Teachers to have licences

From September 2010 teachers will need to gain a licence to teach – a licence that will then need to be reviewed every 5 years through assessments. Children’s Secretary Ed Balls states the proposal is “intended to weed out weak teachers” – but what exactly is a weak teacher?

Union leaders have had mixed views, with ATL stating they think it’s a “bureaucratic nightmare” and NASUWT saying the licensing scheme would give teachers “the long overdue recognition that it is a high status qualification”.

Although it may be seen as a positive factor, with parents knowing their children are being taught by teachers approved by the government, it could also be something which may have negative effects – what happens to the teachers who don’t pass the assessment?

Let us know your view, do you think the introduction of a licence will boost the teacher status to that of a doctor or lawyer? Does this new law put you off from studying to become a teacher, or do you feel more encouraged? Is this unnecessary pressure on teachers, or something that’s best for children and teachers alike?

48 thoughts on “Teachers to have licences

  1. I read with utter astonishment this morning about the new proposals from the government that teachers are now expected to have a license to teach! Not only do the majority of teachers already have to do a 4 year degree, then an Induction year, but now they add an additional level of License. What a waste of time, money and what a lot of additional paper work and bureaucracy. I know there is a lot of unemployment, but coming up with ideas like this to create administrative jobs is ludicrous. What makes this even more of a joke is that in some schools classroom assistants and cover supervisors are used to 'teach' the majority of which aren't qualified teachers!

    It not as if there aren't already a raft of ways that teachers are assessed both at school, county and national level. Observations, Professional Development Portfolios, Ofsted inspections and the GTC are all examples of this.

    What's even sadder is that the bodies that could question and block this have had no opportunity to discuss the matter. It's another example of the DfES and its ministers trying to grab the headlines and turn all teachers into robots that are centrally controlled. I really thought that the move away from Literacy and Numeracy strategies was the governments way of handing back some professionalism to teachers, however this move proves how wrong I was.

  2. My daughter us a teacher in Queensland Australia, when she graduated from university with a four year degree Bachelor of Education (General Primary) she then had to apply for Teacher Registration with the College of Education, as is normal, she was given provisional registration, and after one year, like all other teachers in this state, may apply for confirmation of her registration. that confirmation includes providing certification from the Principal of the school at which she has taught before that confirmation is given. That registration will last as long as she remains active as a teacher, but if a teacher decides to pursue some other employment then the registration with the College of Education lapses after a period of years and that person can no longer teach. My niece also obtained a degree Bachelor of Education, taught for one year, found she did not like teaching and sought other employment, no she can no longer teach even if she wants to unless she is first able to convince the College of Education that she is still capable of teaching and can gain, again, a provisional registration. From 2011 the State Government of Queensland is introducing a literacy and numeracy test for all new graduates with Bachelor of Education, to ensure that the teacher has the basic knowledge to be able to teach. What a ridiculous decision that is, as a retired teacher myself, but of adults (both as an instructor in the Army and a teacher of Adults in government departments) I believe the first priority is for teacher to be given more skills to actually teach. The degree Bachelor of Education in university includes subjects that the person will teach when they graduate, plus others such as psychology etc that may help to to teach, to understand the students, etc etc, but it does not include any methods for teaching, and the university student only obtains those skills during periods when they spend time in schools during the first three years, then with an internship of six months in their final year and that means they end up with all the bad habits of the teacher under whose supervision they are allotted. I have noticed so many teachers,( when I have visited schools attended by my grandchildren) who will talk to their whiteboard, have mannerisms that distract, ignore some students who wish to ask questions, play favourites with some students, any other obvious barriers to good teaching. I think that as well as checking that teachers have the literacy and numeracy skills to pass on, they need to be assessed on the methods of teaching,to ensure they actually have teaching skills

  3. Just wondering how that works for supply teachers? Would a supply teacher be judged on the strength of the good/poor lesson plans left by the absent teacher?!

  4. Will lawyers, police officers and doctors all have to do the same thing? If not, then that totally negates the idea of teachers being valued as professionals.

    Plus what will the cost of this exercise be… and where will the money come from in the current recession?

    Many teachers find the current system whereby they are watched and assessed by management and peers to be nerve-wracking, then there are school inspections (Ofsted or otherwise), but this is the absolute last straw – I foresee more and more teacher absence from stress.

    Finally, what a shame some MPs don't have to be assessed for competence on an annual basis!

  5. I am a british qualified teacher presently working in NZ, where teachers are registered. There are no assessments in the vein of which the article talks, but head-teachers are required to vouch that you possess the key competencies. It can be a hassle, a small one, but the impact upon daily life is minimal. The danger here appears to me to be 'they' are trying to ensure that teachers think and act in the 'correct' way…which concerns me as there are many skills and varieties of teaching.

  6. Another useless attempt to increase the burden on teachers, and perhaps another tax. I pay £60 per year to renew my CRB already as a supply teacher after 20 years of regular teaching. How will the day to day supply teachers be able to get this license without having a place to do the assessments. This labour government will definitely get my vote in the next election.

  7. This could be good as long as it focuses on data rather than anything like more lesson observations. How independant from senior management will it be as if you have a disgreement could it be used to push a person out?

  8. Logic dictates that the proposal confirms that Ofsted and all the other agencies do not work…………. It is high time someone researched and identified the amount of money being diverted from the classroom to the various agencies as well quantifying their success rates. Who inspects the inspectors! With the real prospect of further funding cuts it follows that school and college managers will be attempting to wring more for less out of an already stretched to the limit work force.

    An Ofsted inspector recently said to me that because of the current economic situation teachers would not protest about increased workload because they would not risk losing their jobs!

    I suspect that in the not too distant future there may well be a truly meaningful showdown between school and college teachers, and the government – bring it on and let's get it sorted once and for all!

  9. A degree, induction year, constant INSET, frequent new initiatives,Observations, Professional Development Portfolios, Ofsted inspections and the GTC are all examples of this.
    Raise our status?
    This government has turned us into the most interfered with and untrusted profession ever!

    i would never recomment teaching to any young person anymore and am relieved to be nearing retirement!

  10. Quote "Union leaders have had mixed views, with ATL stating they think it’s a “bureaucratic nightmare” and NASUWT saying the licensing scheme would give teachers "the long overdue recognition that it is a high status qualification".

    Will it give us the kind of contracts we really merit and the pay we really merit too? I don't hold out much hope. It's another do more for less thing.

  11. "Turn all teachers into centrally controlled robots."
    You hit the nail right on the head.

    On the other hand, judging teachers by results and league tables is totally unfair.

    Back on the same hand, it'll just be government lackies and quangos doing this – vastly overpaid people with no experience of teaching.

    How about exchange programmes and peer review?

    How about spending the money on the service? How about decent pay for TAs?

    How about national service? Get these moaning employers into schools, especially those that make big party donations.

  12. Very interesting reading these comments. Are people unaware that anyone working in post compulsary education has already had these measures imposed on them?

  13. Ed Balls is just headline-hunting : he hasnt a clue. More beurocracy, more civil service jobs…zzzz…when will he have a worthwhile idea ??

  14. Yet another stupid idea when will this govement leave us teachers alone. Will other proffessions have to do the same?

  15. Oh my goodness! What a joke. Weeding out weak teachers? Surely if the teacher training, Ofsted,league tables, insets, CPD and all the other 'initiatives' the government use were working, there would be no weak teachers. I can not imagine what they will come up with next.
    This sounds like a logistic nightmare and just another layer of stress to pile on to already over worked and underpaid teachers.
    Who decides what makes a good/weak teacher? What will these assessments involve? Will they consider the impact of effective/ineffective management on the ability of teachers to do their jobs well?

  16. The best way to evaluate a teacher's or school's strenghts and weaknesses would be through spot-check inspection, rather than advanced-warning inspections when the entire school puts weeks worth of efforts into producing an unnatural "showcase" whilst not giving the pupils proper attention for all that time.

  17. The Best thing I ever did was leave the Teaching Profession. I am one of the lucky ones!
    I started my own company with my partner and I am no longer in a state of continual stress.
    I loved teaching when I first entered the profession but the job has changed beyond all recognition.
    How many times do you see happy, smiling teachers…most of them look as if on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I would never ever recommend anyone to enter this madness.
    Anonymous

  18. It's like everything else designed to keep teachers on their toes – performance management, OFSTED etc. – it will only work if there are enough resources to get it done properly.
    It's a "quick fix soundbite" when the Government is in trouble. I can't see it enhancing my status one iota.

  19. I am French, and I have a degree in French.
    I wanted to teach French.
    I thought that I ought to be qualified enough.
    Well that is a sad mistake.
    Try and get a native French speaker to speak French to a qualified French teacher and you will see the strangest thing happen. The conversation will be very short. Very, very short, and you will be left wondering, who teaches what to whom.
    Is it OK to teach mistakes as long as the methodology, lesson plan, scheme of work, discipline and overall strategy are spot on?
    It is difficult to be a teacher in this country, I understand that. The paperwork and responsibilites are monstrous, I have seen it first hand for I have really tried.
    But teachers should be in the business of knowledge. What else?
    It seems that the proverbial plot has been lost completely.
    A licence? On which and whose criteria?
    You should endeavour to produce different teachers for different pupils.
    Why decide that pupils should not write any French before year 9, when they have been taught to memorize through writing since year 1? When the logic of the pronunciation is so obvious in the written French? Why let down the best to keep the "not bothered" entertained in worthwhile but also limiting class games? Are teachers not supposed to nurture independant thinking and learning? Pavlov did good with dogs, but they were only dogs. Beware of automatic responses, they show no knowledge at all, good training at best, but pupils are not dogs.

  20. I agree with the comments that there are already checks in place. After teaching for 30+ years ,and just working part time for a year I have undergone practice Ofsted observations. And to see the pressures & stress on colleagues why on earth do they need one more?

  21. What happens if you are off/out of work for a while, or when they do the assessment. If your licence expires how do you renew it if you are unemployed? So if you have no licence how can you get a job – round and round we go again.

  22. I have been a supply teacher for the last four years. Supply teachers do not have access to the same CPD resources that contracted teachers do. To date, I haven't been required to attend courses ( as I'm the personal who is covering the colleague on the course!) In addition, as a temporary and casual worker I haven't had a specific head-teacher to ensure my own development- so who would oversee my licensing?.
    For these reasons I am extremely concerned about what might happen to me in the near future : (

  23. Actually I think in some ways this is positive but would be better with every 10 years. I am young, aged 25 and am studying to do a PGCE this Sep. The main reason why I did not choose to go into teaching until now is because I was able to teach as a TA, LSA and abroad with all my teaching experience but now I need my PGCE for not only the salary but the prospect of moving further in my career. I have met so many teachers who went to the best of the best colleges in UK and who were just terrible teachers, or whom the school praises as wonderful teachers but when I sit in the classroom to observe them I almost shudder "Phew! At least this teacher wasn't mine!" What many schools consider to be "good" teachers may just be teachers who do what the rules suggest. But can they actually grasp the attention of everyone even the children who disrupt the class? I want to go into teaching because I love the "naughty" children, they are the ones I see eye to eye with and truly involve them into the classroom. I believe Briish schools and its teachers label and categorise children into sections like "naughty", "aggressive" "special needs" "disabled" "foreign" and they are just children! Children are naughty, curious, selfish, loud, aggressive sometimes but also so honest, bold and caring. Children may not feel any self worth but with a teacher who sees their self worth and does not categorise them then the child feels that recognition. Children are far more sensitive than many adults realise. Teachers need to reflect on what bores and excites them and use this in the classroom. So I am excited about a license from the point of view that while the teachers may have graduated from excellent institutions and written the "right thing to say" that's completely different from being in a classroom and getting along with your class. Children need to feel encouraged to grow in a safe and positive environment and not continuously given the black mark.

  24. I am so glad I have got out of teaching. It is never going to be a properly respected profession. There are too many people who want to shift the blame for things going wrong onto teachers.

    Parents won't take responsibility for what their children do so bad behaviour is all down to bad teachers. The fact they prevent you disciplining their little darling has nothing to do with it.

    When I started teaching if you caught a kid redhanded it was fair cop. Now the reply is "Prove it." Endless statements and the kid gets let off.

    Keith Joseph started the latest round of knock a teacher and our reputation has never recovered.

  25. I have been a teacher for 14 years. Everyday I strive to help my students think for themselves and improve their literacy and numeracy skills. Every day I strive to be the best teacher I can be. I love teaching children, but the burden of paperwork and observational periods is very stressful. When would these additional observations for a teacher to gain approval for a teaching license take place? Who would do the evaluations? At my schools, the evaluators are extremely pressed for time to complete the evaluations already required. This year, I was observed both times at the end of a term. I was evaluated when i was at my worst, when my students and I were ultra tired and needing a break. I was observed at the end of the day when my six year old students were exhausted (they commute and are at school from 8 am until 4 pm which is too long of a day for this age group…)I don't agree with a number of the "observations" that my head of department made (for example, I let another child go to the washroom during my lesson (he has a medical condition). I explained a little of my thoughts to my evaluator, but had little time to respond to all of the paperwork she sent me on her observations of my teaching. The paperwork was sent to me on the last afternoon before the school closed for the school year. She said I could write about anything I thought, on my feedback form). I am staring at the form, which I will be submitting late for need of time to think about her observations (too busy doing inventory and packing up my classroom on the last day). I am not feeling comfortable about refuting some of the things that were written about my lessons… The evaluator will be the head of the department next year. I don't want to cause tensions with someone I need cooperation from on an almost daily basis. I work very long hours (there are unit plans and reports and lesson preparations to do at night after I have taught energetic children who need me one hundred percent all day long). I don't mind working hard, but I do mind that besides the stress, I am having a very difficult time making it financially… Sure now I'm on my six week holiday and that's how long it will take to release the stress and to relax and get my energy back so that I can give myself to my school and my students next year. Instead of "assessing" teachers twice over, why not send in more experienced teachers to help any teachers who are having a hard time coping with all of the challenges of the profession… why not show teachers how to increase the effectiveness of their teaching through example.. with regards to additional evaluations to ascertain whether a teacher gets a license (we already have teaching certificates and degrees) what does creating more paperwork and more stress solve? How does it help the children learn more effectively? How does over criticising the teacher help the teacher be a better teacher? Will these new evaluations be constructive or destructive? I for one, fear the latter, for some. Ah, but it's an altruistic career… and we are making a positive difference in the world while we work… Teachers, let's enjoy our well deserved holiday!

  26. I am flabbergasted and quite frankly depressed. I agree, after 4 years at university, an NQT year, 20K debt and 4 years of teaching why on earth should I have to get a licence! My NQT year was a write off, I received no guidance or support but then I would be held accountable and lose my licence being deemed inadequate!?

    I certainly don't consider myself inadequate and thankfully I have great support now in m current school and have flourished. But when you teach 14 classes of 32, 2 subjects at GCSE, have a form group, live 20 miles away and have been given other responsibilities which conveniently don't warrant a TLR point, I think I am stressed enough.

    What is the criteria for these licences? Is it set in stone? Do we get given another chance or the benefit of the doubt? Will this just weed out teachers that are unpopular with SMT but are in fact good teachers?

    What if you have had disagreements with your head? Will they push you out? If you have your licence revoked are retraining opportunities or probationary periods put in place or are you simply blacklisted, sacked and that's it? What next? Unskilled, low paid jobs for ex-teachers?

    Who accounts for poor management and the circumstances involved with those that you teach and the school that you work in?

    Raise our profile to that of Doctors and Lawyers!!! Give me a break! Are they going to pay us on a par with them too? I hear Ed Balls is not even honouring the fixed 3year 2.3% pay increase that the NUT went on srike to protest against!! An there are to be more cuts in pa within education? have to be joking right?

    Teachers are already over worked, underpaid, blamed for everything, held accountable for results when quite frankly not every child is capable of C and above. Is that was success is judged on ? Not improvement in the child?Our views are ignored, we are stressed and fed up. Retention is low for new teachers entering the profession and they want to go and do this? I don't have a worklife balance for fear that I will be accused of neglecting the job and this is just one more stress that I could do without.

    When is the government going to respect that we are qualified professionals who know what they are doing and know what is best? Who is protecting us? Discipline went out the window years ago, now it's all 'SKILLS' based work and no content! nd if we don't keep up to date we are out on our ear! But surely it is the responsibility of the SMT and our government to keep us up to date in a managable way? We should be supported before it gets to the stage that we would lose a licence? And surely they must remember that we have specialist subjects and our abin that area should take precedence over whether we can use the latest gadget or understand the latest reinvented buzz term (that teachers have been implementing forever). We are prescribed our curriculum so rigidly, I agree that I am fast becoming a Robot!

    Another 40 years of this!? That's if I can get a licence! Oh well, here's hoping.

  27. I work as a supply teacher, and am worried abouthow this proposal will affect me.How do we get these licences and are we expected to fund them ourselves? I already have to pay out £200 a year for CRB checks,as I work for several agencies all requiring CRB checks and insisting onannual checks although they should be valid for 3 years, plus GTC Registration costs and union fees.
    What on earth are the unions doing, shouldn't they be challenging this bureaucratic nonsense.
    We have all qualified and presumably we all take part in courses etc as part of our professional development.Does the government propose a points system on our license (as for drivers), 3 points for a complaint or for not completing paperwork on time etc.

  28. I fear it is yet another stick with which to beat teachers when the government's rules about how to teach do not produce the results they expect. No doubt, if we supply teachers are indeed able to get licences somehow, and I really can't think how when we only offered the odd half day's teaching here or there, we will be expected to pay for them in the same way that we are expected to pay for numerous CRB checks and the proposed ISA and GTC membership. In my area at last we are being offered a little cpd "free of charge", but the choice is very limited and we have to forgo a day's wages in order to access it; now that teaching assistants and part-time teachers are covering for most absences in their schools, a full day's wage is becoming something of a rarity itself. I wonder if anyone has considered how someone who has spent some time at home with their children is to get a licence, or will it be impossible for teachers to opt to give their own children the best start in life?

  29. After the impact of the home, the most significant factor affecting educational outcomes is the classroom. This effect is greater than that of the school and shows the importance of good teachers. Ofsted assess the effectiveness of the school as a whole and this is done partly through observations. However the outcomes of these observations are not generally used to assess the competence of a specific teacher, but to give a snapshot of the effectiveness of the school as a whole.
    I would welcome a mechanism which would allow headteachers the possibilty to quickly and efficiently identify underperforming staff with the aim of supporting them to improved practice or if this is not achieved to remove them from the profession. Whether this is the right mechanism remains to be seen, but I applaud the principle that just as with doctors, incompetent practice should be acted against.
    As to what is poor practice, there are a huge variety of methods of assessing this, none of which should be taken in isolation but which together can build up a clear picture.
    We need to recognise that we do not serve the pupils and the communities they come from by being defensive about poor practice. Accepting that it does happen, and providing a useable mechanism for removing poor teachers can only strengthen us.

  30. No government, of whatever political persuasion will ever leave teachers alone. Teachers are the group that can be publicly hit while losing the government of the day the minimum number of votes. Let us remember:-
    We are only employed for 1265 hours or 36 weeks a year, and only paid for this.
    The "plus whatever additional hours" clause was deemed illegal by the European courts, but NOT signed up to by our government.
    We suffer a professional body, imposed upon us, that can remove us from the classroom for as little as raising our voice. The GTC exists only to back up spurious complaints that would be laughed out of court. AND we are forced to pay for it.
    And where, pray, during all this, were our Trade Unions?
    Teachers already have performance management, and absence management. (Conveniently forgetting that every single day, teachers have a class full of potential infection delivered to them each day. How often have we heard from parents "She was sick last night, but she REALLY wanted to come to school today. Anyway, I have to go to work"

    LEt us be absolutely clear. We once had ancillaries in our classrooms. They became teaching assistants, and then High Level Teaching Assistants. It is not too big a step from Teaching Assistants to Assistant Teachers. The government want experienced (expensive) teachers out and low-cost teachers or preferably teaching assistants in. This is merely another way of forcing early retirement without having to pay for it.
    Oh yes, and how long before they unilaterally change our pension rights too? They are already doing it in other professions.

    The rape of our profession has been permitted by our Trade Unions who should hang their heads in shame. We as professionals have also played our part in allowing these travesties to be forced upon us. There is nothing like a teacher's strike or two for bringing people to their senses.

  31. By doing this, are the Government admitting that all the judgements made during observations by senior teachers as part of performance management cycles, as well as judgements made by OFSTED and HMI are unreliable and inaccurate? OFSTED could report on a school being good with 100% of lessons being satisfactory or better, yet the Government still won't believe that the teachers are doing a good job. Just to make sure teachers will need to be observed again, creating another pile of unnecessary paperwork, all to prove teachers know what they are doing. What I find difficult is that Mr Balls is an expert on Education today (because he is the Education Minister), yet tomorrow there could be a reshuffle and he would then be an expert on Health, or Transport. Perhaps teachers need to be trusted to do their job. After all they have degrees, teaching qualifications, and on-going professional development. Perhaps Mr Balls should spend more time looking at how other countries manage to produce a better education system than ours and with a fraction of the testing and paper work. I heard some where (though I may be misinformed) that the report card idea has been used in America and they are dropping it because it doesn't work… just as we're thinking to adopt it. Let teachers do the job they are trained to do. Let doctors and lawyers do the jobs they are trained to do, and for once trust that people will try their best and do a good job. Naturally there will be teachers who are no good, but surely after Heads, Senior staff, OFSTED, and possibly HMI have each had their turn, the school should know who the bad teachers are………

  32. Ok… bring in the proposed licence so that teachers are regarded in the same league as doctors etc.
    However… be prepared to match the salaries accordingly, allow teachers to feel that their professional opinions are valued, end the blame culture and foster an environment where teachers can be allowed to do their jobs- we are not here to provide a free babysitting service! Also, get rid of the suffocating league tables. Give teachers the opportunity to feel that they can teach children through a fully enriched curriculum without being under pressure to achieve targets and results. If this proposal were to consider the viewpoints of the numerous stressed hard working professional teachers out there then I may consider it. Until then, not a chance!

  33. Anonymous. It is a very sad development that does not give due regard to the ITT institutions, lecturers, graduates and all processes that have been put in place to uphold Education standards. Sounds a slap on the face! If justice is to prevail, issuing of licenses should involve every one in the Education system to pass through the same process beginning from University and College lecturers responsible for ITT (Initial Teacher Training), all Headmasters and their deputies, Departmental heads, Inspectors and classroom teachers. Other things need revisiting, for example, the education policy as a whole, handling of discipline in schools, the role of parents, etc.

    Surprisingly, whenever there is a need to find a fault it appears the teacher is always the first culprit. Why? Why is students' and their parents' influence not given consideration when judging a teacher's performance? The education system exposes teachers to various categories of pupils and it is unfair to expect teachers to perform magic to let every one reach the top of the mountain. There are many students who are forced to be in school because the law demands it. If the student does not want to work and fails, why should the system blame the teacher and spare others who are also contributing to the problem?

    If they want teachers to have licenses, the parents, pupils and all those already pointed out above should have licenses too. Parents should have a license to put their chidren in schools. If they fail to support the system their licenses should be revoked. Pupils should have a license that should be revoked if they totally refuse to co-operate in the system and be taken for National service where they will become productive in building the country's economy. Every one who is healthy and strong should not look for free benefits as is the case now. I believe NATIONAL SERVICE would improve discipline in schools and minimise stress experienced by teachers as a result of pupils who feel forced to attend school.

    To some extent the education policy is partly responsible for creating a group of young stars who do not see the need to work hard in school because they know some one will give them handouts for life.

    Causing stress on teachers who already have stressful working environment does not provide lasting solutions to the existing problems. They are trying to treat a disease with wrong medicine. Please give educationists chance to make proposals on how educational problems should be resolved. If you overlook them you will end up breeding antagonism, which might be costly.

  34. I've been teaching for 35 years and am horrified at the idea of renewable liscences for teachers, having studied to be a teacher, done an NQT year, taken part in performance management regularly and Ofsted often, surely any "inadequate" teachers should have been found and supported – I just feel the proffessionalism of teachers is being ripped away year after year – is it any wonder parents and then children have no respect for teachers in so many cases, when we are continually having to prove ourselves to them – talk about guilty til proven innocent. I went into teaching as a proffession – I shall leave it very differently. I have seen many things turn full circle during my career – I can only hope that teaching as a profession comes back too.

  35. What about all these tutors that the government wants to bring in to give extra tuition to children who are struggling? Will they have to be assessed every five years as well?

  36. It disgusts me that we are going to be tested every 5 years. The job is very stressful as it is. How are they going to manage it? I know that I perform differently with certain classes. Am I to be blamed and deemed "weak" if I happen to be observed with a "difficult" group. I know that in my school there is a culture where the students and parents are believed and listened to and that the word of the teacher does not count. I know of teachers who have great relationships with students but don't actually teach them that much but are considered excellent teachers because the students write praise postcards about them. In our school a teacher who got "inadequate" by OFSTED got a head of KS3 job over another applicant who got "good" by the same OFSTED inspection- how does that work? I am sick of all the corruption that goes on in our profession. Another colleague of mine who management has ear marked as a "pain" was observed on the last day of the Summer term with a disruptive bottom set. No surprises that he got an "inadequate". I feel I have to "suck" up to the naughty kids or to the children of whose parents are well known for moaning to the school to survive. The students know that they have the upper hand and can hound out teachers in our school. School has become a place of fear and the divide and conquer rule increases the stress levels. This licence will become yet another instrument of torture for me and my colleagues. There is no room for free thinkers anymoe only "yes" people who tow the line and allow themselves to become puppets. By the way I enjoy teaching, love being with my students and am "good".

  37. There are loads of tests already to find out if a trainee teacher has got what it takes to make it in the profession. First you either have to undertake a 3 yr degree followed by a 1 yr PGCE/GTP or a 4 yr degree. Then, you have an induction year as a Newly Qualified Teacher. Surely, this should be enough to say whether or not a trainee has got what it takes to make it in the profession. Why do we need a licence to become a teacher. I want to teach either English to KS 3 and KS 4 or primary and I'm not keen on the idea of getting a licence to be recognised as a teacher at the end of my degree and induction year. I will of course carry on regardless, but I'm not too happy about the idea.

  38. This is just the sort of thing that has led me to find a teaching job in Australia, away from an education system driven by testing and government interference on a regular basis. Good riddance as far as i'm concerned. We jump through enough hoops as it is without needing a licence.

  39. I am amazed at the number of posts on this site by "anonymous" – perhaps this is a good indication to the powers that be that some teachers are stressed by other issues in their daily teaching life, and they are also aware that it would be to their career detriment, and perhaps have great effect on their career prospects in teaching, if those powers were able to identify who is their critic, who does not agree with them, and worse still, is willing to proclaim that in a loud voice on this forum.

  40. Does anyone know if music peris visiting schools, private tutors and private music teachers working at home will have to apply for a licence? How will the government assess an independent piano teacher every five years? Exam results? More CRB checks?

    This issue raises so many questions! There is too much emphasis on the teacher. Surely the government should be checking that the pupils are learning. Thst's evidence of good teaching. A licence won't prove anything.

    (I've been teaching piano privately and in prep schools for 25 years).

  41. HA ha ha ha ha ha – the teaching profession has been nothing but a joke since I embarked on it. I was treated with more respect when I worked in a sandwich shop in a railway station.
    I had no guidance during my NQT year, the school I worked in was in special measures, and we were observed weekly by SLT, had a staff meeting every morning for half hour and twice weekly, from 3.30 – 5.30 and yet we were supposed to jump through hoops for absolutely everything! we are expected to be machines and creative genuises simultaneously
    We had to hand in every single lesson plan by Monday mornings. They were always 12 – 13 pages long. No wonder, we even had to write the questions we would be asking the kids in the lessons on them! What a total joke. (oh yes and we had to handwrite an evaluation of every single lesson plan too, and assess each child for each lesson in a written format – too much work? – I think so!)
    By the time I finally left this school 5 years
    later (what took me so long? Fear that other schools were the same and I felt 'better the devil you know), I was completely confused about what teaching actually was.
    But I did know that I meant nothing to the school, was easily replaced, which I most certainly was despite being the longest running member of KS2 after only 5 years – are you suprised staff turnover was so high? It seems that the culture of the schools in this country is to pile the blame for everything onto the teachers, put pressure after pressure onto them, never believe them, and my goodness, don't listen to them – after all, WHAT DO THEY KNOW?!
    I'm actually suprised that the training isn't monitored more effectively. I'm afraid the PGCE that I did, prepared me for nothing. I was a weak teacher when I started teaching, admittedly, but you know what? I wanted to be good, I wanted the support, I needed the encouragement. Did anyone help me? Yes, the other teachers who were also working 11 hours nearly every single day (these were the hours at school by the way). Did management help? No! Did my mentor help? No, she was too run off her own feet. However, the training is what should be monitored, not us every 5 years. A
    nd management need closer monitoring too. I told OFSTED after 4 years of constant inspections all about our head teacher. I told them the truth, which most teachers were afraid of doing (as they thought it would make the inspections even worse – but I decided they couldn't get worse.) She was asked to leave a few months later. It didn't seem that anyone was monitoring her.
    I am now at a good school – the headteacher is absolutely fantastic and really cares for both the teachers (other adults) and children. However, I still feel run off my feet, and rarely have a break or lunch time, if I want to get home at a decent hour. It is just exhausting for no other reason than being with lots of people just is!
    How is it possible to be a 'weak teacher' with our constant monitoring of lesson plans, monitoring of lessons, weekly training This is after a whole day of teaching too.
    It's constant pressure being a teacher. I know I'm not the only one who has to make lists on a daily basis of things that need doing. Yet there isn't enough time to do them. Why does the government think we spend plenty of our weekends and holidays doing work that should be done within the school week / our own evenings?
    If this licence comes into effect, I know I won't be labelled as a weak teacher, but I know that I will be leaving the profession, as I still find even termly lesson observations worrying. It's not becuase I don't put the work in, I'm a natural worrier, always have been and always will be.
    They need to look deeper and take a good look at all the factors that are making their education system fail.
    The only thing that's going to make me a 'weak teacher' is the lack of trust, respect and unfortunetely my own constant worrying.

  42. Interesting developments – could weak be expensive? Money makes the world go around – so they say.
    Budgets are limited. An experienced teacher is an expensive teacher. Who will decide who offers 'value for money'? Very divisive – the professionalism safety net has very large holes in it. The Unions will have a mountain of work!

  43. I don't blame anonymous on July 11th for moving to Australia to teach. I have met lots of Australian teachers over here, most of who get worn down and dazed by our so called profession. They simply cannot believe what we have to put up with here.
    If I wasn't married with kids, I would not hesitate in moving to Australia to teach. They know what they're doing, probably due to the fact that their systems (e.g. num and lit strats) don't change every 5 minutes and that they have never had to use such a prescriptive curriculum.
    Good for you Australia – we should take a leaf out of your book!

  44. For any teacher who even thinks about coming to Austrtalia to teach, be warned, we have six states and two territories, each with there own education department, each with their own teacher registration process, each with their own teachers union, and each with their own curriculum. there is no national curriculum as such, however, there is a national testing system for certain classes, and each year the federal government publishes a list showing the performance in each state, and because each state has a different curriculum, it always results in a furore over the shortcomings in some states, and then reflects back on the teachers, not the curriculum publishes and insisted by the boffins back in the state education department who tell the teachers what they must teach, and it obviously is not the same stuff on which the children are tested, otherwise why do some have poor results. so beware – check which state you will go to before you decide to migrate – but of course, we do have many other things to offer the teacher in this lucky country.

  45. I cannot believe this. Time to leave teaching I think. Who will they get in the future??? Maybe computer replacements?

  46. I don't know if I am thinking about this differently but to me this doesn't sound like too bad an idea depending on how it is approached!
    I have completed my induction and now work as a supply teacher due to a lack of teaching jobs in Wales. It frustrates me when I work in some schools and see what some teachers get away with i.e. Not preparing lessons, not following school plans, doing the minimum they can get away with when there are teacher like myself struggling to get a job. From what I can see once you get a permenant job your safe even if you slack off.
    I am in favour of something which comes from the monitoring and observations of teaching as well as of planning etc which already take place as we can all agree the last thing we need is more of these!
    I think some teachers (and children) would benefit from this and it would ensure good quality teaching is maintained across the board rather than across the majority of the board.

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