chapter  1
The role of the Teacher Training Agency: the first set of National Standards
ByNational Standards HUGH LAWLOR
Pages 12

The Teacher Training Agency (TTA) was established as a non-governmental agency sponsored by the Department for Education (DfE) in 1994. The Agency’s statutory objectives are set out in the Education Act 1994 as:

• to contribute to raising the standards of teaching; • to promote teaching as a career; • to improve the quality and efficiency of all routes into the teaching

profession; and • to secure the involvement of schools in all courses for the initial train-

ing of school teachers. (DfE 1994)

The TTA’s functions were previously carried out by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Teaching as a Second Career (TASC), the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (CATE) and the Department for Education (DfE). The Agency had no remit in Scotland or Northern Ireland, but a Unit was established in Wales in 1996. In 1994, the Agency’s main functions were:

• the funding of teacher training; • the accreditation of providers of initial training for school teachers; • providing information and advice about teacher training and teaching

as a career; and • carrying out or commissioning research with a view to improving the

standards of teaching and teacher training. (DfE 1994)

At this stage strategic thinking about continuing professional development was embryonic, but by the Corporate Plan 1995 (TTA 1995a) had been translated into an aim to promote well-targeted, effective and co-ordinated

continuing professional development. Indeed, the Agency was committed to promoting a coherent approach across initial teacher training, induction and in-service training. Objectives in the Corporate Plan 1995 included:

• to co-ordinate the identification of national priorities and targeting strategies for continuing professional development in order to inform funding decisions and aid planning;

• to improve the management and leadership skills and abilities of newly appointed headteachers (with the implementation of the HEADLAMP scheme by September, 1995);

• to disseminate information about effective continuing professional development practices;

• to carry out or commission investigations in order to inform the Teacher Training Agency’s work.