Spectrum of subjects is at the tipping point

11th February 2011 at 00:00

Michael Gove has more than halved the number of teacher training places in economics and business studies for 201112, and has withdrawn bursaries for teacher trainees in these subjects ("Training courses at risk from Gove's axe", 4 February).

The number of pupils studying economics, financial education and business subjects in schools is rising. This demand may not be met. At a time when financial understanding and enterprise education has never been more important, these cuts will result in fewer children being taught in these crucial areas and where they are, they will increasingly be taught by non-specialist teachers.

Teacher training numbers in this area have been squeezed over the last few years but nearly all training courses have been able to continue. Ofsted rates much of the universities' provision of these courses and continuing professional development in these areas as "outstanding". It is likely many of these courses will fold.

Bursaries have been important to attract specialist business studies teachers because many are mature students, redeployed from contracting areas. The withdrawal of bursaries will further reduce the potential supply.

Enterprise and business education is the vehicle in the school curriculum that fosters entrepreneurial culture and prepares young people to meet future challenges in the local, national and international markets.

The cut in the number of business studies teacher training places will lead to a profound negative impact, not only on our pupils in schools and colleges, but also on our economy. We call upon Mr Gove to reconsider his plans.

Duncan Cullimore, chief executive Agnes Cserhati, chair, Economics, Business and Enterprise Association.

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