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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 July, 2004, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Type of trainee teachers changing
Artist's impression of new Cambridge University eduction faculty
Top training provider, Cambridge, is building a new education faculty
Fast-growing employment-based teacher training in England is diversifying the profession, latest figures show.

More men are joining primary schools this way, and those training in secondary subjects are getting older.

The qualifications of students entering the profession rose again, the Teacher Training Agency's annual profiles of training providers indicate.

A "league table" of university training courses puts Cambridge at the top, ahead of Oxford for the first time.

Learning on the job

The training agency (TTA) said innovative, employment-based training routes were helping to boost the number of new secondary school teachers in shortage subjects.

A total of 1,691 of the new secondary teachers in subjects such as maths, science and English came through the employment-based routes, principally the Graduate Teacher Programme.

This enables people who have a degree and experience in a different line of work to teach while training and be paid at least the minimum unqualified teacher's salary (currently 13,266), so they can keep earning while changing career.

The profiles have been analysed by Professor Alan Smithers and Dr Pamela Robinson of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at the University of Liverpool.

They said this employment-based training - as opposed to the traditional sort in university education departments - was changing the characteristics of teaching.

For example, almost double the proportion of primary trainees were male - 23.4%, against 12.1% for the universities (which was down one percentage point).

Better degrees

There were also higher proportions from ethnic minority groups - double the rate for primary trainees, at 12.7%.

And nearly all the trainees were aged 25 or more.

The proportion of postgraduate entrants to teaching who had obtained at least a 2:1 degree rose in both primary and secondary sectors.

Over the seven years in which the profiles have been appearing, it has gone up from 49% to 55% in primary, and 46% to 52% in secondary.

They observe that this reflects a general increase in the awards of higher degree classes.

But there are big variations across different subjects. In general, those recruited to train in the shortage subjects of science, languages, design and technology, maths and ICT have lower degree qualifications.

'Credit to the sector'

The data are for 2002-03, because it takes time to establish what proportion of the trainees went into teaching jobs.

They add to the evidence of a fall in the number of primary school jobs available.

There was for the first time a fall in the proportion of final year primary trainees finding work - from 76% to 70%.

Among secondary trainees the figure was 73%, the same as the year before.

The TTA's chief executive, Ralph Tabberer, said: "Through improved marketing and innovative programmes, we have made up the lost ground in recruitment in the tough areas of science and maths.

"There's much more to do, because we must constantly strive to get better and better candidates - there will always be a place for good teachers.

"But these figures show how far we have travelled and are a real credit to the initial teacher training sector."

Cambridge top

Smithers and Robinson have produced their usual ranking of the training providers based on trainees' entry qualifications and subsequent employment, plus Ofsted ratings of the institutions.

At the top of the table, Cambridge overtook Oxford - which previously had always come top except for last year when a small specialist course put the University of Staffordshire just in front.

"Since the Cambridge University's education department merged with Homerton College it has gone from strength to strength - 11th in 2002, third last year and now first," they said.

We want to establish Cambridge as a centre of excellence for the training of tomorrow's educators
Tim Everton, Cambridge University
Tim Everton, head of the Cambridge education faculty, heard the news during the topping-out ceremony for a new 9.5m faculty building.

"Obviously, we are absolutely delighted to get this recognition for all the hard work put in by our lecturers and students," he said.

"We are a relatively new faculty, having been established just three years ago, and we want to establish Cambridge as a centre of excellence for the training of tomorrow's educators."

The top places were dominated by longer-established universities, with Warwick, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, and Sheffield also in the first 10.

Last year's top-placed provider, Staffordshire's course for business and economics students, came third this time.

Fourth was the course for training drama and dance teachers at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

The only one of the newer universities (former polytechnics) in the top 10 was the University of Central England - up from 31st to 7th.

This was attributed mainly to the improved qualifications of its recruits to primary training and the success of its trainees in finding work.

The bottom three positions were taken by the London Metropolitan University, as it was last year, South Bank University, and Bradford.

Bradford had "plummeted", Prof Smithers said, due to an unfavourable primary inspection and a decline in its recruits' qualifications.

Surprisingly low down was London University's Institute of Education, "often thought of as a leader in the field".

It had well-qualified recruits and did relatively well in inspections but fell down on the third criterion, with very few of its trainees shown as having gone into teaching jobs - an area where, generally, newer universities score more highly.

The institute said it had received a poor response to this employment survey and the figures did not reflect the actual take-up of posts.

The table below shows the scores achieved by each university or college training provider.

PROVIDER Primary Secondary
University of Cambridge 724.3 738.3
University of Oxford 724.4
Staffordshire University 657.1
Central School of Speech and Drama 647.0
University of Warwick 640.0 647.4
University of Bristol 639.1
University of Central England 673.0 589.4
University of Manchester 672.3 577.4
University of Birmingham 640.5 598.3
University of Sheffield 609.3
University of East Anglia 616.4 594.5
Loughborough University 603.9
St Mary's College 582.2 618.6
University of Brighton 675.1 522.3
University College Winchester 590.6
Nottingham Trent University 640.0 520.3
University of Newcastle 524.0 636.0
University of Exeter 515.4 623.4
Leeds Metropolitan University 528.3 583.4
Chester College 542.8 561.9
University of Hull 604.7 495.6
Bath Spa University College 551.0 533.9
University of Nottingham 539.5
King's College 536.2
York St John College 562.4 490.4
University of Durham 529.2 522.7
Sheffield Hallam University 573.9 473.7
University of Sussex 516.5
Canterbury Christ Church University College 562.9 467.9
University College Northampton 514.9
University of Reading 501.3 522.3
University of Surrey Roehampton 425.6 597.7
Northumbria University 390.8 631.4
University of Wolverhampton 492.5 527.1
University of Bath 507.8
University of Gloucestershire 458.6 554.2
University of the West of England 546.7 459.8
De Montfort University 550.0 448.2
Keele University 496.9
University of York 493.6
Trinity and All Saints College 528.8 455.9
University of Plymouth 464.1 519.2
Kingston University 492.2 488.8
University of Southampton 557.4 420.5
University of Sunderland 433.7 533.9
University of Leicester 481.0 484.2
Liverpool John Moores University 407.5 557.1
Bishop Grosseteste College 610.9 351.5
University of Leeds 476.7 483.0
School Centred Schemes 499.6 443
Edge Hill College of HE 478.4 460.6
University College Worcester 504.6 415.7
University of Hertfordshire 457.1 461.5
University College Chichester 447.8 468.5
St Martin's College 461.2 446.4
Liverpool Hope University College 439.0 461.7
Open University 448.0
University of Huddersfield 447.0
Anglia Polytechnic University 472.4 413.4
Manchester Metropolitan University 405.1 476.8
University of Portsmouth 428.0
University of London, Institute of Education 440.4 409.5
University of Derby 424.9
Goldsmiths College 423.7 393.2
Brunel University 420.4 394.0
Oxford Brookes University 424.9 373.5
Newman College of Higher Education 447.1 343.9
College of St Mark and St John 410.8 341.6
University of East London 465.7 276.8
Middlesex University 410.7 307.4
University of Greenwich 451.2 266.5
Bradford College 248.0 441.6
South Bank University 285.7
London Metropolitan University 209.0 324.0
Source: Liverpool University Centre for Education and Employment Research

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