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Trainee teacher in classroom

Teacher training receives top rating

The recently published ‘Good Teacher Training Guide’ has rated the University of Exeter’s Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) as one of the top three university providers for teacher education in the country. Cambridge and Oxford universities make up the other two suppliers of highly regarded university based PGCE courses.

The annual guide rates teacher training providers on the basis of a variety of factors including entry qualifications, Ofsted inspections, trainees’ success in securing teaching posts and the rating that newly qualified teachers give about their training.  It is published by researchers at the Centre for Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham. 

At a time when various different teacher training routes are being offered outside the traditional university setting, Exeter’s high rating is a clear indication that it is considered to be a leader in the provision of teacher training. In addition to the traditional PGCE route Exeter now offers ‘School Direct’ PGCEs and also works in partnership with ‘Teach First’ participants placed in schools in the Bournemouth area.

Dr Nigel Skinner, Head of the University’s Graduate School of Education and PGCE Secondary Science Course Leader said: It is testament to the quality of a programme which combines an emphasis on combining insights about teaching and learning gained from a university course based on research and theoretical ideas with the practice based skills gained by trainee teachers who are placed in schools across the south west region.”

He added:“Building a strong partnership with schools is a crucial element of teacher training and is a key factor behind the high regard with which the Exeter PGCE is held.”

The Exeter approach is based on a scheme which recognises the need to be explicit about the learning processes involved in developing practice based skills. For example, trainees engage in structured conversations with the teachers and university tutors to promote reflection on the impact that their teaching has on pupils’ learning. This helps the trainee teachers to recognise how to adapt and improve their practice and to plan lessons which engage and motivate school children.

The PGCE programmes also enable trainees to tailor their own learning to their specific needs through constructing action plans designed to enable them to work on specific areas where improvement is needed.

This structured approach enables the trainees to become newly qualified teachers with a framework for personal and professional development that will be of value throughout their careers. This model of teacher education and training has been praised by Ofsted as an example of best practice in teacher education.


Date: 17 February 2014

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