Oxford and Cambridge teacher training courses saved by last-minute DfE intervention

The TES has followed up their story which we covered yesterday by reporting that history teacher training courses at Oxford and Cambridge universities have been saved from closure by a last-minute government intervention.

Oxbridge postgraduate courses were about to fall victim to a new system whereby training providers can recruit as many trainees as they want until a national limit is reached.

Recruitment for history had almost reached that national limit yesterday, with the two ancient universities yet to interview many promising candidates.

But it is now understood that the Oxbridge PGCE history courses have escaped the recruitment freeze, now placed on some other universities for the subject, because they have yet to recruit 75 per cent of the number of applicants they had last year.

Katharine Burn, who leads the PGCE history programme at the University of Oxford, said: “We are now continuing with our interviews in the usual way and hope that this means that we will be allowed to continue to do so – at least until we reach 75 per cent of last year’s allocation of 12.”

She had warned that the course looked “unviable” because it had only recruited two people. More interviews are now planned over the next fortnight…

Recruitment has already been stopped in PE, with English and primary likely to follow…

More at: Oxford and Cambridge teacher training courses saved by last-minute DfE intervention


Sensible decision from the government here? Please give us your feedback in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Teaching.


  1. Oxford was right not to rush to sign up trainee teachers before the national targets were reached.  Hasty recruitment, when the emphasis is getting as many trainees signed up before the axe fell, leads to poor decisions.  
    Once universities stop teacher training courses because national targets have already been reached, these courses will never return.  Expertise and provision will be lost.  It’s unlikely school-based training will be able to fill the gap or even to provide trainees with the academic foundation they need.

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