Cumbria university ahead of the game on teacher training changes
Last updated at 13:50, Saturday, 18 February 2012
The way some future secondary school teachers train in Cumbria is changing to prevent their courses becoming at risk of closure due to threatened changes to government funding.
The government is looking to switch more of its funding from university-led courses towards school-based training because ministers believe trainee teachers need more real-life experience of working in classrooms.
A letter has been sent to all universities offering secondary PGCE courses warning that those with 10 students or fewer are “potentially unviable” and funding may not be guaranteed for them from 2013.
Universities are being encouraged to merge courses with or between others to ensure courses can still be funded.
There are currently at least three such postgraduate courses at the University of Cumbria that have fewer than 10 students.
Its faculty of education leaders have already preempted the move and looked to safeguard their futures by working more closely with local schools.
Associate dean Dr Mark Whitfield said: “We’ve been rising to the challenge before we were even told of the policy changes, in effect preempting what may happen in terms of emerging policy.
“We’ve got very good relationships with schools not only across Cumbria but across the country and we’ve already got a number of courses where our students are based in schools.”
Dr Whitfield has been working on the university’s Learning Partnership concept which sees the institution working much closely with particular schools to address issues and help boost a school’s expertise in a particular field.
In a new scheme, the university will from September see its new intake of modern foreign language teacher training students based at a newly-created facility at Dallam School in the south of the county rather than its Lancaster campus.
Cumbria university trains more teachers than any other university in the country.
First published at 08:55, Saturday, 18 February 2012
Published by http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk
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