James (1972)

1972 James Report (text)

The James Report (1972)
Teacher Education and Training

Report by a Committee of Inquiry appointed by the Secretary of State for Education and Science, under the Chairmanship of Lord James of Rusholme

London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office 1972
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

Background notes

Eric James

In 1970 Secretary of State for Education Margaret Thatcher invited Eric James (Lord James of Rusholme) (1909-1992) to chair a Committee of Inquiry on Teacher Education and Training to consider:

  • the content and organisation of courses to be provided;
  • whether more intending teachers should be educated with other students;
  • the role of the colleges of education, polytechnics and other further education institutions maintained by local education authorities, and the universities.

Lord James (pictured) had taught science at Winchester College from 1933 to 1945 and was High Master of Manchester Grammar School from 1945 to 1962. In 1962 he became the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, remaining there until he retired in 1973. The seven members of the committee submitted their report in December 1971 and it was published in January 1972.

James was a well-known advocate of meritocracy and academic rigour, which may explain why this report recommended turning the colleges of education into mini-universities where students would follow a two-year academic course (leading to a new Diploma in Higher Education) before beginning their teacher training.

Summary of the report's main recommendations

The report's 133 recommendations are listed in Appendix 9. They included:

  • teacher training should be seen as falling into three consecutive 'cycles': the first, personal education, the second, pre-service training and induction, the third, in-service education and training;
  • a new two-year qualification, the Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE), together with new three-year degrees based on and developed from it, should be introduced into the first cycle, initially in the colleges of education and the polytechnic departments of education;
  • teacher training should be administered and planned by Regional Councils for Colleges and Departments of Education (RCCDEs);
  • a National Council for Teacher Education and Training (NCTET), linked with the RCCDEs and representing all branches of the teaching profession, should be established;
  • in the third cycle, all teachers in schools and full-time staff in FE colleges should be entitled to paid release for in-service education and training for not less than one school term every seven years;
  • there should be a national network of 'professional centres';
  • teachers in schools and colleges should have opportunities to take part in curriculum development projects;
  • initial training should not attempt to cover aspects of professional training which, although desirable, are better left until they can be built on school experience and personal maturity;
  • theoretical studies of education, although a desirable feature of many first cycle courses, should be included in the second cycle only in so far as they contribute to effective teaching;
  • for applicants with postgraduate qualifications and for mature graduates, there should be special arrangements for their immediate recognition and employment as licensed teachers (this proposal was opposed by the NUT);
  • first cycle courses leading to the DipHE should combine the advantages of study in depth with those of a more broadly based education.

The report online

The full text of the report (including the Appendices) is presented in a single web page.

I have corrected a handful of misprints and a few spelling inconsistencies. Anything added by way of explanation is shown [in square brackets].

In Appendices 7 and 8 the tables are shown as images.

The above notes were prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 17 August 2008; they were revised on 6 November 2012.