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Oxbridge trainee teachers 'twice as likely to get jobs'


Oxbridge trainee teachers 'twice as likely to get jobs'

Donald MacLeod

Trainee teachers from some universities in England are more than twice as likely to actually end up in the classroom as those from the worst performing institutions, according to researchers at the University of Buckingham.
Professor Alan Smithers and Dr Pamela Robinson, of the Centre for Education and Employment Research, argue that the high failure rate at some universities and colleges is linked to low entry standards.

Cambridge pips Oxford for the top spot in their annual rankings based on entry standards, Ofsted inspections and the employment record of graduates, published 3rd August 2007.

Their 2007 figures show that 90% of the trainees for secondary teaching at Cambridge, and 85% of those receiving their training at Sheffield and Loughborough universities, were teaching in schools six months after completing, whereas only 36.6% from London South Bank, 43.0% from Bradford College and 44.0% from London Metropolitan University were in the same situation.

The Buckingham researchers found that more than 70% of trainee teachers at Cambridge entered on a first or upper second compared to 14% at South Bank, 36% at London Met and 41% at Bradford College.

Professor Smithers commented: "London Met prides itself on widening access by accepting a diverse array of entry qualifications, but its poor conversion rate of trainees to teachers must give pause."

The survey notes the growing importance of teacher training courses run in schools - the school-centred initial teacher training (Scitt) and employment-based initial teacher training (Ebitt) schemes, which have attracted more men and ethnic minority recruits into teaching. However, they have not been rated as highly as university courses by Ofsted inspectors.

Cambridge overtook Oxford, which has led for eight of the 10 years the table has been compiled. The older universities generally tend to fare better than the former specialist teacher training colleges, finding it easier to attract highly qualified applicants

Professor Smithers said that teacher training provision was out of line with regional needs. In the northeast and southwest, trained teachers can find it hard to get jobs, but in London where there is high turnover, the output from the universities was "less than might have been hoped".

Top universities in Ofsted inspections were Canterbury Christ Church for primary, and Oxford, Cambridge and Exeter for secondary. Highest for entry qualifications in primary were Durham, Chester and Cambridge and, in secondary, the Central School of Speech and Drama, Oxford and Bath.



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