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Teacher training costs "unacceptable"

29 May 2007

Teacher training costs "unacceptable" The campaign against the "unacceptable" cost of students' teacher training is gaining support.

This week, Labour MP Paul Farrelly backed the campaign by the National Union of Students (NUS) and National Union of Teachers (NUT) to fight the hidden costs faced by teacher training students.

Mr Farrelly has called on the government to tackle the substantial additional costs faced by students on such courses.

The Hidden Costs campaign aims to get additional government funding for those students on teacher training courses, to cover the costs of travel, equipment and essential classroom resources.

Richard Angell, of the NUS national executive committee, said recently: "Teacher training students, like many others students, are saddled with hidden costs.

"They have to contribute to the cost of travel to placements, uniform, protective clothing and equipment for the classroom, including books.

"This is clearly unacceptable, acts as a barrier to completing the course, and exacerbates debt problems."

Following a so-called "recruitment crisis" in the teaching profession in the late 1990s, the government initiated a range of incentives designed to encourage students to consider a career in the classroom.

These included a salary being paid to students in postgraduate teacher training as well as "golden hellos" - financial incentives for student teachers training in subjects facing the most severe staff shortages.

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