No QTS to teach

newsletter 180316 v1

Do you really need QTS to teach? Is it important? Or do you just need to be a specialist in a certain area to be able to teach our next generation…

Under new proposals, trainees with a particular expertise will be able to become a teacher even if they are not qualified. Those with specialist skills such as maths and science will be able to be hired by schools without needing QTS. Head teachers are to be given this power to hire unqualified teachers in a bid to try and plug the massive skills shortage in the teaching profession, a new white paper has suggested.

The government is proposing a policy that will scrap the QTS and replace it with a new “voluntary” National Professional Qualification. Aspiring teachers will essentially join a learner driver style process where an opportunity to demonstrate skills is given before being formally qualified. At the moment, teacher training is mandatory but ministers have said this will be scrapped and a new “voluntary” and more challenging accreditation will be introduced.

The decision to allow head teachers to recruit unqualified teachers will hopefully make it easier for schools to hire experts in shortage subjects such as science and maths. A new education White Paper states that “this new accreditation will raise the quality and status of the teaching profession.”

The new education White Paper also sets out plans for head teachers to be given two and a half year improvement period, where they will have the opportunity to turn round failing schools without facing an Ofsted inspection. The Government have implemented this reprieve in a bid to try and entice new head teachers to struggling schools. Heads have long complained that they risk their careers by taking over failing schools. The paper states that the Government will look to rebalance the incentives in the accountability system so that great leaders are encouraged to work in challenging schools and areas.

These changes have been welcomed by the interim General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), Malcolm Trobe who said “We believe this will help to ensure the highest standards and that it will be good for both new teachers and for schools.” Mr Trobe continued to say that the improvement period “is an important step in ensuring that leaders in struggling schools are given a period to embed improvement measures. Transforming a school does not happen overnight and this measure reflects that.”

But what do you think? Should skilled professionals be able to teach our next generation without getting their QTS status? Have your say here…

7 thoughts on “No QTS to teach

  1. … “this new accreditation will raise the quality and status of the teaching profession.”
    No, this just undermines the training process of qualified, ‘proper’ teachers. As soon as Heads know they can employ ‘unqualified’ teachers, that will drive down the pay/job prospects for qualified teachers: why pay a full-time qualified UPS3 teacher on £35,000 (someone who has dedicated their life’s career to staying in the classroom, rather than to seek higher pay in ‘management’ and after 40 years gets below the threshold for higher rate tax – a real kick in the teeth, if ever there was one: we value you so much, that we consider you NOT worthy of a job in this higher rate tax band!!), when they can employ an unqualified teacher on £22,000? I’ve seen it happen!! What happened to Thatcher’s dream of an all graduate teaching profession?

  2. QTS is a professional standard, which, if achieved, demonstrates that a teacher has the skills to be potentially effective in the classroom. It should be necessary for all teachers that they achieve this, regardless of their subject. However, unless Maths and Science teachers are paid more than teachers in non-shortage subjects, there is no obvious alternative. So schools must either allow individuals with expertise but without QTS status to teach these shortage subjects or use qualified teachers without expertise in the subject. Neither solution is a good one but using individuals with expertise seems the better alternative and, importantly more acceptable to parents.

    My major concern is that I wonder how much difference this will make to the shortages and whether academies end up solving the problem by grasping the nettle and paying teachers on the same grade more for teaching Maths, Science and other shortage subjects. Incidentally this may partly explain the government’s enthusiasm for academies.

  3. Hello,

    I am welcoming this new law with a big FINALLY. I do understand the value of QTS for any science math teacher or any teacher needed that to teach, but in my case I don’t see why to teach languages I have to pass a numeracy test. I studied and I failed it 3 times. I had to wait 2 years before re-sitting the exam.

    During those 2 years, I lost my teaching job because I didn’t have them and went for underpaid jobs. I don’t wish that to anybody and sadly, I know I’m not the only one. Currently, I am getting ready to resit my QTS to be able to find a well-paid teaching position. I am going to learn a bunch of things I am not going to reuse in my teaching. So yes, for me, it’s time I could invest on something else.

    So YES it’s a good thing and YES I believe that you can be a fantastic teacher without QTS standard, the main point is having undergone a training to teach your subject in schools.

  4. Hi
    I think it is a big mistake as you can be excellent in a subject but a dreadfull teacher. It is very difficult to teach difficult to make a subject you know very understable to people you do not know it.

  5. As a mathematics specialist and NQTI do not believe that to be a potentially good – outstanding teacher it is NOT enough to be either: a qualified mathematician or a qualified teacher; it takes qualifications and practice as both a mathematician and a teacher. You can eat excellent mathematician,but a terrible teacher and vice versa,you canbe agreat teacher but a terrible mathematician.
    In order for future generations to excel in mathematics and science all specialists should be qualified teachers.

  6. Taking teaching to the lowest common denominator again. They don’t need to be qualified. Anyone can teach can’t they? What utter rubbish. The ministry needs to be replaced with 15 year old students as they have more sense and would never claim that teaching is not a demanding and specialist profession which needs qualified teachers in front of them everyday!
    Next joke…….

  7. Hooray, I say! I agree.
    There are many subject specific, well qualified people out there who could easily do a 3-month PTLLS-type course to learn about ‘teaching’ and impart a huge amount of knowledge on tot the class I front of them.
    I think the current requirement to become a teacher is ridiculous. I have seen new grads, who can barely do basic maths themselves, nor write a decent personal statement come out with 2:2 or 2:1 in any degree (even non-academic, vocational subjects) go on to do a PGCE and attempt to teach a class of primary kids. They lack the ability to impart any knowledge due to the lack of their own.
    I’d much rather hire someone who has circa 20 years of subject knowledge gained through work outside education, to teach, than a new grad who hasn’t a clue.
    How interesting would it be for the class? Put yourself in their shoes, I know who I’d rather listen to and what would influence me more.
    The problem, regardless of QTS or not, is the salary, many professionals just won’t do the job for 25-30k when they can earn double, even triple that in the corporate world.

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