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The Teacher Training Agency has announced its decision to withdraw accreditation from La Sainte Union College in So...
The Teacher Training Agency has announced its decision to withdraw accreditation from La Sainte Union College in Southampton, a provider of initial teacher training, with effect from 31 August 1997.

Other local providers of good quality training will ensure that from September there is continuity for LSU's existing students and will make provision for intending students.

The TTA Board has taken the decision to withdraw accreditation following two Ofsted inspection reports which found significant weaknesses in the quality of training provided by the College.

In addition to identifying poor quality provision, the most recent Ofsted report found poor quality and non-compliance with the secretary of state's criteria for initial teacher training in seven key aspects of provision inspected, including areas that the college had identified as a priority for improvement.

In particular, non-compliance was found in relation to the vital areas of the college's assessment of trainees, and the trainees' competence to teach both English and mathematics. The college has accepted Ofsted's findings.

Commenting on the decision, TTA chief executive Anthea Millett said:

'Our top priority is to ensure that trainees receive high quality training. Unfortunately, two Ofsted inspection reports have shown that LSU has been unable to reach the standards required. Our decision is based on the best interests of continuing and intending trainees. The decision to withdraw accreditation is never easy. But all the evidence in this case, which is not in dispute, left us with no alternative. I am pleased, however, that three local institutions are working in partnership to safeguard the training of existing and intending LSU students.'

As part of a wider restructuring, the University of Southampton, King Alfred's College and Chichester Institute of Higher Education are all involved in providing support to existing and intending students. Those currently at LSU will continue to be taught on site by Chichester, unless students choose to transfer elsewhere. Similar arrangements have been agreed for the 1997/98 postgraduate student intake.

The University of Southampton role is central to the new arrangements. The LSU site and buildings will become a new college of the University, specialising in adult and continuing education; Theology and INSET provision will also be located there. A new Centre for Catholic Education will be established on the site, and students who wish to take the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies will be able to do so, with Southampton, King Alfred's and Chichester offering the qualification.

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