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Initial Teacher Education and Training: A New Opportunity for Partnership in Wales

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Abstract:

The National Assembly Government has declared its intention to introduce new requirements for courses of Initial Teacher Education and Training (ITET) for implementation in September 2004. The current requirements for such courses rely on a 'partnership with schools' model which, given the introduction of new requirements in England from September 2003 and the emphasis on this model, is unlikely to be removed from the Welsh courses. Although the 'partnership with schools' model has been in operation for the past decade and has been acknowledged by all participants as a positive model for ITET, there are considerable constraints that inhibit further development. It is essential that the factors restricting quality, consistency and parity of experience for student-teachers are identified, acknowledged and examined before attempting to initiate new requirements. Any attempt by the National Assembly Government to increase the level of expectation on either schools or ITET providers, without addressing the existing constraints, will increase the strain on the model and could result in a set of requirements that is impossible to meet. The purpose of this article is to initiate a debate that will address the shape and structure of a 'partnership with schools model' for the delivery of ITET courses in Wales. To provide a background for the debate, this article will examine research studies undertaken during the past five years into aspects of the current model, and will draw upon the findings and recommendations of these studies. Attention will be given to the newly published requirements for ITET courses in England and to the process of consultation undertaken to achieve these. Ultimately, the aim of the article is to focus attention on the perceived needs for the 'partnership with schools' model in Wales, as the country prepares to consult on the revision of the existing standards for ITET and devise a new set of requirements.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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