Tie up the watchdogs, say lecturers

15th May 1998 at 01:00
"Over-inspected" lecturers in university education departments have called on the Government to rein in its regulators.

The Association of University Teachers says teacher training should come under the remit of the new General Teaching Council - not the Teacher Training Agency.

And it fears that new powers for the Office for Standards in Education to inspect teacher-training courses could erode academic freedom and the traditional autonomy of universities.

The AUT's annual policy-making council met this week amid distrust of Government plans to regulate the sector and disappointment over what the union called a "lousy pay deal" of 3.8 per cent phased over the year.

Regulation of education departments is a particular thorn in the side of a union which is concerned about academic freedom in all departments - as the Government prepares to set up the new Quality Assurance Agency. The AUT fears the QAA could enforce a national curriculum for higher education.

But education departments are already regulated in a way that the rest of higher education is not.

An angry David Triesman, AUT general secretary, was expected to tell the conference in Worthing that the "bureaucrats who drive the paper mills of the quality industry" should "give back the baton".

"You have proved you can fell forests, pulp paper, trash teachers, revile researchers and supplement stress - to no purpose. Give back the professional judgements to a successful profession."

Paul Cottrell, the AUT's assistant general secretary, said education departments felt "over-inspected and over-quality assured," with OFSTED, the research assessment exercise, QAA and internal audits all adding a burden.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now