Bursary bungles hit students

4th August 2006 at 01:00
David Hunter's letter (FE Focus, July 28 ) about routes to qualified teacher learning and skills status is timely. While we support many of the broad objectives behind QTLS, we do have to ask why the Department for Education and Skills is putting so many barriers in the way of learning and skills sector teachers who want to achieve this new status.

It has restricted bursaries for pre-service PGCE and Cert Ed students to those training in so called "priority areas", despite the fact that its professionalisation agenda extends beyond particular subjects. It has also reduced the amount of money available for even these bursaries and left the announcement about that decision until after students had accepted places on the understanding that they would receive a bursary. And, finally, in-service PGCE and Cert Ed students are subject to a postcode lottery under which those living in some local authority areas will receive financial support while those from other areas will not. This triple-whammy will undermine the Government's laudable objectives. A bit more joined-up thinking is required."

James Rogers Executive director Universities Council for the Education of Teachers Alfred Place, London WC1

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