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Leading teacher education expert gives insights into government reform plans

Professor Geoff Whitty CBE

Fri 21st February, 2014

ONE of the country’s foremost education experts visited the University of Bedfordshire this week, and gave an insight into the progress of the Government’s education reforms, and their impact on the provision of teacher education.

Professor Geoff Whitty CBE, the former Director of the Institute of Education at the University of London and a specialist adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee for Education, briefed staff in the University of Bedfordshire’s Education and Sport Faculty on how the Coalition Government’s plans for education reform could affect the delivery of teacher education programmes in Higher Education Institutions.

“Current policies for education reform could be seen as either a threat or an opportunity for teacher training programmes within Higher Education Institutions,” said Professor Whitty, who is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Oxford.

“On-going reforms include the acceleration of school-based teacher learning through schemes such as School Direct, which may lead to some universities abandoning teacher education completely, with their research moving to other departments.

“One of the positives is a continuing stress on evidence-informed policy and practice, which should favour teacher education provision in universities. However, we should remain aware of the potential threat to critical research performed in Higher Education Institutions due to its significant cost.”

Welcomed by Dr Sally Bentley, Executive Dean of Education and Sport, Professor Whitty’s seminar, at the University’s Bedford campus, concluded with a Q&A session.

Dr Bentley added: “It is great news that Professor Whitty has joined us as a visiting professor. Colleagues have already identified common areas of interest when joint projects can take place on topics such as international comparisons in teacher education and school leadership and management.

“Professor Whitty will also offer some mentoring to staff and share the findings of his future research as part of our research seminar series.”

Bedfordshire University

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