Non-graduate teaching plan: Patten proposes one-year college courses to train mature students as infant teachers
Launching his much-vaunted proposals for primary teacher training reform, Mr Patten said that colleges should set up new one-year courses for older students without degrees who wanted to teach nursery and infant pupils only.
Applicants should be over 26, with experience of working with young children, and they should have the academic qualifications - just below three grade Cs at A-level is the current average - required for university education.
Mr Patten rejected the 'too easy parody' of his new recruits by some critics as 'a Mums' Army', and denied that the new training course would mean lower standards. He acknowledged that the teaching profession was not suffering from a shortage of applicants, but said he wanted 'to introduce a wider range of people from diverse backgrounds'.
Primary schools will be invited to comment on the proposals, but the main teacher unions were hostile. Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said the proposals were 'underpinned by a false and offensive assumption that teaching young children is easy, requiring fewer professional skills and less personal education'.
Peter Smith, general secretary of the moderate Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said the one-year qualification was a 'spurious qualification, introduced for no convincing reason', and accused the Government of trying to get teachers 'on the cheap'.
'I find it hard to accept that the difficult task of teaching very young children can be done as well by semi-qualified teachers as by qualified ones,' he said.
Other key proposals in Mr Patten's draft circular are that schools should play a more influential role in training courses, and that students should spend more time in the class, although the document does not advocate 100 per cent school-based training which Mr Patten was considering a year ago.
Students on four-year courses should spend at least 32 weeks in the classroom instead of 20 at present, and those on three-year courses 24 weeks instead of 15. One-year postgraduate certificate in education courses, as well as the new non-graduate courses, should include a minimum of 18 weeks in school.
Primary schools wishing to run their own training courses can apply for direct funding. Mr Patten said they would receive about pounds 4,000 a year per student teacher, which would be diverted from training colleges.
Many teachers agree in principle that more emphasis could be put on training in school, but union leaders said they did not believe this would be adequately financed.
Mr Patten said primary training courses should concentrate more on the core subjects of English, maths and science, and should ensure that teachers could maintain order and discipline in their classrooms.
He also proposed new courses to prepare specialists to teach their own subject to older primary pupils.
- 1 Mystery of the Siberian holes at the end of the world 'solved': Scientists offer explanation
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 Sean Hannity reacts to Russell Brand's Israel-Gaza criticism: 'You're a dumb actor known for your failed marriage to Katy Perry'
Lost portraits of the Somme: 100 images of Tommies posing before they went over the top. Now can you help to identify them?
Mystery of the Siberian holes at the end of the world 'solved': Scientists offer explanation
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Ashley Cole tweets unsettling meme of him stalking ex-wife Cheryl Cole and new husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- < Previous
- Next >
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM A high qual...
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...
£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...
£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...