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Teachers should take 'Hippocratic Oath', says Hunt

Teachers should take their own Hippocratic Oath to lift the esteem of the profession, Labour's Tristram Hunt has said.

Mr Hunt has suggested teachers follow the lead of the medical profession by swearing a public oath that they will stick to certain values.

Now TES wants to know if teachers think this is a good idea.

The shadow education secretary made the suggestion following a visit to Singapore where teachers already commit to a public pledge.

The country has one of the highest performing education systems in the world with teachers who are regarded more highly than doctors and lawyers.

Mr Hunt believes copying such a move would help elevate the "esteem" of teachers in this country.

He said that such a move would provide teachers with a "moral compass".

"[In Singapore] there is a teacher's oath about continuing to learn and to pass on the love of learning.

"I'm very attracted by this notion of having almost a Hippocratic Oath about the meaning and purpose of teaching," he said.

"It's bolstering the moment of qualification and the meaning of qualification – what it means to become a teacher.

"That seems to be an important idea that we want to explore.

"It can't just be a gimmick – it has to be part of a commitment to professional development and career pathways," he told the BBC.

Mr Hunt has already put forward plans that would see teachers forced to revalidate, just as doctors do, throughout the course of their careers.

The so-called teacher licence would be based on a teacher competing "high-quality" continuous professional development.

Do you think a Hippocratic Oath for teachers is a good idea? Let us know by taking our survey. 

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