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Scotland - Training cash faces 10% cut

The teacher-training budget in Scotland is set to be slashed again, The TESS has revealed.

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) last week unveiled plans to redistribute its pound;700 million grant for teaching courses at universities. The effect will be to create winners and losers among the various subjects, and means the allocation that goes to education faculties could drop by 10 per cent, from pound;53 million to pound;48 million.

This comes on top of the pound;8 million cut in teacher training for 2010-11, announced last month by John Swinney, the Scottish finance minister, in his draft budget.

The teacher education institutions are aghast and the universities have expressed their opposition, particularly the newer ones, which will lose most heavily because they have a greater number of courses priced in a lower category by the SFC.

The funding council says its proposals, which are out for consultation until 4 December, are based on returns from the universities on the actual costs of delivering courses, so they are therefore fairer and represent better value for money.

But Professor Jim Conroy, dean of education at Glasgow University, said the Transparent Approach to Costing for Teaching, the mechanism used, is not suitable for teacher training.

"It does not capture the complex workload patterns surrounding classroom placements - for example, in terms of supporting students and engaging with the profession, as well as other costs such as travel, which are substantial in some places," he said. NM.

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