DT body wants longer PGCE course

11th July 2008 at 01:00
The one-year PGCE teaching qualification is not enough to qualify teachers for complex subjects such as design and technology, officials have been warned

The one-year PGCE teaching qualification is not enough to qualify teachers for complex subjects such as design and technology, officials have been warned.

The Design and Technology Association - one of the biggest subject associations - is calling for ministers to set in place a new, longer teaching qualification.

It says that one-third of primary teachers lack the confidence or enthusiasm to teach the subject.

"The one-year PGCE is currently the most popular route into design and technology teaching," the 6,000-strong association said.

"Trainees following this course, from a diverse range of backgrounds, have a huge amount of subject knowledge to acquire, along with the associated pedagogy."

Richard Green, the association's chief executive, said: "With the amount of material that needs to be covered, one year is a very short time for some trainees to cram in all that information."

The association was responding formally to a damning report from Ofsted. It said high-tech computer equipment worth thousands of pounds was sitting unused in schools because teachers had not been trained to use it.

The association called on the Department for Children, Schools and Families to develop new initial teacher training.

The alternative, longer training routes should provide trainees with the time to acquire appropriate levels of skills and knowledge, the association said. That would be topped up with continuing professional development throughout teachers' careers.

A spokesman for the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) said any decision to change the duration of the PGCE rested with the Government.

He said the TDA provided pound;9,000 tax-free bursaries for eligible design and technology trainees, as well as funding subject booster courses for them once they were working as qualified teachers.

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