Unqualified doesn't mean second-rate

1st November 2013 at 00:00

Is it not time to have a grown-up discussion about unqualified teachers? I joined further education as an unqualified teacher and went on to take a Certificate in Education. The course was interesting but did little to help me teach - lesson and peer observations provided the most insight. An inspirational textbook A Guide to Student-Centred Learning by Donna Brandes and Paul Ginnis also gave me ideas.

Later, as an inspector of work-based learning for England's schools inspectorate Ofsted, I saw some truly great teaching from people who had no training whatsoever. What they did have were excellent communication skills, the ability to engage their students and a passion for, and up-to-date knowledge of, their subject.

Can we at least acknowledge that a degree and a one-year postgraduate certificate in education course does not automatically make a good teacher, and that some unqualified teachers can knock spots off some qualified ones?

Sally Butler, Lostwithiel, Cornwall.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today