Page last updated at 04:45 GMT, Friday, 25 July 2008 05:45 UK

Student teachers' higher degrees

classroom scene
Far more trainee teachers are from ethnic minorities than a decade ago

People seeking to become teachers in England are better qualified than they were a decade ago, an analysis of teacher training courses shows.

The proportion starting postgraduate courses with at least 2:1 degrees rose from 49% in 1996 to 58% in 2006.

But University of Buckingham researchers say universities have been awarding more good degrees so teacher training is just holding its own.

The top all-round training provider this year was Cambridge University.

The annual analysis of initial teacher training data is carried out by Alan Smithers and Pamela Robinson of Buckingham's Centre for Education and Employment Research.

There is no equivalent study done on courses elsewhere in the UK.

School-based training

Buckingham factors in the inspection ratings given by Ofsted, the qualifications of the entrants and the percentage of the trainees who actually go into teaching after their courses.

This produces a score which ranges this year from 651 for Cambridge (Oxford was second with 643) down to 366 for London South Bank University.

They also look at the smaller, school-centred initial teacher training (Scitt) courses, a growth area in recent years.

These programmes are delivered by groups of neighbouring schools and colleges and taught by experienced, practising teachers.

Scores ranged from 645 at South West Teacher Training based in Exeter, Devon, to 275 for the Titan Partnership in Birmingham's inner city areas.

The report says: "Although small the better performing Scitts rank along with Cambridge and Oxford in the overall quality of their provision."

The proportion of trainees from ethnic minorities has doubled from 7% to 14% at secondary level, and has risen from five to eight per cent among those wanting to be primary school teachers.

Nationally only about 70% of those who take up training places subsequently become teachers.

There are wide variation between subjects, from 93% in classics and 80% in PE down to 63% for modern languages - which has by far the highest proportion of trainees with non-UK degrees, at 30%.


  Primary Secondary Grand total
1. Cambridge University 609 678 651
2. Oxford University N/A 643 643
3. Exeter University 553 614 598
4. Warwick University 551 623 594
5. King's College London N/A 585 585
6. Manchester University 579 571 573
6. Sheffield University N/A 573 573
7. Bristol University N/A 572 572
8. Loughborough University N/A 570 570
9. Birmingham University 570 569 569
10. Reading University 588 556 568

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