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Is the DfE trying to rig the teacher-education market?

May 21, 2013 by

Trainee teachers: a spot of poaching?

The education department seems desperate to teach more teachers; Newham local authority refuses to release a report’s findings; parents give up on battle against academy chain

Relations between the government and university-based teacher educators have reached a new low amid claims that a Department for Education agency has been attempting to lure would-be students away from the traditional higher education sector towards a favoured ministerial project.

An email sent by the National College for Teaching and Leadership – which oversees both traditional, university-based provision and the new School Direct school-based route – sought to persuade prospective postgraduate certificate in education university trainees to consider its rival. It reads: “You may have already applied for a PGCE by now, but have you thought about applying for School Direct?”

It continues, under “Why you should apply for School Direct”: “School Direct is different. That’s because you’re part of a school team from day one, where you can train as a teacher with the expectation of a job once you qualify.

“It’s free to apply. Simple too.”

The Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers (Ucet) has furiously accused the government of trying to “manipulate” the teacher-education market, arguing that its members have tried to play fair by not discouraging would-be students away from School Direct, which is the favoured route of the education secretary, Michael Gove.

Just as intriguing, though, is why officials felt the need to make the appeal. Although the DfE published figures this month suggesting applications for School Direct have been very healthy, questions have been raised about the detail behind the numbers, amid persistent rumours that the total actually accepted on to School Direct is still low. Is the DfE getting desperate?

via Education in brief: Is the DfE trying to rig the teacher-education market? | Education | The Guardian.

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