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Fears on BEd classroom practice

THE NEW teacher training guidelines are mostly "unexceptional", Ivor Sutherland, registrar of the General Teaching Council, says.

But Mr Sutherland criticised the fact that references to the place of school experience in contributing towards the primary BEd degree had been removed. Teaching practice accounts for 30 weeks of the four-year course.

"We believe that a good BEd award must mean that the student has what it takes to be a good classroom practitioner," he said. "The guidelines could therefore be seen as downgrading school experience and putting emphasis on academic study and theory."

Mr Sutherland would also have preferred a stronger requirement that secondary-trained specialists in subjects like drama, PE and art should have a more thorough experience of primary schools before they start working there.

But the council welcomes the recognition that preparing students for a teaching career should be a partnership between schools, education authorities, teacher education institutions and the GTC.

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