Department of Education

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Comment piece by Ewart Keep (Director of the Centre for Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance).

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Following advice from an international advisory group involving the department’s Director of Research, Professor Alis Oancea, The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) has announced that it will no longer audit its new five-year masters programmes for thematic supervision of primary and lower secondary school teacher education in 2019/20.

This decision, resulting directly from a recommendation made by the group, which advised that institutions are already experiencing enough pressure owing to the introduction of the new five-year programmes, will instead see some form of programme evaluation after 2020.

“The expert group’s input is important,” says NOKUT Director General Terje Mørland. “They have met many from the teacher education communities and have argued convincingly that supervision is not the right thing to do now…All in all, we choose to wait a little and evaluate which measures from NOKUT can best raise quality in teacher education in the coming years.”

The international group will continue its work into teacher education reform and the introduction of Norway’s five-year master’s programmes during 2019, with a final report expected at the end of the year. Members include Professor Marilyn Cochran-Smith (Boston College, USA), Professor Mikael Alexandersson (University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Dr Karen Hammerness (American Museum of Natural History, USA), Professor Viv Ellis (King’s College London, United Kingdom), Associate Professor Lexie Grudnoff (University of Auckland, New Zealand), Professor Alis Oancea (University of Oxford, United Kingdom) and Professor Auli Toom, (University of Helsinki, Finland).

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Professor Ewart Keep (Director of the centre for Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance) contributes to the Edge Foundation’s debate on the philosophy of vocational education in England.

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Professor Ted Melhuish (Professor of Human Development) gave oral evidence to the Education Committee on Tuesday 12 June to support a new inquiry examining the impact that early years education and social policy have on determining children’s life chances.

The session, which was the first in the inquiry, focused on early years education provision, support for parents and families and the role of children’s centres in promoting social justice. Fellow panel witnesses included Sir Kevan Collins (Chief Executive, Education Endowment Foundation), Laura McFarlane (Director of the LEAP Programme, National Children’s Bureau) and Steven McIntosh (Director of UK Poverty Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns, Save the Children).

Professor Melhuish is the director of the Study of Early Education and Development and an advisor to OECD, WHO, and the European Commission on early years education policy. His work uses theoretically driven research to address applied issues and policy questions to produce improvements in development and well-being. Current research projects involve evaluating interventions such as early childhood education and care (ECEC), parental support, early intervention strategies.

The inquiry which launched on 4 May 2018 will focus on early years educational settings but will also look at Government policy and make recommendations on how to improve social justice, while considering the role of services other than education, including health services and those provided by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Watch the meeting in full here: Parliament TV
Discover more about the Life Chances Inquiry

FE Week:

Comment piece by Professor Ewart Keep (Director of the Centre for Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance).

Read now