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Submitted by Patrick Yarker (not verified) on Tue, 31/08/2021 - 12:01

A number of university-based Initial Teacher Education providers, including Cambridge and UCL, have condemned the government's plans as outlined in the Market Review and indicated that they will not be able to offer 'training' along the lines the government are suggesting.  Action by university providers might head off the proposals.

An indication of the dictatorial narrow-mindedness which informs the government's approach comes on page 12 of the Review, in a paragraph which reads in part:

… all trainees who teach early reading must be taught about systematic synthetic phonics (SSP).  …  It is also important that trainees are familiarised with the evidence for the effectiveness of SSP and that time is not used teaching them alternative approaches.

Systematic synthetic phonics is mandated by government (outrageously) as the sole method to be used in school to teach children to read.  The method's 'effectiveness' remains contested.  Government now seeks to prevent aspiring teachers from being introduced to, or learning about, other equally 'effective' approaches to the teaching of reading.

The proposals to reform Initial Teacher Education are of a piece with the long-term push to re-configure teachers as technicians of a handed-down curriculum they have no say in devising, at the service of a high stakes summative assessment process, within an education system geared principally to the production of a (compliant) labour force and the reproduction of the social hierarchy.

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