Partnership is the primary aim

19th September 1997 at 01:00
It is a pity that The TES misrepresented the tone and purpose of the recent national primary initial teacher-training conference (September 12). Its purpose was precisely to move beyond recent difficult relations between the sector, Teacher Training Agency and Office for Standards in Education to a new relationship - a partnership - with those who fund and inspect our work.

There was no "explicit snub" to either agency, but an early planning decision (communicated to colleagues in both) to concentrate on what the sector could do for itself in taking initiatives, speaking with authority from the professional high ground and making clear why it deserved to be listened to. The mood on the final day was one of confidence and determination to be constructive, and the contribution from Estelle Morris, education minister, did much to crystallise that mood.

Primary training partnerships are overwhelmingly successful, but teacher educators need to work to make their achievements known. In a network of regional groupings and the establishment of recognised representation for the sector as a whole we hope to move on, and will gladly help The TES to catch up.

Eileen Baker

Principal Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln

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