We note with interest the problems Ofsted has identified with on-the-job teacher training on the Graduate Teacher Programme, and how it compares unfavourably with mainstream training carried out in partnership between higher education institutions and schools.
This should be borne in mind when those such as Chris Woodhead and the House of Commons education select committee call for more initial teacher education to be solely employment-based.
Universities recognise the potential benefits of employment-based routes and, in principle, support diversity of provision. But our essential and pre-eminent role in supplying large numbers of motivated and committed teachers must not be overlooked.
We believe disparity in quality should be taken into account when training places are allocated, particularly in age-phases and subjects where recruitment is no longer a problem.
James Rogers Executive director Universities Council for the Education of Teachers 58 Gordon Square, London WC1