Teacher training 'on the cheap' challenged 'Cheap' teacher training challenged

Click to follow
Indy Politics
Head teachers are to challenge the Government in the High Court over proposals to train teachers in schools. The decision by the National Association of Head Teachers to seek a judicial review of rules on payments for training student teachers could threaten the Government's policy of basing more teacher training in schools.

Heads are angry that the rules allow governors to divert money from educating pupils to teacher training and that teachers can be compelled to take part in teacher-training schemes. They accused ministers of trying to provide teacher training "on the cheap".

Under the present arrangements, universities and colleges arrange training partnerships with schools and pay money into school budgets for training teachers. But heads say the money offered to schools so far is not enough, because universities are short of cash.

The Government says governors may use other parts of school budgets as well as the money from universities and colleges to pay teachers who are training students. Heads believe money from school budgets should be used only for educating children and that it is illegal to use it for training student teachers.

Head teachers say the Government circular on the subject also breaks the law, because teachers are not required by contract to train teachers. The Government says they are. So any teacher in a school that volunteered to train student teachers could be instructed to take part.

David Hart, the association's general secretary, said: "Extra duties by way of initial teacher training inevitably will detract from the time available to school teachers to perform their main duties."