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Training agency seeking quality

The front-page article on teacher training (TES, September 1) makes an important omission from the quotes attributed to me. It is that the programme we shall be launching to promote teaching as a profession will target high quality candidates for teaching and teacher training, not "cast-offs".

This will be a wide-ranging programme, offering information and advice to people of all ages and backgrounds, including those for whom teaching would be a change of career. There will also be firm links to our other programmes of work, including the development of a more diverse teacher-training system - the newer forms of training, such as school-centred initial teacher training and the Open University distance-learning courses have had conspicuous success in attracting trainees who are generally both more mature and more likely to come with a science or mathematics background than students on traditional courses. These are success stories on which the Teacher Training Agency intends to build.

STEPHEN HILLIER Secretary Teacher Training Agency Portland House Stag Place London SW1

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