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Teacher training: League table raises concern over quality of courses

Original paper headline: Teacher training league table raises concern over quality of courses

Oxford, Cambridge and Exeter are the top universities for teacher training, according to an unofficial league table which claims to raise concerns about the quality of courses in the UK.

Academics from Buckingham University compared the qualifications of students, Ofsted ratings and the job prospects for trainees when they finish to compile the rankings.

Oxford, Cambridge and Exeter top the table while Bradford College, London South Bank and London Metropolitan are at the bottom.

The same three topped a separate league for secondary courses, while Reading was the highest ranked university for primary training.

The study also ranks school centered initial teacher training. The Billericay Educational Consortium came top, followed by the Devon Primary SCITT Group and the Borough of Poole SCITT.

West Mercia Consortium, Somerset SCITT Consortium and Marches Consortium SCITT were ranked at the bottom.

The report, by Alan Smithers, claims less than three-fifths of the recruits to undergraduate teacher training courses had two A-levels.

"Secondary fared worst of all, with only just over half reaching this standard. In terms of tariff points education had the lowest average entry scores of all the 19 fields in UCAS's figures for 2004, the university cohort that would have been represented in these final-year teacher training statistics."

Only 60 per cent of those on postgraduate courses have a 2:1 or above. But this falls to 20 per cent at London South Bank and 29 per cent in Sunderland for those on secondary PGCEs.

In primary postgraduate courses only around a third of entrants at London South Bank, London Metropolitan, East London and Greenwich had a 2:1 or above.

Around 92.3 per cent of the intake to undergraduate primary courses at Reading had two A-levels compared with only 1.4 per cent at Bradford College. Just 6.5 per cent of secondary undergraduate students at Marjon in Plymouth had two A-levels.

But universities have raised concerns about the report, claiming data used is unreliable.

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