Comparing the state-controlled teacher training program to something of a ‘Stalinist regime’, he added: ‘It really sounds like an Orwellian nightmare with a centralized state dictating how teachers should think.
Cambridge University has said it “cannot in good faith accept or offer prospective teachers a program that would lower standards in this way.”
A spokesperson added: âThese recommendations would undermine the essential characteristics of programs like ours, which already produce exceptional teachers year after year. “
They said if these proposals were implemented, “with great regret, we would see no choice but to review the viability of initial teacher education at Cambridge University”.
The University of Oxford issued a similar statement, saying that the DfE’s plans “threaten the future viability of programs such as the Oxford [Postgraduate Certificate in Education]”.
Dr Tim Bradshaw, managing director of the Russell Group, which is made up of 24 universities in the UK including Cambridge and Oxford, said he feared the proposals would have “unintended consequences” on high quality education, adding that they could “present a risk for the involvement of universities in the initial training of teachers”.
Nick Gibb, the minister for schools, said the proposals aim to improve standards for teachers.