Trust drops Fast Track scheme

27th December 2007 at 00:00
A major educational consultancy which runs a scheme to prepare promising teachers for management jobs is to end its association with the programme.

CfBT Education Trust refused to say why it had not bid to run the Fast Track scheme beyond August next year, when its contract expires. The scheme was launched in 2001 and now receives around pound;12.5 million a year funding.

Fast Track was criticised recently by Barry Sheerman, the chairman of the Commons select committe that covers education, who said plans to restructure it next summer removed its best elements, including its residential courses.

Teachers have also criticised the project recently, saying they lacked support from tutors and received "banal" advice.

Alex Brassey, a London teacher who has been on the scheme for several years, said the project seemed on its last legs. He said: "In the past year I've noticed they have been contacting me a lot less, I get less material through the post and less contact with my tutor."

Fast Track's total budget since its launch has been pound;76.93million, or pound;469,000 for each of the 164 "graduates" who have so far progressed to senior roles.

There are 1,900 teachers still on the scheme, although some perks, including free laptops for trainees, have been axed.

The National College for School Leadership has overseen Fast Track since 2006 and will award the three-year contract. It was unable to name the bidders.

CfBT runs a handful of government programmes including the Gifted and Talented programme, and has an annual turnover of pound;100 million and 2,000 staff.

Margaret Abbott, UK services director at CfBT said it would work closely with NCSL and others to ensure there was "no disruption of service" to Fast Track teachers.

A consortium led by Lord Puttnam and Lord Bragg, which includes Channel 4, television producers Mentorn Media, and The Guardian, have joined the bidding for Teachers TV. Ten Alps, Sir Bob Geldof's production company, has the contract to run the government-funded television channel until August and will also be entering a renewed bid.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today