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Student Teachers

Volume 201: debated on Tuesday 14 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what numbers of student teachers (a) were in the course of and (b) completed their professional training, respectively, in training institutions in each of the last five years; what ratio of student teachers to nominated practising teachers he expects to require, authorise and pay for when students are on school practice, in accordance with his recent proposals; and by what means he expects to provide experienced replacement teachers for the time spent by the nominated teachers in their additional responsibilities.

Information about the numbers of students enrolled on and completing courses of initial teacher training in each of the last five years is not immediately available. I shall send this information to the hon. Member as soon as possible.The proposals so far announced by my right hon. and learned Friend relate to secondary postgraduate (PGCE) courses. The ratio of student teachers on such courses to teacher tutors in schools will be determined locally by higher education institutions and their partner schools.Higher education institutions will be expected to reimburse their partner schools for extra costs resulting from their enhanced role in initial teacher training. The resources available to initial teacher training should increase as the number of student teachers rises and there will have to be a significant shift of funds to schools, within these rising resources, as the changes take effect. Meanwhile, the higher education funding councils have agreed to make extra funds available, from within the resources already allocated to them, to those institutions which provide secondary PGCE courses. My right hon. and learned Friend will be making an extra £3 million available to the funding councils to supplement their allocations to these institutions. The funding councils have been invited to issue guidance to institutions on the procedure for bidding and the basis on which bids will he considered.