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Forgotten flops

The Office for Standards in Education's disclosure of problems with school-centred training (TES, August 18) comes as no surprise to us. We are currently completing extensive research into the history of such forms of training, which were tried well before the last war, for both primary and secondary teaching.

Retired teachers who trained on these schemes retain vivid memories of the difficulties they encountered. Though many spoke warmly about their time in school, the failure to establish a partnership between classroom experience and higher education was the central flaw. As a result these experiments were abandoned by the Board of Education in the 1930s and were very soon forgotten.

There is a wealth of untapped evidence and experience of such schemes that has been entirely overlooked in the present administrative rush to reinvent the wheel.

PETER CUNNINGHAM PHI GARDNER BOBBIE WELLS RICHARD WILLIS

University of Cambridge Faculty of Education Cambridge

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