"Qualified to teach": Education Guardian, 5 October 2010
Full text of original letter sent on 28 September 2010.
"Free schools might not use qualified teachers" (Education Guardian, 28 September) reveals the Department for Education’s doublethink on teaching standards. One minute ministers want teachers to have 2.2 degrees as a minimum, the next the DfE is considering unqualified teachers for free schools.
If teachers in academies and other publicly-funded schools have Qualified Teacher Status, why not in free schools? Was the slogan "Those who can, teach" supposed to mean that just anybody could?
The Education Secretary has said that he favours "traditional" values: "strict discipline, academic subjects rigorously taught and not some of the wild and wacky theorems that have distracted some of our schools from delivering on the basics". Employing unqualified teachers for publicly-funded free schools certainly qualifies as "wild and wacky".
Yes, there are some unqualified teachers in private schools but they are small in number and have a specific and limited role. They should not be used as a benchmark for a new class of school.
What next – unqualified doctors, unqualified lawyers…?
General Secretary, Philip Parkin
Communications Officer (Voice Press Office), Richard Fraser