The brief of the committee of enquiry established under Lord James of Rusholme was to look into the existing arrangements for the education, training and probation of teachers in England and Wales, and to make recommendations. In particular, it was asked to examine:
- 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.
The Government White Paper Education: A Framework for Expansion published in December 1972 was a 10-year programme promoting, amongst other things, a larger teaching force to further improve staffing standards in schools; a new initiative to improve the pre-service and in-service training of teachers following the James Report; and the development in higher education of a wider range of opportunities, including the introduction of the DipHE, for both students and institutions.