Government extends new ‘75% rule’ to English and primary PGCE routes

The government has now extended its new “75 per cent rule” to English and primary courses after making a u-turn yesterday for history university routes.

As reported by Schools Week, the government changed its policy, overnight, to allow higher education institutions (HEIs) to recruit trainee history teachers up to a new target – 75 per cent of the numbers they recruited last year.

Original rules, implemented from this year, brought in a blanket ban for recruitment onto university courses once providers had met a certain target – which is set at different levels for different subjects.

But after outcries from the HEI sector that courses, including at Oxbridge, would be forced to close under the new rules, providers were emailed by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) at midnight on Wednesday to inform them of a tweak in the policy.

At midnight last night, another email was sent to HEI providers telling them this change in the rules would be applied to English and primary routes as well.

Initial teacher training courses in PE were closed last week, and the rule change does not affect that route.

The email said: “In response to feedback from a number of HEIs following the closure of our recruitment to Physical Education (PE) courses and our decision to bring recruitment in history courses to a halt in a number of institutions, we are invoking the reserve organisation recruitment control now for both English and Primary postgraduate HEI ITT courses.

“By doing so, we are providing greater certainty for both HEIs and applicants regarding the availability of places on these popular programmes.

“This recruitment control will still provide limited flexibility for institutions that are recruiting particularly well, while allowing those institutions that are recruiting more slowly more limited protection. In order to achieve both aims, we are applying a minimum and maximum recruitment range, based on your 2015/16 final recruitment for postgraduate English or primary provider places as recorded in the ITT Census 2015 to 2016.

“The minimum threshold will be 75% of that subject recruitment total and the maximum limit will be 95% of that subject recruitment total. For example, if your 2015 to 2016 ITT recruitment for postgraduate English core places was 20, then your minimum recruitment total will be 15 (20*75%) and your maximum limit is 19 (20*95%).”

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