A National Teaching Force?

John Howson

The news that Teach First with its national brand of teacher preparation is to expand into rural areas where schools are under-performing raises the interesting issue of how long two system of teacher preparation can co-exist within the same framework for teacher preparation?

By contrast to Teach First, School Direct, apparently also favoured by government, is a devolved, school controlled, training route where individual schools can decide from year to year whether to train teachers or not depending upon local circumstances. So long as they can ensure trainees reach QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) Schools with School Direct places allocated to them have considerable autonomy.

In many senses the two routes – School Direct and Teach First are at opposite end of the spectrum in relation to national control and management of the process and outcomes of teacher preparation. Caught between the two are the universities, and their tried and tested…

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