Vice-Chancellor says universities stepped in at the eleventh hour to prevent a national teacher trainee shortage
Release Date 27 November 2013
University of Reading Vice-Chancellor and former top civil servant at the Department for Education Sir David Bell told BBC News today that universities have had to 'bail out' the new teacher training scheme, School Direct. He was commenting in response to the publication of DfE's 2013/14 teacher training recruitment statistics.
"The cracks have been papered over thanks to universities stepping in at the last minute to take on unfilled places.
"We've got to ask some serious questions about schools' capacity to take on even more trainees next year, when they fell short this year and some universities are thinking of moving out of teacher training completely - removing that potential safety net.
"It is worrying that higher education is being further squeezed out of the market next year, when we know there are still risks of real shortages in key subjects.
"It is perverse that university courses which have trained high-quality teachers for years are being choked off. It is fine to create a range of training routes but not at the expense of good, proven providers - it's tantamount to cutting off your nose to spite your own face.
"The idea that universities peddle left-wing dogma to trainees is just not true. Teacher supply should not be driven by a misconceived, ideological fixation."