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Blueprint for training league tables published

A detailed blueprint for the controversial league tables of teacher training courses is published today by the Teacher Training Agency, writes Josephine Gardiner.

The first table is due to be published on October 1 next year, with subsequent ones every July.

The agency says that the first table will include information gleaned from the Office for Standards in Education re-inspection of primary teacher training courses.

The idea originated this July as part of the Government's drive to reform teacher training after the Education Secretary questioned whether newly-qualified teachers were being adequately prepared to teach reading. Critics saw the tables as another attempt to force a crude market ethos on academia.

The purpose, says the TTA's director, Anthea Millett, is to provide prospective students with "much more information than they have at present about the nature and quality of provision".

Grades allocated to courses by OFSTED inspectors will be an important performance indicator. The tables will also reveal how many students completed the course and how many achieved qualified teacher status.

For primary undergraduate courses, potential students will be able to examine A-level grades of entrants to each course. Prospective graduate entrants could discover the percentage and number entering each course with a degree classified 2:1 or better.

The tables will also include the schools' verdicts on the quality of new teachers they employ from the various institutions.

Students completing training will be asked to return questionnaires grading their courses.

One controversial aspect of the tables is likely to be the inclusion of information on the grading of newly-qualified teachers on the 1-7 scale during OFSTED inspections. It will be argued that the link between a teacher's performance during an inspection and the quality of the training institution the teacher used to attend is too tenuous.

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