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Shake-up lifts teacher training

Inspectors have rated teacher training at Aberystwyth University as a good grade 2 following a management shake-up.

Major changes were made in the school of education after it got a grade 4 - the lowest but one grade - for its leaders' ability to improve standards at the end of 2007. It scored 3s in the other categories.

Experienced teachers were drafted in to work alongside university tutors to hone their practical teaching skills. Senior management also conducted observations.

Last year, there were 110 postgraduate primary and 130 secondary trainees at the school.

Under the shake-up, data from partnership schools is now scrutinised to identify those lecturers who are not giving trainees a good start. Liaison officers also provide individual training in schools for trainees who struggle to attend.

According to the inspectorate, there was better record-keeping on their return. They also said more consistent judgments about trainee standards had been made since tutors and mentors began joint observations. But Estyn said there was still room for improvement.

The Reverend Professor Peter Neil, director of the school, was disappointed with Estyn's original report. "We had had a period of turbulence and had asked Estyn to put off its inspection," he said. "Going from a grade 4 to 2 is a considerable jump."

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