In the coming academic year, universities will receive £6,367 for each ITE place funded by the Scottish government. However, they will get over £10,000 more per funded place to deliver courses in medicine and dentistry, receiving £16,454 per place for these disciplines.
Those involved in teacher education argue that it should be funded on a par with medicine.
Moyra Boland, depute head of the University of Glasgow’s School of Education, said the move would be justified because of changes over the past four years in the way that student teachers were educated – in particular, the introduction of hub schools, which take their inspiration from teaching hospitals (see “Hub schools” box, below).
“There has been a radical shift in the design of teacher education and that shift has taken place over the past four years with lesser resource than in previous years to sustain it,” Ms Boland said. “One way to support quality teacher education would be to raise the level of funding to the same level as medicine and dentistry because we now have the clinical model of teaching practice, so we have staff in schools supporting our students.
“We have seen some real commitment from the Scottish government and the learning directorate around teacher quality and teacher education. They are very keen to make sure we get the right quality of teachers.”
But she said that this could not be done without the appropriate resources.
A spokesman for the Scottish Funding Council said that price groupings for courses were based on what they cost universities to deliver.
“SFC review annually costing data that universities return to check our price groups – Price Group 1 contains only clinical medicine and dentistry and veterinary science, which the data shows are the most expensive courses to run,” he added.
“Our data shows that initial teacher education is similar to geography, maths, sports science, psychology and architecture, and these subjects are all in Price Group 5.”