Common-sense qualifications

8th November 2013 at 00:00

At last, some common sense in the discussions around education secretary for England Michael Gove's moves to free up access to teaching. As Sally Butler writes ("Unqualified doesn't mean second-rate", Letters, 1 November), a degree and a teaching qualification do not automatically a good teacher make. Effective teaching is about thorough subject knowledge, human understanding and the ability to communicate with and engage often reluctant teenagers.

In 37 years of teaching in state secondary and special schools, I have encountered some wonderfully inspiring, creative, imaginative and communicative professionals. Equally, I have met some incredibly well-qualified people who, in all honesty, I wouldn't want within 50 miles of my own two children. Why? Simply because they have shown little, if any, understanding of how children learn and they cannot communicate effectively.

Garry Freeman, Leeds.

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