Essex Tops Teacher Training Class

Cambridge and Oxford may be considered the top universities in the country, but when it comes to teacher training, the only way is Essex.

Billericay Educational Consortium, which trains teachers in Essex schools, is the best place for teacher training in England, according to an annual report.

The Good Teacher Training Guide 2011 named the top consortium based on the entry qualifications it requires of its trainees, Ofsted ratings and the numbers of trainees that take up teaching jobs.

In second place was Oxford University, followed by Cambridge.

The top 10 centres for teacher training also include Suffolk and Norfolk Primary SCITT in ninth place.

Billericay Educational Consortium school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) is made up of a group of Essex primary schools working together to train up to 25 teachers a year, who gain a post-graduate certificate of education from the Open University.

Report author Professor Alan Smithers, of Buckingham University's Centre for Education and Employment Research, said: "The Billericay Educational Consortium has particularly high entry qualifications because there is so much competition to get in.

"I think it also has perfect Ofsted ratings and a very good employment record.

"When you put all that together, it nudges it ahead of Oxford.''

In total, 227 teacher training providers were analysed.