Councils face huge induction year bill

7th May 1999 at 01:00
THE INDUCTION year introduced today for all new teachers will cost local education authorities millions of pounds.

Newly-qualified teachers will get at least half-a-day off each week to complete their training. But the Department for Education and Employment has confirmed it will meet only half the cost of supply cover and other expenses. Local authorities will be expected to provide the rest - and the supply bill alone is expected to run into millions.

Inner cities will lose out further because the DFEE cash will be part of the government Standards Fund's school improvement grant, which is linked to pupil numbers. That means authorities which take on many new teachers will get the same amount as those with low staff turnovers.

Around 17,000 teachers embark on their careers each year. Each recruit will have a designated tutor to observe their teaching, review their progress, assess training needs and arrange for them to observe experienced teachers in action. Half of those costs too will fall on local authorities.

Ministers are thought to be reluctant to meet the full cost because it could amount to a blank cheque if recruitment finally turns the corner. But the National Union of Teachers warned it could undermine the induction year the aim of which is to raise standards among newly-qualified teachers.

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