EDM 1229 - TRAINEE TEACHERS AND UNIVERSITY TOP-UP FEES
I am contacting you today to ask you to support the following EDM, which has been tabled by Paul Farrelly, MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme:
That this House notes the forthcoming introduction of variable fees of up to £3,000 for students studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from September 2006; notes that this marks a considerable shift from the present situation where PGCE courses are provided at no cost to student teachers; believes that teachers are valuable public sector workers and that student teachers should not be required to pay to train; is concerned that the introduction of variable top-up fees on PGCE courses will deter potential trainees from poorer, non-traditional backgrounds and will undermine measures introduced by the Government which have reversed the trend of falling applications for initial teacher training courses; and calls on the Government urgently to review its plans to charge students on initial teacher training courses for their tuition.
I, as well as many other students at (your institution), am extremely concerned about the introduction of the £3000 price tag for the PGCE in 2006, and we are supporting the NUS in urging the Government to reconsider its position.
We believe that the introduction of this fee will have a seriously damaging effect on the future of teaching in the school sector within the UK. A third of all teachers in the UK are set to retire within the next fifteen years and yet 22 per cent of newly qualified teachers leave the profession within three years. It is clear that investment in training teachers is crucial, and this is not the time to be pulling the rug from under the feet of those wanting to enter this valuable profession. To date, new trainees have been drawn to the profession by the absence of fees, coupled with golden hellos, bursaries and attractive starting salaries. However, there is a real threat that the blow of these top up fees will cancel out the effects of these initiatives. We are extremely concerned that this fee will serve as a deterrent to all students, especially those from poorer backgrounds and those who are already shackled by debt due to their undergraduate degrees.
I would appreciate it if you could show your support for this campaign by signing this EDM.
Thank you for your time.