Opinion Former

NUT: Gove talks of trainee entry requirements - then advocates hiring unqualified teachers

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Commenting on an independent review group’s recommendations for reforms to the testing of trainee teachers, accepted in full by the Secretary of State for Education, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“All teachers need strong literacy skills and also a good grasp of mathematics. It is however surprising that Michael Gove is showing such interest in the entry requirements for teacher training courses, while at the same time advocating that schools should be free to employ unqualified teachers.

“The real issue is the training and support that teachers are given once they have entered into teaching training. All too often the Government is looking at ever shorter routes to qualifying as a teacher, including on the job training in schools. This leaves little opportunity or time for trainee teachers to be able to learn about child development and pedagogy in depth.

“If we are to compete with countries such as Finland, then we need to ensure that we give trainee teachers sufficient university based learning alongside practical teaching practice. Clearly we also need to value and respect teaching as a profession.

“The morale in the profession is at an all time low. Unless the Education Secretary addresses issues of teachers’ pay, working conditions and pensions, there will be fewer and fewer recruits to a profession that has never been under such continual attack, regardless of the entry requirements.”

                                                            END                            pr170-2012
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