Making a mess with unqualified teachers

3rd December 2010 at 00:00

The article says those without (QTS) qualified teacher status are currently not allowed to be in sole charge of a class. I have to vehemently disagree. Cover supervisors (minimum qualifications: English and maths GCSEs at grade C) originally covered classes on their own for the first three days of a teacher's absence, after which a qualified supply teacher was engaged.

Following the introduction of "rarely cover", schools have employed more permanent cover supervisors. Qualified teachers are succumbing to cover supervisor roles in order to earn and to "keep their hand in". Some schools thus get the same qualified staff as before, at greatly reduced rates.

In some cases qualified teachers provide basic lesson plans, and that is presumably used as evidence that someone qualified has some "charge" of the classes, even though they don't set foot in the lessons.

A significant proportion of NQTs leave the profession within five years. Add to that the huge numbers of NQTs who cannot get a first teaching post and the equally large numbers of experienced teachers, like me, who are forced to look outside teaching for gainful employment, and the state system is losing scores of qualified staff.

I gave up a civil service post to do a PGCE and took on a student loan. I now get jobseeker's allowance. It is a supreme irony that those who have valued education and qualifications are on the scrapheap while those who have minimum qualifications can stand in for us in the classroom, no doubt exhorting pupils to work hard to be able to get the grades for university and for professional jobs.

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