Letters: Teacher training faces crisis

This letter appears in the Monday 21st October edition of the Independent

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The Independent Online

Standards of education are being threatened by a serious and growing shortage of school places and an emerging crisis in recruitment to teacher training.

Parents should be seriously concerned not only that their child gets a school place but also whether they will be taught by a well-trained, qualified teacher.

Latest figures indicate that there are serious shortfalls in the recruitment of teacher trainees.  Ten out of thirteen secondary subjects have failed to meet their training allocations this year, in addition to a shortfall in primary places.  The coalition government’s ‘School Direct’ policy, where responsibility for training teachers is transferred to schools, has only added to this crisis.

At the same time university departments of education are considering whether to remain providers of initial teacher training in a context where their training numbers are being slashed.  Bath University has already threatened to axe its teacher training provision; others, with drastic cuts to their allocation of places this year, are likely to follow.

This will damage a teaching profession which is sustained by the research-informed contribution of universities.  University-led initial teacher education works in partnership with schools. All trainees already spend over half their course time in schools, learning from and engaging with a diversity of practice. Transferring responsibility to individual schools constructs a narrow apprenticeship model of teacher education: it undermines any coherent approach to teacher supply and de-professionalises teaching.

The Secretary of State for Education should take full responsibility for the emerging crisis in school places and teacher supply.  We call upon him to safeguard standards of education for children and young people by securing universities’ central role in the development of well-trained and highly-qualified teachers.

Dr Mary Bousted, General Secretary  ATL

Christine Blower, General Secretary NUT

Sally Hunt, General Secretary UCU

Chris Keates, General Secretary NASUWT

Prof Tim Brighouse, Former Chief Education Officer & Schools Commissioner for London

Prof Ian Craig, Executive Director and Registrar, The College of Teachers

Sir Peter Newsam, Director Emeritus, Institute of Education, University of London

Prof Sally Tomlinson, Emeritus Professor, Goldsmiths College, London and Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Education, University of Oxford.

And over 200 more…

Helen Aberdeen , University of Bristol

Prof John Adams, University of Hertfordshire

Jeff Adams,  Professor of Education,  Faculty of Education, University of Chester

Patrick Ainley, Professor of Training and Education, University of Greenwich School of Education and Health

Amelia Albert,  University of East London

David Aldridge, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Education, Oxford Brookes University

Stephen Allen, London South Bank University

Gill Anderson, Institute of Education, University of London

Jim Anderson, Goldsmiths, University of London

Prof Dennis Atkinson, Goldsmiths, University of London

Pura Ariza, Senior Lecturer in Education Faculty of Education Manchester Metropolitan University

Jennifer Bain, Goldsmiths, University of London

Patrick Barmby, University of Durham

Jonathan Barnes, Senior Lecturer, Primary Education Canterbury Christ Church University

Chris Beesley, Subject Leader. PGCE Secondary Mathematics, Institute of Education, University of Reading

Suzi Bewell, CA Leader PGCE MFL Department of Education, University of York

Dave Bilton, University of Reading

Helen Bilton, Associate Professor in Education Institute of Education, University of Reading

John Blanchard, Education consultant

Nalini Boodhoo  Head of School of Education and Lifelong Learning University of East Anglia

Verna Brandford, Institute of Education, University of London

Jacek Brant, Institute of Education, University of London

Dave Brockington, Education Consultant

Prof Margaret Brown Emeritus Professor of Mathematics Education, King's College London

Sarah Bucknill, University of Roehampton

Theo Bryer,   Institute of Education, University of London

Lesley Burgess, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Education , University of London

Deirdre Burrell, Lecturer, Institute of Education, University of Reading

John Butlin, Senior Lecturer in Education, Birmingham City University

Marian Carty, Goldsmiths, University of London

Erica Cattle,  University of East London

Prof Clyde Chitty, Institute of Education, University of London, Goldsmiths College, University of London

Colin Christie, Institute of Education, University of London

John Clarke, University of East London

Graham Clayton, Formerly Senior Solicitor, National Union of Teachers

Tony Clements, School of Education, Durham University

Mandy Cockayne, Director, PGCE Primary, Institute of Education, University of Reading

Frank Coffield, Emeritus Professor of Education, Institute of Education London University

Simon Coffey , Lecturer in Modern Languages Education, King’s College London

Jane Coles, Institute of Education, University of London

Rowena Collins, Birmingham City University, Chair UCET CPD Committee

Caroline Conlon, Institute of Education, University of London

Anne Convery, School of Education, University of Nottingham

Clare Copeland,  Course Director,  PGCE Primary & Early Years, London South Bank University

Valerie Coultas, Senior Lecturer English in Education, School of Education, Kingston University

Jane Courtney, London South Bank University

Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary, NUT

Richard Cowley  Lecturer in Mathematics Education,  Institute of Education, University of London

Sue Cox,  Senior Lecturer, University East Anglia

Caroline Crolla,  Head of Initial Teacher Training, Institute of Education University of Reading,

Gerry Czerniawski  Reader in Education, Research Degrees Leader. The Cass School of Education and Communities, The University of East London

Prof Jeanine Treffers-Daller, Professor of Second Language Education, Director of the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism, Institute of Education, University of Reading

Maire Daley, Advanced Lecturer in Teacher Education, The City of Liverpool College 

Beatrice Davies, Senior Lecturer in Education, Oxford Brookes University

Jan Derry, Institute of Education, University of London.

Fotini Diamantidaki,  Institute of Education, University of London

Professor Justin Dillon, Professor of Science and Environmental education, Head, Science and Technology Education Group (STEG) Department of Education and Professional Studies King's College London

Sue Dixon, Goldsmiths, University of London

Miranda Dodd ,  School of Education, University of Southampton

Gail Edwards, Lecturer in Education, Newcastle University

Jess Edwards, Charter for Primary Education

Ruth Edwards, Senior Teaching Fellow, Education School, University of Southampton

Prof John Elliott, University of East Anglia

Keith Faulkner, University of Sheffield

Judith Flynn  Senior Lecturer, English and English as an Additional language (EAL) and Bilingualism, Manchester Metropolitan University

Anton Franks, University of Nottingham

Hugh Gallagher, University of Strathclyde

David Galloway, Emeritus Professor, University of Durham

Caro Garrett, Chair, Association of Tutors in Science Education

Tony Gelsthorpe, formerly Principal, Thomas Estley Community College, Leicestershire;  IT-INSET Co-ordinator, School of Education, University of Leicester; now school governor

Prof Rosalyn George,  Goldsmiths, University of London

Prof Sharon Gewirtz, King's College London

Prof Ron Glatter,  Emeritus Professor of Educational Administration and Management, The Open University

Amy Godoy-Pressland , University of East Anglia

Prof Andy Goodwyn, Head of The institute of Education, University of Reading

Tracey Goodyere, AST, Senior Lecturer Design and Technology PGCE, Birmingham City University

Anna Lise Gordon, Programme Director, National Teaching Fellow, School of Education, Theology and Leadership, St Mary's University College

John Gordon UEA Secondary PGCE(M) Senior Lecturer, English Education, School of Education and Lifelong Learning University of East Anglia

Vicky Grammatikopoulou, Goldsmiths, University of London

Maggie Gravelle, Principal Lecturer (retired) University of Greenwich

Andrew Green Secondary English, School of Sport and Education, Brunel University

Kate Green, Director of Initial Teacher Education, Southampton Education School,
University of Southampton

Stephen Griffin Senior Lecturer Education and Professional Studies Newman University

Alison Griffiths, Goldsmiths, University of London

Andrew Happle,  PGCE Primary, Institute of Education , University of Reading

John Hardcastle, Lecturer, Institute of Education, University of London

Katrina Harrell, Senior Lecturer in Secondary English, Canterbury Christ Church University

Richard Harris, Lecturer in History Education|Secondary History Tutor: Director MA programmes Institute of Education,  University of Reading

Richard Harris, Chair Southampton Schools Forum

Linda Harris, University of Strathclyde

Prof Richard Hatcher, Birmingham City University

Derek Haylock, Education writer and consultant Senior Fellow, University of East Anglia

Ruth Heilbronn, Institute of Education, University of London

Peter Hick, Principal Lecturer, Inclusive Education Manchester Metropolitan University

Dave Hill, Research Professor in Education Anglia Ruskin University

Gill Hopper, Lecturer in Art & Design in Education, Course leader BAEd Art , Institute of Education , University of Reading

Janet Hoskyns, Professor Emerita, formerly Head of School of Education, Birmingham City University

Philippa Hunt, University of Roehampton   

Prof  Merryn Hutchings - Emeritus Professor, Institute for Policy Studies in Education London Metropolitan UniversityChristine Ivory PGCE Early Years Programme Coordinator, Faculty of Education, Community and Leisure Liverpool John Moores University

Tamsyn Imison, formerly  Headteacher,  Hampstead School

Melanie Jay, PGCE Secondary Course Leader Art and Design, University of Reading

Margaret Jones  Information for School and College Governors

Lee Jerome,  Lecturer in Education, Queen's University Belfast

Sally Johnson, STEM Education Centre London, Institute of Education, University of London

Hanneke Jones, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences Newcastle University

Prof Ken Jones,  Goldsmiths, University of London

Paul Howard-Jones, Reader in Neuroscience and Education, University of Bristol

Lynne Kay, Lecturer in Education, University of East Anglia

Clare Kelly, Goldsmiths, University of London

Prof Andy Kempe, University of Reading - more signatories here