Schools seek non-qualified staff

13th May 2005 at 01:00
Schools are recruiting non-qualified staff for jobs traditionally filled by teachers, as heads take on board the Government's drive to reform the workforce.

Two secondaries have advertised for staff to take on pastoral roles, with no requirement on candidates to be qualified teachers, The TES has learned.

A third, Huntingdon secondary in York, is looking for cover managers who have "no particular subject knowledge and no previous training". They will be used for the first five days of a teacher's absence and then qualified supply staff will be used.

John Bangs, the National Union of Teachers' head of education, said: "We are very disturbed at this trend."

Calder high, in Halifax, West Yorkshire, is seeking a head of Year 7, advertised under the job description of Year 7 manager. An advertisement describes the pound;21,000-a-year term-time-only post as "an innovative approach to workforce remodelling". The successful candidate will look after the social needs of pupils, monitor their progress and liaise with parents.

Stephen Ball, the head, said: "We know that in a traditional setting parents often become frustrated when they attempt to contact a year head to be told he or she is teaching. We expect the new post-holder to be available more readily."

Turves Green girls' school, in Birmingham, wants to appoint a Pounds 27,000-a-year behaviour manager. The post has already attracted more than 80 inquiries and candidates need no previous experience of working with children.

Duties will include child protection, working with youngsters in care, liaising with parents and outside agencies and supporting girls who have domestic problems, such as family breakdown.

Sara Brehony, headteacher, said: "This will be a non-teaching role. Whoever is appointed will have more time to devote to helping and supporting our pupils at what can be difficult periods of their lives."

Ministers believe their workforce reforms, originally backed by all major teaching unions apart from the NUT, will allow schools more flexibility in recruiting non-teaching staff, allowing teachers to concentrate on teaching. But Mr Bangs said the agreement left schools unclear about whether pastoral posts needed to be filled by qualified teachers.

"A head of year really has to have a grip on a child's home life, how supportive parents are and crucially how issues such as that might affect their learning. Only a qualified teacher can fulfil all of these roles effectively," he said.

Archie Howard, head of Tanfield school, County Durham, and former chairman of the National Association for Pastoral Care in Education, said: "I don't believe a head of year or a behaviour manager has to be a teacher, though there are aspects of their work that teachers may have to be part of."

A Department for Education and Skills spokeswoman said it was up to schools to decide how best to implement remodelling.

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