Women's Access Course into the Teaching of Craft, Design and Technology
Recent improvement in the recruitment of students onto Initial Teacher Training courses for Craft, Design and Technology may cause us to forget just how difficult it was three or four years ago to fill our courses with good calibre students. Most courses now have more than their 'token woman', but three years ago the position was rather different.In July 1985 The Manpower Services Commission asked most CDT Training Establishments if they had any proposals for increasing the supply of teachers. As I remember it we had until 8th August to submit ideas. We had three and perhaps the most important one was for an 'Access Course for Women'. Weneeded to secure a better balance of the sexes on our courses and it was quite clear that there was effectively only a minute supply of suitable and qualified women available.
The Polytechnic was quite clear that as this was to be a Further Education Course it would most appropriately be run by a local college of FE. Dudley College of Technology is situated about half a mile from the Faculty of Education and because of its expertise in running general access courses for HE it appeared to be an ideal venue. Initial difficulties were fairly quickly overcome but clearly adapting a good room and taking the risk of appointing staff when MSC support was only available for one year were factors which the College and the LEA had to carefully consider.