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Teacher trainers 'cannot deliver';News;News amp; Opinion

TOUGH NEW standards for trainee teachers are unworkable, with colleges forced to collude in a deception that they can be met, academics claimed this week.

The concerns have prompted the National Primary Teacher Education Conference to survey teacher-training providers to see how widespread problems may be. Colin Richards, its chair and professor of education at St Martin's College in Lancaster, said providers could not publicly admit that the standards could not be met without risking losing their accreditation from the Teacher Training Agency.

NaPTEC has brought in the Electoral Reform Society to conduct the ballot. Providers will be asked whether they believe it is possible to ensure that every primary trainee given qualified teacher status has met every standard with adequate evidence to show compliance.

Professor Richards, a former Office for Standards in Education inspector, said NaPTEC supported the need to raise standards. "But many people are being put in an impossible position, ethically and professionally. They are having to go along with something that they cannot deliver," he said.

Teacher Training Agency guidance says that a "mechanistic tick-box approach" is not intended.

A spokeswoman said the standards had been well-received when they were introduced in May 1998 after extensive consultation.

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