Skip to main content

Letters Extra: Where's your proof?

The Government says that allowing teaching assistants to teach wholenbsp;classes will lead to increased standards.nbsp; But there is no evidence tonbsp;support this.nbsp;

The OECD recently tested pupils throughout the world andnbsp;found that excellent education systems had highly qualified teachers and comprehensive schooling.nbsp;In Finland, which came top, a large number of teachers have two degrees.nbsp;

A good teacher plans lessons by observing andnbsp;building on what the pupils have learned in previous lessons.nbsp; How can ateacher do this if they are not in the classroom?

I know from the experiences of my son, who has learning difficulties what valuable work dedicated teaching assistants do. But working withnbsp;individuals or small groups under the guidance of a qualified teacher isnbsp;not the same as planning, teaching and marking for whole classes.nbsp;

How many teaching assistants who enjoy the success of their work would feelnbsp;the same as substitute teachers.

How can we solve the teacher shortage?nbsp;There are qualified teachers.nbsp;The problem is keeping them in teaching.nbsp;The shortage is of teachers preparednbsp;to work for the pay and conditions offered.nbsp;

Statistics show that 58 per centnbsp;of final year trainee teachers have left within three years of their firstnbsp;teaching job.nbsp;Will the Government tackle this problem or does it seek anbsp;cheap solution, which will damage the long-term educational prospects fornbsp;our children.

The NUT has balloted to see if teachers agree with the Government's proposals. I believe that parents and pupils should have a right to saynbsp;what they think about whole classes being taught by teaching assistants.

Keith Bunting
Warwickshire NUT Divisional Secretary
Willes Terrace
Leamington Spa

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you