News & Views - Teaching
Teaching would get boost if sixth-formers could try it, says MPs
Sixth-formers should be given a chance to try out teaching, to encourage the brightest into the profession after they finish university, say MPs.
More should be done to attract, train and retain top teachers, the Commons Education Select Committee says.
It says offering a taste of life at the other end of the classroom could help teenagers see the benefits of the job.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said the government valued teachers highly, but many top graduates chose other careers.
The report, entitled Great Teachers, draws on international evidence which shows how the best teaching can accelerate learning, boost grades and even improve pupils' future earnings.
More than 300 university-based teacher training courses in England could face closure or merger, as funds are switched towards school-based training.
The body which funds teacher training says secondary school courses with 10 students or fewer are "potentially unviable" and there are no guarantees of funding for them from 2013.
The government says fewer secondary teachers are needed, but universities will continue to play a "vital role".
Academics warn expertise will be lost.
They say student teachers on university-based courses typically spend two-thirds of their time in schools and argue that the distinction being made between the two routes into teaching is false.
Universities which run teacher training courses have received a letter from the Training Development Agency (TDA), which says secondary courses with small numbers of students will only be funded if they are delivered through "school-led programmes".
Michael Gove signalled a significant shift in approach last week when he admitted that he and his ministerial colleagues were guilty of being "behind the curve" when it came to technology in schools.
In a speech that stood at odds with his 18 months in office, the education secretary even stated that his department was working up new policy on using technology in the classroom, which is expected to be announced at next month's education technology fair, BETT, held in Olympia, west London.
Adobe have recently launched a new site for teachers. The Adobe Education Exchange is an online resource where teachers can seek support and advice from colleagues, share resources and gain inspiration from one another around the use of digital tools in the classroom. The site hosts example curriculum resources, lesson plans, tutorials and examples of class projects to inspire teachers to learn new methods of teaching.