Invasion of the under-qualified

22nd April 2005 at 01:00
Ted Wragg's piece on the looming teacher supply crisis (TES,April 8) fails to mention the Government's brilliant strategyto resolve it.

Stage 1: Get the profession to admit under-qualified teachers by offering a bribe called PPA (planning, preparation and assessment) time.

Stage 2: Pay a pittance for perfunctory "on the job" training.

Stage 3: Wait a few years before creating a new category of teacher, QBE (qualified by experience), paid less than traditionally-qualified staff. At a recent PPA seminar, a trainer said that a primary with six teaching staff could well change to three teachers and three QBE, cutting the salary budget.

Stage 4: Set up an "independent" commission which will report that QBE staff are just as competent as the rest.

Stage 5: Report that the teacher shortage has been resolved. The Government accepts that "on the job" training is best, and can save money by no longer financing full-time training courses.

Cynics will reply that such a strategy will take the profession back to the 19th century. They must be wrong- are we not going 'Forward not Back'?

John Partington Leacroft Cottage, High Road South Wingfield, Derbyshire

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