Ang University of Cambridge It is said to stop teacher training courses if the government continues with destructive measures to change how primary and secondary school teachers are trained in England.
Cambridge’s decision, backed by its vice-chancellor, Prof Stephen Toope, is likely to be followed by Oxford and other universities that train thousands of new teachers each year, with a potentially huge blow to prestige and recruitment of teaching profession.
Prof Susan Robertson, head of faculty education at Cambridge, said the government’s measures would make it impossible for the university to pursue postgraduate courses, which train up to 350 students each year.
“If these reforms are implemented, we will find high-quality delivery [education] is deeply compromised, and we have no choice but to not offer an initial certificate of postgraduate educational training, ”Robertson said.
“We have an outstanding PGCE program, for primary and secondary teachers, and what we’re looking at in this highly prescribed curriculum and teaching model is not what it does. We need to get out.”
The changes, in which school leaders are likened to a “devastating ball”, would require Cambridge and all other providers to be re -credited, and follow a standard format. Critics say it will destroy existing relationships between training courses and schools, which have been replaced by large group placements and an untested guidance program based on little evidence.
In submitting it to the government evaluation of initial teacher training, Cambridge said it wanted the result to be “paused” to allow the government to re-examine its evidence base and consider criticism of proposals from across the sector.
Oxford and University College London’s Institute of Education also joined the attacks, Oxford said Department for Education (DfE) it is “deeply concerned about the academic integrity” of the proposals and “potential reputational risk” for the university.
In it response, UCL said the government review “presents instruction as general, easy to replicate sequences of activities, based on a limited and established evidence base”. It concluded: “In their current form, the measures risk widespread and disruptive disruption … putting the quality and supply of provision at risk and eroding capacity for improvement.”
Robertson said that while there were issues with the quality of teaching in the sector, the government failed to consult with leading providers and insisted on a speedy consultation taking place over the summer holidays, which end on August 22.
“Honestly, we don’t have confidence in this report, we don’t have confidence right now that the government is listening to us. It’s like they want to drive this review,” Robertson said.
“Is it important to risk the remaining providers leaving? We really want to stay with teacher education, which goes above. Our vice-chancellor and pro vice-chancellor see this as a really important contribution to schools, to young learners, and in our region. “
A DfE spokesperson said: “Supporting our teachers with the highest quality training and development is the best way we can improve student outcomes, and we want all teachers to have of a world class start to their careers.
“We are continuing to engage the sector on proposed changes to initial teacher training and we will respond to the review recommendations later this year.”