FE training is the poor relation

24th March 2006 at 00:00
Like Ruth Kelly (FE Focus, March 17), we also recognise the importance of continuing professional development for teachers in the Learning and Skills sector, provided that it is structured, relevant and academically robust.

Equally important, however, is their initial education and training, but it is an area that the government does not seem to consider a priority.

Two recent examples demonstrate this. First, despite claims about parity of esteem between the schools and FE sectors, bursaries for prospective teachers in FE are being restricted to particular subjects, while those for prospective school teachers are not. Second, the Department for Education and Skills is still unable to clarify the grants and loans students on post-16 PGCE and Cert Ed courses are likely to receive, despite the fact that courses are due to start in just six months' time.

Potentially good teachers are being lost because of these issues.

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

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