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In a week when the government reshuffled its cabinet, HE issues that made headlines gave the newly-appointed universities minister a taste of things to come, says Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of the Institute of Student Employers .
The past week’s events and news are a sign of turbulent times for UK universities, warns Nicola Owen, Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) at Lancaster University.
The Department for Education has been challenged over its "unprecented refusal" to publish details of teacher training allocations for next year.
The Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) has accused the Department of throwing a "veil of secrecy" over the allocations for the 2017-18 academic year announced in September.
While individual teacher training providers have been given their own allocations along with a broad brush account of how the decisions were made, a customary breakdown of how the places have been shared out between universities and school-based teacher training routes -- including how many have received notice of funding for three years -- has so far not been forthcoming. That is despite a question on the issue tabled in the House of Lords by Baroness Donaghy.
The DFE says the information will be published "in due course", but UCET said the delay was "inexplicable".
UCET’s Executive Director James Noble-Rogers said: "At a time when many head-teachers, and indeed HMCI, have expressed concern at a crisis in teacher supply, it is outrageous that training places are being allocated under a veil of secrecy and many high calibre providers of significant numbers of newly qualified teachers to the system - both HEI and SCITTs - have no basis on which to plan for a secure future.
"The refusal to answer a clear and unambiguous question tabled in parliament is at best disrespectful to both the profession and to parliament itself. We trust that the government will be more forthcoming in response to a freedom of information request submitted by UCET to the DFE on 24 November."
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