The Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) was established in 1967 by the merger of the Conference of Heads of University Departments of Education (CHUDE) and the Conference of Institute Directors (CID). The Council continues to aim to achieve high quality teacher education and education research.
Conference of Heads of University Departments of Education (CHUDE)
The Conference of Heads of University Departments of Education was established in 195 and was made up of the Heads and Acting Heads of Departments in Education in universities and university colleges in England and Wales. Conference membership came from the University Departments of Education which had been providing post-graduate training for teachers at universities since the 1890s. CHUDE's main functions were to discuss general policy concerning the training of graduate teachers and common matters across the departments of education; and supervise the operation of schemes concerning the registration and admission of students to courses. It liaised with other bodies including the Conference of Institute Directors and the Association of Teachers in Colleges and Departments of Education, and responded to enquiries from the Ministry of Education (later the Department of Education and Science - DES).
Conference of Institute Directors (CID)
The Conference of Institute Directors was set up in response to the establishment of Area Training Organisations after the publication of the McNair Report (1944). The Area Training Organisations (ATOs), separately funded, generally associated to the local university, and normally called Institutes of Education, were introduced to bring teacher training colleges into a closer relationship with their local university. The CID's membership was made up of the Director of each of the Institutes established around England and Wales.
Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET)
By the 1960s efforts were being made to bring together the two separate functions of the University Departments of Education (UDEs) and the Area Training Organisations. At the same time it was decided that a single national representative body was required. In 1966 negotiations began to move towards merging CHUDE and the CID and the first meeting of the newly created organisation was held in the summer of 1967. The new organisation was established to:
- Provide a forum, at the national level, for the discussion of all matters relating to teacher education;
- Make a contribution to the formulation of policy and seek appropriate liaison with other organisations;
- Act as a clearing house for the collection and exchange of information about the work of University Institute, Schools and Departments of Education in approving and providing courses for the initial, advanced and in-serve education of teachers.
UCET holds annual conferences to further discussion and improve information sharing. The Council also regularly publishes consultative documents, discussion papers, official responses to government consultations, reports on education research, newsletters and information for teachers and prospective teachers.
Polytechnics Council for the Education of Teachers (PCET)
In 1993 UCET merged with the Polytechnics Council for the Education of Teachers (PCET) and 24 former polytechnics became members of a new and enlarged UCET. THE PCET had been founded in 1976 to provide a national forum for the exchange of information, opinions, experiences and ideas on teacher education as it concerned polytechnics.