Unqualified… Unwanted?

Newsletter 010515

Politicians can’t seem to stop themselves from meddling with the education system. Instead of good news for the profession like a budget increase or easing the workload, the latest suggestion from the Labour party is to weed out unqualified teachers.
Any state school teacher that refuses to at least begin working towards QTS status will be excluded from the classroom in an attempt to promote “ high quality teaching”. This proposal could lead to the sacking of almost 17,000 teachers who do not have QTS, at a time when schools are already experiencing a teacher shortage and recruitment crisis.

Teachers will have until the end of the next parliament to start or successfully complete their QTS course, which takes in total a year to complete. Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Tristam Hunt believes that the teachers that remain unqualified haven’t “shown the enthusiasm and the respect to your pupils… and you don’t deserve to be in the classroom”.

This view is also shared by the Lib Dems and the Greens who agree that teachers need QTS before entering a classroom. It is a shared belief that a QTS represents part of the fabric that makes teaching a profession. It installs the philosophy that there are professional standards that need to be met when looking to become a teacher. Tristan Hunt said he was implementing this policy as “a sign of respect” to qualified teachers. But have Labour really thought through the full consequences of this policy at a time when numbers in the profession are at their lowest?

The Conservatives, however, believes that it is essential to give schools the freedom to recruit whoever they deem worthy, whether or not they have a formal teaching qualification. Nick Boles, the Minister of State, has pointed out that this proposal could “mean that 17,000 teachers are lost, even if they are delivering outstanding results” and that “there are some brilliant teachers who do not have qualified teaching status. Under the Conservatives, their jobs would be safe”.

However, this Labour policy would not impact the entire education system, it would only apply to those teachers in the state sector predominately in Academies. Independent schools will still be able to employ teachers without QTS. So is having QTS really a prerequisite to being an excellent teacher?

The QTS is designed to help teachers control a classroom, acquire further skills and enable them to improve their ability to teach in a variety of situations. Do you think having QTS is necessary? Should schools be restricted by only employing candidates based on their QTS?

If you have QTS status, do you think you are a better teacher because of it? Have your say…

14 thoughts on “Unqualified… Unwanted?

  1. Does this mean qtls is classed as a unqualified? Some schools do not rate qtls as par with qts.

  2. After reading your article, I don’t think having QTS is a prerequisite to being an excellent teacher. I do not have QTS and have to say that I am an excellent teacher that consistently delivers excellent results. My pupils feel as though their education is in safe hands and the many thank you cards I receive from year 11’s only goes to prove this. QTS is a means to an end and after many years of successful teaching I can honestly say that going to do my QTS now would be a step backwards.

  3. Truly one of the most ignorant posts I have ever read. Teachers should be professionals with the qualifications that enable that professionalism, in terms of understand knowing and understanding what to do and, crucially, how to develop as a teacher. It is that what makes teachers move beyond mere competence

  4. Qualifications don’t make you a great teacher, passion and the ability to connect with the children does. Intelligence doesn’t mean you know how to motivate children to learn! They don”t have exams to test that,but that is what would make a teacher great.

  5. Of course QTS should be required! What does this make of the hard work to acquire the qualification by those who have QTS otherwise?
    To be honest I do not know of any school ( I work in primary ) who has a non qualified teacher in charge of a class so I am surprised by the figures.
    Fantastic HLTA and teaching assistants support us in our job but they are not teachers.
    What should make a teacher worth their while is that they are certified in their profession.
    Would you go to an unqualified doctor ?
    Would you ride a bus with an unqualified driver ?
    So why would you put an unqualified teacher ( well not a teacher if they are not qualified ) in charge of children’s education ?
    What about the teacher shortage ?
    How about supporting those unqualified people already in post then so they may gain QTS? So they may also get the pay they deserve for their work as I assume they are paid less. Sounds like a way to scrape money to me.
    They are obviously not worthless if they can hold the job, but for our profession to be respected, there needs to be consistency. We all need to be equally paid and certified to show that we are professionals, trained and qualified to do our job !

  6. This article reads as though the author is promoting the Conservative viewpoint. This is a ludicrous, a rouse to make it permissable for the next government to further segregate the education system. I agree with Marie’s comments above. Of course teachers should hold QTS!

  7. Shortage of teachers? I am a qualified teacher with 18 years experience and excellent references. I have recently moved to a new area and cannot get a job. I have been to at least 8 interviews and every time the job goes to someone who is still doing their teacher training (but will be finished by September).
    Perhaps it is a good idea to give more money to schools so they can employ qualified teachers with experience rather than looking to unqualified staff.

  8. Bureaucracy gone mad!
    As a, ‘qualified in Scotland’, teacher with 40+ years of experience including UK Government OSAS work in Botswana in 1976, I’m not a QTS teacher!
    I logged into the QTS system. “The application will take 45 minutes to complete”
    45 minutes!! For what?
    I have 2 degrees; a B.Sc(Hons) and an M.Ed + 3 Diplomas in Education related fields; have been an HOD at several schools; a moderator in my subject for final exams … etc.
    I am certified in the country I live in so why should I have to take a 45 minute assessment test so I can teach in England?

  9. Reading this makes me worried, especially as I am a sports coach employed by a company to teach Physical Education in primary schools! I have a degree in PE but not QTS, I want to get onto a PGCE to become a secondary school PE but it is so competitive for example I applied for one course which had over a 175 applicants for only 40 places, there were only 8 places in Gloucestershire for any PE PGCE students. Yet I am told to get as much experience in schools teaching the subject, so if Hunt gets rid of unqualified teachers how the hell am I supposed to get experience? Also a lot of primary school teachers do not feel ‘confident’ teaching PE because when doing teacher training they only received 1 lecture on how to teach PE during there whole 3 year undergraduate course. So Hunt can bring this in all who wants but I feel it will leave the standard of PE in primary schools to decline.

  10. Good on the Labour Party for wanting to enforce QTS. I am shocked there are so many teachers in this country working without it, particularly when I do have it and can’t get a job simple because I’m a foreigner.

    FYI, teachers DO work for the Government. Too much freedom to do what you like is what you have under the current Government, that’s the problem! This post reeks of Conservative support.

  11. To suggest teachers do not need to be qualified is ludicrous. It undermines the profession that any tom dick or harry can come off the street at the beck and call of a ‘wise’ head to deliver lessons in one of their specialisms compromises everything achieved through a graduated teacher profession. Taken to the limit we could have a whole school with no qualified teachers and those that are qualified might well be the cleaners etc getting such jobs as the non qualified are cheaper to appoint. Stacey, outstanding lessons, irrelevant. No more than if I was judged outstanding for healing someone by prescribing the right medication. Then again as you might say if it works I don’t need to be qualified. Unqualifed staff have been allowed into the teaching profession through the back door, it should be left open for a rapid departure. A Tory govt. is a God send for you all.

  12. I agree with Marie. A good teacher can work in a variety of different schools and classrooms. The QTS builds the blocks that equip a teacher to do this. Does the very arrogant teacher who says he is outstanding done this? I’m sure there is very outstanding people who can inspire a class but teaching is a profession and if we allow people to teach unqualified then we will never get the respect as a profession we deserve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>