Cameron accused on trainee teachers

This Is Lancashire: Labour says the Government is failing to meet its "basic responsibility" on trainee teacher numbers Labour says the Government is failing to meet its "basic responsibility" on trainee teacher numbers

A shortfall of trainee teachers threatens classroom standards and is a failure of the Government to meet its "basic responsibility", Labour said.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said official figures showed 6,430 of 38,900 available places for routes into teaching were unfilled.

That meant the Department for Education's minimum target had been missed - by 2,000 - for the second year in a row, he said.

Mr Hunt said: "David Cameron is threatening standards by failing to provide enough trainee teachers.

"Alongside allowing unqualified teachers into our classrooms and his crisis in primary school places, children are facing rising class sizes and now fewer teachers.

"Providing enough good teachers and enough good school places is a basic responsibility for any government. Yet this Tory-led Government is failing on both counts."

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "It is nonsense to suggest there is going to be a shortage of teachers - 99% of our target for postgraduate teacher trainees has already been met.

"We always allocate more places than we need, so it is totally misleading to suggest not filling every place will lead to a shortage.

"School Direct is a response to what schools have said they want - a greater role in selecting and recruiting trainees with the potential to be outstanding teachers. The programme is only in its second full year of operating and is already proving very popular."

A spokesman for Education Secretary Michael Gove described Mr Hunt's comments as " disappointing".

"Labour now seem to be against giving schools the power to train teachers in the classroom. Schools deserve to know whether Labour would strip them of the right to select and recruit teacher trainees," the spokesman said.

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