A Damaging Narrative Update

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STOP sign” by BidgeeOwn work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons.

So, the e-mail arrived this morning in the inbox from the National College for Teaching and Leadership. We must stop all recruitment to History PGCE.

The email is emphatic:

"Dear colleague
This is a notice to instruct you to stop recruiting to core HEI postgraduate History ITT courses with immediate effect.
We wrote to you on Monday 23 November, and Wednesday 25 November updating you on the progress in recruitment to History courses. We are now invoking the reserve organisation recruitment control as described in Postgraduate initial teacher training recruitment controls to instruct you not to make any further offers to applicants."

A short reprieve

Oxford and Cambridge have a temporary reprieve and will be allowed to carry on recruiting as they have yet to recruit up to 75% of their allocation. 

Nationally it seems that we are still nearly 300 trainees short of the target for history, but the free competitive market (a Conservative ideal, I remind you) is now well and truly shut.

History is always a popular teaching subject, as is English and Primary. I expect these to become the next casualties of the Conservative fixed market in ITE.

University senior management will not be happy at all with how the market is being manipulated and fixed to ensure that a government policy succeeds, regardless. Jobs may well be on the line. How can an organisation keep employing staff full time for a course which may or may not run. Which could be subject to strict controls almost on a whim.

The tone of the e-mail announcing closure of the uni history routes is the tone of a threatening bully.

"NCTL funding will not be provided for any additional offers made after this point. Any over recruitment of this nature may result in additional recruitment controls, reduced allocations for future intakes or, in extreme cases, withdrawal of accreditation."

At the end of the letter comes the invitation to push any candidates we have lined up for interview across to the School Direct route.

"We understand that many of you will have interviews lined up and may wish to consider involving schools within your School Direct partnership(s) in these."

So there we have it. University ITE routes in History are just too successful and keep attracting high quality graduates. The NCTL have decided this must stop. It’s school direct or nothing from here on in for the remaining 300 places.

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