Government slammed for ‘outrageous veil of secrecy’ over unpublished teacher training figures
The government has been criticised for not yet publishing details of how teacher training places have been allocated.
The Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) says individual universities and school-centered initial teacher training providers have known since September how many places they have been allocated for September 2017.
But the details yet to be publicly released, despite the corresponding information being published in mid-October last year.
James Noble-Rogers, executive director of UCET, said: “At a time when many headteachers and indeed HMCI, have expressed concern at a crisis in teacher supply, it is outrageous that training places are being allocated under a veil of secrecy.”
Teacher training providers were told that some providers would get three-year allocations to allow them to better plan staffing and resources. Last year’s experiment of dispensing with allocations and allowing a free-for-all was modified within months after fears that Cambridge and Oxford would lose their history teacher training places and certain regions would be left short of teachers despite having empty teacher training places.
The government has been asked for the figures for 2017 in parliament, via a written question from Baroness Donaghy.
But Lord Nash, the schools minister, replied earlier this week that the figures would be published “in due course”.
“The refusal to answer a clear and unambiguous question tabled in parliament is at best disrespectful to both the profession and to parliament itself,” said Mr Noble-Rogers. “We trust that the government will be more forthcoming in response to a freedom of information request submitted by UCET to the DfE on 24 November.”
Initial teacher training recruitment for 2017 consists a mix of allocated places in drama, history, PE and primary, uncapped recruitment in the hardest to fill subjects including maths and physics. There is a mix of allocated places for universities and school-centered initial teacher training in art, biology, chemistry, English and music. But School Direct providers can recruit in this last group of subjects up to a national cap.
The Department for Education has been contacted for comment.