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Concern over new trainee profiles

The Government has published proposals for trainee profiles - records of achievement which student teachers carry into their professional life.

In theory, the "profiles of competences" will form the basis for induction and the further professional development long favoured by academics in the field. But the implications remain unclear, say teacher-trainers, as much depends on whether the profile documents are taken as restrictive checklists or as more flexible guidelines.

Professor John Tomlinson, of the University of Warwick, said there was a danger that the profile could become mechanistic, ignoring less tangible aspects of a teacher's work, such as the ability to establish relationships with the children.

The document, drawn up by the now-abolished Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, sets out several headings against which it expects trainees to be judged.

These are: knowledge and understanding of the curriculum; subject knowledge and subject application; teaching strategies, techniques and class management; assessment and recording of pupil progress; and the foundation for further professional development.

Trainees should be assigned a grade for each category accompanied by a description of their ability. There will be no overall grade.

* The document is now out for consultation. Replies are expected by the end of February next year.

The Government has also this week published proposals for its Headteacher Leadership and Management Programme (Headlamp) to support newly-promoted headteachers in their first two years.

Governors will be able to reclaim up to Pounds 2,500 (Pounds 1,500 in group 1 schools) on training for the head, providing the trainer is approved by the Teacher Training Agency.

The consultation paper sets out a list of management tasks and competences that the Department expects heads to meet. Responses to the document should be received by January 20, 1995.

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