NCTL has done “a botched job” on teacher training, union leader claims

A union leader has called for a thorough review into initial teacher training (ITT) – saying the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) had done a “botched job verging on criminally insane”.

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), slammed the NCTL and said a long-awaited teacher training crisis is now here.

Figures released at the end of last year showed the government recruited 93 per cent of its target figure, compared with 95 per cent in 2013.

“Ofsted should be in doing a special review of teacher training,” she told a Westminster Education Forum on the subject of the future of ITT provision in England this morning. “In terms of recruits it’s going down the pan on their watch and that is a serious charge.

“The NCTL will not survive in its current form if there is a Labour or Lib Dem coalition government. It’s judged to have not succeeded and made the teacher supply situation very much worse.”

She earlier said the NCTL had done a “botched job verging on criminally insane”.

Created in September 2013 from a merger of the Teaching Agency and the National College for School Leadership, the NCTL’s main aims are in initial teacher training (ITT) and supporting schools to take control of recruitment and training.

Dr Bousted said a recent ATL survey of 900 teachers who had been in the profession for less that two years showed three quarters had already considered leaving teaching.

A significant number who went through the school system of teacher training felt they did not have the subject knowledge to do the job.

She called for fees for ITT to be abolished and to “get serious” on teacher professionalism.

The forum will later this morning hear from Sir Andrew Carter, who led a review into teacher training, and Professor Samantha Twiselton who was on the review’s advisory committee.

His review, published in January, recommended that future training courses should be designed by an independent body.

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