Teaching may be a 'craft' but PGCE no tool with which to mould it

9th July 2010 at 01:00

I was somewhat confused by your report, "Training move could 'kill off' PGCE, dons warn" (June 25). In it, the executive director of the Universities' Council for the Education of Teachers said: "This will wipe out some good quality provision in universities across the board and will have a de-stabilising effect on a system which has been consistently rated as good and excellent by Ofsted."

I was confused as two days earlier I'd read in The Sunday Times a report in which Sir Mike Rake, chair of BT, had branded much of British schooling a "disgrace" as nearly a quarter of its applications for apprenticeships had to be thrown away because the candidates were unable to fill in the forms.

I wonder if another news item helps explain the contradiction. In "Watch and learn: constant scrutiny would be good for staff, leaders told" (June 25), I learned that heads are restricted on the number of times they make formal classroom observations. In my long years in industry I can think of no circumstances when a line manager has been unable to enter a subordinate's workplace.

John Harrison, Co-author 'Wot, No School?', Rye, East Sussex.

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