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Dentistry: Class Sizes

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what the student to teacher ratio was in each dental school in the UK in each of the last 10 years; what the Department’s recommended student to teacher ratio is; and if he will make a statement; (183734)

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the impact of increased student numbers on the clinical time included in dental students’ training;

(3) what assessment his Department has made of the dental academic workforce; and what plans his Department has to increase the number of dental academic posts in the UK's dental schools.

Although we have not specified a student teacher ratio, we are aware from surveys conducted by the Council of Heads and Deans of Dental Schools of a decrease in the number of clinical academic dentists. In order to address this challenge, in the context of the increase in student numbers, the Department of Health has allocated additional funds building to £29 million by 2010/11 for the clinical training of dental students. With the development of outreach training in dentistry, more students are receiving part of their training in general dental practices where suitable trained and experienced dental practitioners provide clinical training.