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Second thoughts on training

I must apologise for some of the remarks in my article on school-centred initial teacher training schemes (Opinion, TES, September 29). I had second thoughts about its insulting tone as soon as I sent it, and had understood that it was not going to appear.

The point obscured by my flippancy was that it was not fair to compare SCITT students' lesson-ratings with those of university students: almost all the former were observed by Her Majesty's Inspectors. compared with only a sample of the latter.

All weak SCITT students must have been assessed but only representatives (not an accurate sample) of university students. To lead with this statistic, as the report does, was unfair and gave the false impression that the experiment had failed.

The most significant finding of the study was that SCITTS produce no teachers who are unsuited to the profession - an achievement beyond the competence of universities (according to HMI). This shows how rapidly poor teaching would disappear from schools if teachers were gatekeepers to the profession.

MICK McMANUS

Principal lecturer, School of education

Leeds Metropolitan University

Editor's note: Mick McManus's article appeared in its uncorrected form as a result of a misunderstanding at The TES. We apologise for any embarrassment this has caused him.

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