PLANS for a new Church of England Institute for Teaching and
Educational Leadership were due to be made public today. Writing in the Church
Times Education special, the Church's chief education
officer, the Revd Nigel Genders, said that it would develop a pool
of potential heads and senior staff for the 4700 C of E
Behind the venture - the first national initiative of its kind,
Mr Genders wrote, was the need to recruit senior staff who share
the Church's vision for education. It would draw on the network of
11 Anglican universities and 66 C of E training schools that take
part in initial teacher-training, and the expertise existing in
dioceses and parishes, he said.
Planning has already begun for three pilot projects, in separate
geographical regions; they are expected to begin in September.
The search for good head teachers for all schools, particularly
primary schools, is increasingly difficult, recruitment figures
show, but vacancies for church-school head teachers and deputies is
markedly more so. Moreover, church-school governors increasingly
report the difficulty of finding head teachers "who have a vision
for education beyond the latest OFSTED framework or DfE
initiative", Mr Genders writes.
Education officer rebuts faith-school charge.
Secularists who believed in a neutral narrative for education that
was distorted by faith schools were criticised by the C of E's
chief education officer, the Revd Nigel Genders, in a speech last
Addressing the Commission on Religion and Belief in British
Public Life, Mr Genders said: "Secularism is not neutral because it
is in itself a belief system. Our contention is that there is no
such thing as a neutral education. Every school's values,
underpinnings, and assumptions will be implicit or explicit, but
will always be there.
"Whether we think about these and strive to hold a philosophy of
education driven by them or adopt popular curricula resources, we
will be conveying a message to our children," he said.
Teaching-trainer review welcomed by experts
UNIVERSITY teacher-training experts have welcomed the
recommendations of the review of initial teacher-training (ITT)
courses, published last week. The review was chaired by Sir Andrew
It did not, as many feared, propose replacing
university-based undergraduate and postgraduate initial
teacher-training with a wholescale move to school-based routes.
Instead, the review emphasised the value of partnership between
higher education and schools in the preparation of
The director of the University Council for the Education
and Training of Teachers, James Noble-Rogers, said: "We are
delighted that Sir Andrew Carter and his colleagues recognised the
effectiveness of partnerships between schools and universities, and
the important role they play in teacher education."
The report was particularly good news for the 16-member
Cathedral Group of church universities, which between them educate
two-thirds of all primary-school teachers, and 16 per cent of
secondary teachers. The group's chairman, Professor Peter Lutzeier,
said that the partnerships praised by Sir Andrew were at the heart
of teacher formation.
The report's recommendations are in line with the
Cathedral Group's submission to the review, which said that the
university departments provided "a national system of teacher
education, workforce supply, and training that would be difficult
to replicate in a schools-based system". The universities are also
likely to welcome Sir Andrew's call for a review of the
effectiveness of the skills that prospective teachers are required
to have before they can be accepted for training.
Coming so late in this Parliament, the report is
unlikely to have an immediate impact. How far it will influence the
next Government will not be clear until the allocations of 2016
teacher-training places are announced, next autumn.
Teacher-training numbers down. The latest data suggests
that applications for teacher training for 2016/17 are
significantly down on last year, for both primary and secondary
courses. Those for RE are badly affected, the teacher-supply expert
Professor John Howson told a meeting of the Supply and Training of
Teachers Advisory Group at the House of Commons on