Parents demand same rules for all

29th April 2005 at 01:00
Eight out of 10 parents want stricter controls on staff working in academies and would reject a place for their child if teachers were not registered with England's General Teaching Council.

Their demand that academy teachers come under the same regulations as those in any other state school puts the Government under renewed pressure to change the rules.

Up to now it has refused to iron out the anomaly, which could eventually lead to as many as 20,000 teachers being allowed to work outside the GTC's remit.

Sixty-six MPs signed an early day motion before the election urging the Government to bring registration of academy teachers in line with other state schools. And the teaching council has written to every parliamentary candidate pointing out the discrepancy.

Now a MORI poll of 280 parents for the council shows that 83 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that those working in academies should be registered.

Eighty-six per cent said they would reject an academy place if teachers were not registered. Seven out of 10 said they would turn down a place even if the school had a strong academic record.

Judy Moorhouse, GTC chairman, told the National Governors' Council conference, in Bristol, last weekend that the Government was in an untenable position. "Registration is in the public interest," she said.

"Parents who choose these schools are not opting out of the safety net for their children.

"Governors have a right to know whether the staff they are employing are of good standing."

Rona Kiley, chief executive of the Academy Sponsors Trust, said the majority of academy teachers were registered with the council. "For the small minority that are not, most academies encourage membership and agree to cover their costs."

A Labour party spokesman said academy staff had to be qualified but not registered. "The Government will continue to encourage academies to register new and existing staff. We hope this approach is the way forward."

WOMENOFTHEYEAR 15

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