Review avoids key issue

A long-awaited review of initial teacher training will not deal directly with the vexed issue of whether newly-qualified teachers should be guaranteed an induction-year placement.

The newly-published remit for the review reveals that a contractor will be asked whether the Assembly government should study the proposal "as a separate exercise".

TES Cymru has highlighted the plight of hundreds of NQTs who have so far been unable to complete their induction because of a lack of jobs in Welsh schools.

Unions fear these teachers will be lost to the system - when in a few years' time they will be needed to replace large numbers of retiring teachers. But with the review not due to report in full until September, it seems their call for a guaranteed induction year has been put on the back burner.

Instead, it will look at whether the number of trainee places offered should more closely match the needs of Welsh schools.

Historically, large numbers of teachers who train in Wales go to work in England or Ireland. Focusing only on Wales's needs could have significant implications for university education departments. Swansea university and Swansea Institute of Higher Education have already amalgamated their education departments, but further mergers and course closures could result.

Education and lifelong learning minister, Jane Davidson, said: "The review will focus primarily on how ITT might better deliver NQTs in suitable numbers to meet the needs of maintained schools in Wales.

"It will have particular regard to priority secondary subjects; the foundation phase; the 14-19 agenda; Welsh medium; and special educational needs."

The review is expected to start in March and produce an interim report in June.

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