§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proposals he has for improving teacher training; and when they will be implemented.
§ Mr. Robin Squire
My right hon. Friend has set out new standards for initial training which define the158W knowledge and skills new teachers require. Student teachers must spend more time in schools, and schools will be able to play a full part in designing and running courses. Training for primary teachers must include more time on the core subjects. Courses are already being adjusted—all secondary courses must meet the new criteria by September 1994, all primary courses by September 1996. My right hon. Friend has also made arrangements to allow groups of schools to run their own courses. The first started this September, and more will start next year.
The Education Bill recently introduced in another place provides for a Teacher Training Agency to underpin these reforms. Subject to the passage of the legislation, the agency will be established in September 1994. It will fund teacher training and related courses; accredit institutions offering initial teacher training; and act as a central focus of information and advice about teaching as a career.