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Review deadline missed

The General Teaching Council has failed to meet the deadline set by the Education Minister for its "partnership" review of teacher training. But Ivor Sutherland, the council's registrar, denied the delay was connected with the unresolved issue of how to assess student teachers during school placements.

Council members will learn at their December meeting next Wednesday that more time is needed to process responses to the consultative paper issued in October. Mr Sutherland has written to Raymond Robertson, the Education Minister, advising him that "to do the consultees justice, the working group felt that it would require somewhat longer than envisaged". The new target is March.

Mr Sutherland said the postponement of the final report would allow more time to reach agreement on the issues of assessment and resources, which are being considered in separate sub-groups.

Mr Robertson set up the review following the collapse of the mentoring scheme for teacher training. But the council's October meeting revealed considerable disagreement over the respective roles of schools and teacher education institutions in assessing students (TESS, October 4).

Mr Sutherland believes schools should be treated as equal partners in assessment decisions about prospective teachers but some principals want the final say to rest with the colleges.

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