Reporter 464, 26 March 2001

Welcome relief from TQA

The days of teaching quality assessments could be over for at least eighteen University departments, following a surprise announcement by Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett.

In a move which will reduce assessments by 40%, the Government proposes that departments scoring 21 (at least three scores of 3 and three of 4) in the current round should be spared assessment in the next.

Eighteen departments at Leeds already qualify under these criteria, although it is anticipated that a small proportion will still be assessed for benchmarking.

The situation of departments scoring ‘excellent’ under the previous system is subject to further negotiation.

"This is very welcome news, for the sector as a whole and for Leeds in particular," said Pro-Vice-Chancellor for teaching Professor John Macklin.

"The vast majority of our recent inspections were high-scoring, and this will be a major relief for many departments who worked hard to secure recognition for their high standards. The benefits for Leeds will be enormous, as it will free valuable time for our staff to do what they do best – teaching and research."

Discussions will now take place between the DfEE, the Quality Assurance Agency, Universities UK and the Standing Conference of Principals to reach an agreement on the detail of the proposals.

Two press releases have been issued from Universities UK and the DfEE:


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