Here are some latest highlights on developments in teacher training:
FE Teachers Able to Teach in Schools?
Subject to approval by parliament, schools will from April 2012 be able to employ teachers who hold qualified teacher learning and skills (QTLS – the professional status for teachers in further education). Head teachers will have the freedom to employ the qualified teacher that best meets the requirements of the job, regardless of whether their background is in schools or further education. Currently, QTLS holders cannot take up posts in Secondary schools.
Plans for Primary Teacher Training
From 2012/13 the Training and Development Agency (TDA) will prioritise primary courses that offer a specialism, particularly in the sciences, mathematics or modern languages. For 2013/14 they expect to adjust financial incentives for trainees to favour trainees on specialist primary courses with a good A-level in mathematics, a science, or a language, over those on generalist courses. They will also require most trainees to hold a 2.1 or first to be eligible for a bursary.
PGCE Bursaries for 2012-13
In line with a new TDA strategy to prioritise trainees with the best qualifications, bursaries for 2012-13 will vary considerably according to the level of degree attained by the applicant as well as teaching shortage areas.
So a Secondary Maths, Physics or Modern Languages student will receive £20,000 if they achieve a first class degree but only £12,000 if they only get a 2.2. The comparative figures for Primary trainees with the same qualifications will be £9,000 and £0.
Information Source: AGCAS
Along with the proposal to allow former HM Forces employees to enter teaching if they can pass relevant skills tests, the new bursary structure may be the most controversial part of the new teacher training strategy. It has been well-researched that students from prosperous backgrounds are more likely to achieve high grades, thus entitling them to the de-luxe level bursaries. Some may therefore query the lack of an ‘inclusiveness’ element in the new strategy and feel it reflects the political preferences of current policy makers.