of these weaknesses and where they are chiefly located. If they were to be found in university departments we would certainly want to put our house in order quickly.

  University departments are required, and want, to work in close partnership with schools over the training of teachers. However, finding enough schools of the right quality that are willing to join in training programmes is a perennial problem. Would the Chief Inspector advise that schools should be required to commit themselves to the training of teachers under normal circumstances?

M Convey


March 2002

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