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
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