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High-flyers swoop on fast-track

More than 1,500 people have applied to join the Government's new "fast-track" teacher-training scheme for high-flying graduates.

A Parliamentary written question shows that 1,561 applications were received by the closing date of January 31, which had been extended from the original deadline of January 5.

Schools minister Estelle Morris said: "Like other accelerated progression schemes, applicants will now go through a rigorous selection process. Those recruited will be in addition to those entering teacher-training through other routes."

The Department for Education and Employment has not et a target for places, but the 10 universities running fast-track courses are expecting around 200 between them. They met with Department and Teacher Training Agency officials last week, to continue work on the content of fast-track syllabuses. They have until February 28 to submit their final proposals.

"There will be a degree of individuality from the different providers, but some common threads," said Mike Fleming of Durham University.

The DFEE will be making some course arrangements of its own, with regional and national conferences planned to bring fast-track students together.

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