Hyslop announces teacher training review

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Alison Burns

The Scottish Government has announced a major review into the training of teachers at Scottish universities.

The review will consider whether the teacher training system can meet the needs of pupils in the 21st century.

It will also examine Curriculum for Excellence which will continue to be implemented in the new year.

Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Fiona Hyslop felt that the time was right for a review of teacher training.

She said: “We know that as we continue to implement Curriculum for Excellence, the demands on teachers will change. That is why I believe that the time is right for a wide ranging review that takes a fundamental look at our system of teacher education.

“It is time to work out what is good, where the strengths are and where improvements and modernisations can be made.”

The review will be tasked with considering the full range of teacher education in Scotland, including initial teacher education, induction and continuing professional development throughout their career.

The review, which will begin in January 2010, will be led by Graham Donaldson, the current Senior Chief Inspector at Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education.

Donaldson commented: “I am very pleased to have been asked by the Cabinet Secretary to undertake this review with the aim of ensuring that an already able and committed teaching profession is fully prepared for the challenges which lie ahead.”

Recommendations for improvement of the training system will be reported to ministers by autumn 2010.

The review will also address concerns regarding teachers who have failed to find a job after their probation year.

The lack of teaching jobs in Scotland has prompted the SNP to attempt to implement a policy which would see 500 teachers enter early retirement under a £10 million loan scheme to local councils, thus creating 500 new teaching vacancies.