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`On the hoof' planning

I have conducted independent research into the first year of operation of the SCITT schemes and my main findings broadly support HM Inspectorate.

Based on five out of the original six SCITTs, I found the main concern among those operating the scheme was lack of planning time which, in most cases, was less than eight weeks. This meant that programmes were often designed "on the hoof" and basic procedures were not established. Additionally, the schemes were generally dependent upon one, or two, enthusiastic teachers and, quite often, their colleagues were ambivalent about the school's involvement.

As far as the students were concerned, although they frequently applauded the "school-based" nature of the training, a number questioned the lack of theoretical input and the need for more rigour.

While the benefits of schools taking a significant and well-defined role in the training of teachers are undisputed, why doesn't the Government intelligently draw upon both relevant research and the best available advice of established teacher educators to develop ways to foster real and well-planned partnerships for teacher training?

LESLEY ANDERSON

Education services manager

Oxford Brookes University

Oxford

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