Rapid rise of school-centred initial teacher training puts university courses under threat, experts warn

New figures reveal a sharp increase in the number of school-based teacher training providers, leading experts to predict the closure of university courses.

TES can reveal that there are now 164 Scitt (school-centred initial teacher training) providers in England. This figure, obtained from the National College for Teaching and Leadership, is almost double the total in 2013, when there were 86 Scitts. Some 46 have been created in the past year alone.

Professor John Howson, an expert in teacher supply, predicts that these courses will become the dominant school-based route for secondary teacher training, leading to the closure of university courses.

“One consequence may well be that it further diminishes the position of universities in teacher preparation,” the honorary research fellow at the University of Oxford told TES. “In some cases it will cause them to pull out of the sector completely.”

James Noble-Rogers, executive director of the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers (Ucet), said: “There is a case for new Scitts, but it should be where there is proven demand. Vast numbers of new Scitts in areas where there is no demand could undermine good-quality training offered by both existing Scitts and higher education institutions.”

Read more in the 24 July issue of TES. You can read it on your tablet or phone, or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents.

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