Universities waiting for cash from the Government so they could start planning the new Masters in Teaching and Learning have at last been given details of funding arrangements for the course - but the numbers set to sign up are still unclear.
The MTL will cost Pounds 11,476 in total for each student, with money being spent on materials, provider management and events in and out of school.
About 5,000 paid places have been allocated by the Government, but the Training and Development Agency for Schools will not have a firm idea about numbers before applicants register next year.
The TDA has also confirmed that it is delaying the start of the MTL for new heads of departments in national challenge schools. Those beginning their jobs in September will be eligible, but their MTL will run from 201011.
Heads of department in other "challenging" secondaries will start the course at the same time.
University representatives said those running the MTL should receive compensation from the Government if fewer students than expected sign up for the course.
As previously reported in The TES, universities were concerned that there would be a lack of interest in the MTL because of concerns about workload and the fact it is linked to the support package offered to national challenge schools.
The course is open free of charge to all newly qualified teachers in the North West but just NQTs in national challenge schools in the rest of the country.
Their start has been delayed until 2010.