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Government proposals published - Training Our Next Generation of Outstanding Teachers

Discussion in 'Primary' started by anon331, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. The Government has just released it's proposals for changes for trainee teachers, though it won't affect this year's trainees just wondered what people's thoughts are?



    Here's the link to the proposal document: http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/t/training%20our%20next%20generation%20of%20outstanding%20teachers.pdf



    I think there are some great bits in there and some very wrong bits too. I think scrapping the IT QTS skills test is good, it's a pointless one anyway! I think it's a good idea to get people to do them before too personally.



    I don't know about anyone else, but my selection process did assess my numeracy, literacy and interpersonal skills. Can't imagine an institution not assessing them!



    I find the bursary system absolutely ridiculous!! £20,000 for a graduate with a 1st who wants to teach Maths, Chemistry or Physics?! What in the world are the Government thinking? They scrapped the bursaries for this year saying that it just encouraged people to train and never actually teach. Surely 20 grand will encourage that even more so!? I find it ridiculous to know that this year I'll get no bursary but next year I'd get £9k. I don't see how you can distinguish the quality or potential of a teacher based upon their degree classification. I think that yes, it's important that teachers are able to achieve academically but I don't think it's the be all and end all and I don't think that a graduate with a 1st has 'outstanding potential' over a graduate with a 2:1 who they deem to only have 'good potential'. So much more goes into making an outstanding teacher than having a first class degree. Personally think that's the most ridiculous thing to have come out of Michael Gove's mouth!
     
  2. The Government has just released it's proposals for changes for trainee teachers, though it won't affect this year's trainees just wondered what people's thoughts are?



    Here's the link to the proposal document: http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/t/training%20our%20next%20generation%20of%20outstanding%20teachers.pdf



    I think there are some great bits in there and some very wrong bits too. I think scrapping the IT QTS skills test is good, it's a pointless one anyway! I think it's a good idea to get people to do them before too personally.



    I don't know about anyone else, but my selection process did assess my numeracy, literacy and interpersonal skills. Can't imagine an institution not assessing them!



    I find the bursary system absolutely ridiculous!! £20,000 for a graduate with a 1st who wants to teach Maths, Chemistry or Physics?! What in the world are the Government thinking? They scrapped the bursaries for this year saying that it just encouraged people to train and never actually teach. Surely 20 grand will encourage that even more so!? I find it ridiculous to know that this year I'll get no bursary but next year I'd get £9k. I don't see how you can distinguish the quality or potential of a teacher based upon their degree classification. I think that yes, it's important that teachers are able to achieve academically but I don't think it's the be all and end all and I don't think that a graduate with a 1st has 'outstanding potential' over a graduate with a 2:1 who they deem to only have 'good potential'. So much more goes into making an outstanding teacher than having a first class degree. Personally think that's the most ridiculous thing to have come out of Michael Gove's mouth!
     
  3. <font size="2">Having just graduated university this year with a first class degree in Primary Teacher Education with QTS, I found this document an interesting read. I must admit, I have not ready it all yet.</font>

     
  4. Personally, I think that if a £9,000 fee puts you off when you have a loan to cover it, maybe you don't really want to teach that badly? Like you said, it might encourage you to look for another route like a GTP or Teach First but the Government is trying to encourage more people to do that, so surely offering the bursary goes against that? Personally, I would be doing my PGCE regardless of the tuition fee. Yes £9,000 is a huge amount, though not all are charging that much, but if I get the career that I want out of it, it's worth it surely? Also it's not like you have to pay it up front, you pay it spread over the years as a percentage of your income. I've already got close to £40,000 worth of debt, what's another £9k on top of that!



    Personally, I don't agree with your point about BA/BEd courses and trainees. There are plenty of people who show complete commitment and dedication but don't follow a the BEd route. Why is a person who say does an English degree with the intention of then doing a PGCE to teach Secondary English any less dedicated than a BEd student? Personally, I wouldn't have wanted to do a BEd but there does seem to be a view amongst a lot (not all) of BEd students that somehow they're better than PGCE students because of that. I'm not sure why and I'm not saying that that's your opinion but it is one I've come across many times. I did my degree, I took some time out and gained teaching and life experience in the UK and across the world. Why am I any less dedicated or deserving of a bursary just for not doing a BEd? I'd be interested in hearing your further reasoning behind that thinking as I'm sure there are many BEd students who would agree with you.



    I agree that teaching does need to be a more recognised profession. It's bloody hard work and too many people play it down and just say how teachers complain about salary/pension etc. when they get all the holiday etc. and maybe they should try a real job. I agree totally but I don't think that offering a £20,000 bursary changes that, at all.



    I got a 2:1, just a 2 marks off of a 1st which I easily could have got if I had used extenuating circumstances for health reasons that I had at the time (that I still have but are not as bad now) but I didn't want to do that. I didn't want preferential treatment as I saw it. This meant that one module I was capped at 40% because I missed a deadline for an assignment, which I then submitted and got over 80% for and would have brought that module to in it's 70% and probably pushed me into a 1st. Would those few marks have indicated that I would be a better teacher than I am just because I got a 2:1 rather than a 1st? I know some people with a first who wouldn't make a good teacher at all, whilst I agree that we need higher standards of teaching and trainees, I don't think that a person's degree classification really indicates their potential as a teacher.
     
  5. Three As in Maths and Sciences is pretty much the standard entry level to medicine. Law degrees at red brick universities also demand very high grades in proper A Level subjects. The entry level to teaching is grade C English and Maths GCSE (and C in a science if teaching KS2/3). A third class degree is acceptable to begin your PGCE. Mr Gove is absolutely spot on with this. At the moment anyone with basic maths and English qualifications can become a teacher and 1/3 of children leave school practically illiterate and/or innumerate. It is not as if we are living in times of full employment. We can be more selective than this!
     
  6. comenius

    comenius New commenter

    Being highly academic doesn't necessarily equate to being a good teacher though!
    I remember a maths teacher I had at high school who was obviously extremely intelligent and had an excellent subject knowledge but couldn't relate to those of us who found maths difficult and had no idea on how to explain things to us. Those lessons were spent with him at his desk surrounded by those pupils who could do the work whilst the rest of us were left to our own devices!! He wasn't a good teacher despite being highly academic!
     
  7. Maybe not but it certainly helps to have intelligence, reasoned thinking and more than a just basic grasp of English and maths. I'm sure being highly academic doesn't necessarily equate to being a good doctor, surgeon, lawyer, etc., either, but, I am sure that no-one here would advocate that Universities drop their high standards of entry qualifications for Medicine and Law so as to encourage more people who can "relate" to patients and clients.


    I might not make myself popular by saying this but here goes...The dire state of the British education system can be attributed to many things. Clearly teacher training must be one of the causes. The entry level to a teaching degree (as noted in my previous post) is woeful. In fact it is akin to the level Tesco want for their till-trained staff. To compound the issue, teacher training has, for far too long, been unfocused on the delivery of core knowledge and driven by by a disparate bunch of lecturers and a vast government machine trying to fix lack of teacher knowledge on the job.
     
  8. Personally I think the proposals are a mixed bag.
    I totally agree that raising the academic standing of entrants to the profession should be a top priority. I am a career changer and have just graduated with a 1st. Whilst I know that having a 1st doesn't automatically make you a good teacher it does demonstrate a few key attributes:
    1) You have the intelligence/ academic ability to study/work at a high level - I am a primary NQT and believe that primary pupils deserve intelligent teachers as much as secondary pupils. Yes, you may never need to teach to A'level as a primary teacher but you need to be intelligent enough to formulate ways of teaching that get the best education for your pupils. I am shocked that primary (and secondary) teachers can teach even if they only have an ordinary degree, I strongly feel this shouldn't be the case.
    2) As a teacher you should be capable of demonstrating your own passion for education and learning. I firmly believe that all teachers should be educated to Masters level to be able to demonstrate this, although obviously learning doesn't always have to be academic. I personally believe that bursary's should be available for teachers from all routes to study to Masters level and beyond. Obviously having the academic ability to study at that level may form a barrier to some and I think this is correct.
    I think that the BEd/BA QTS route is a very valid route for entry and I get annoyed at how this route is often belittled when compared to the PGCE. For primary I firmly believe that the PGCE should be longer - the subject knowledge of PGCE students cannot be 'sufficiently' enhanced in a 9 month course. I appreciate that when undertaking a secondary PGCE you are likely to have a subject specific degree but with primary your degree could be in maths and the last time you studied history could have been in Year 9. A couple of hours of lectures can't possibly address this.
    Having said this I believe that the entry to the BEd/BA QTS courses should be raised significantly to bring it further inline with other professional degrees such as those mentioned by other practitioners. Personally I would like to see a minimum of BBB in any institution, obviously some would (and do) request more. Interpersonal skills are tested at interview so the requirement to have strong attributes in this area remains a pre-requisite in addition to academic standards - nether need to be held in exclusivity.
    I like the look of their methods of limiting the number of places on ITT courses, there are far too many unemployed teachers and adding a surplus each year does nothing to help this. I feel that cherry picking the most academic candidates would also help to limit the pool of applicants/ NQT's churned out. I fundamentally disagree with the bursary system for PGCE courses and personally believe that awards should only be given for those undertaking Masters degrees, either in service or before, or on a 'handcuffs' basis to prevent people training because it is an 'easy' way of earning &pound;20k!

     

  9. Maybe then, the answer is pushing for further testing of numeracy, literacy and other key areas during the selection process? I think that the important thing to remember here is that the Government aren't saying that those with a 3rd or a 2:2 can't become a teacher, just that they won't receive the same level of bursary. Personally, I got a 2:1 without putting in that much effort. I do think that most people should be able to, without too much effort, get a 2:2 at least. That's my personal opinion but I have always been a person who needs little work or revision to do well, not always a good thing and it could well effect my opinion wrongly.




    I agree with that completely. However, I do think that extenuating circumstances such as health issues need to be taken into consideration. I have a friend who got glandular fever during his second year which became ME/CFS. In the end, because of this, he got an ordinary degree because he was just unable to complete his dissertation and so instead of getting a 2:1 he got an ordinary degree. Should he not be allowed to teach if that's something he wanted to do and he overcame his health issues just because he was ill during his degree? I doubt there are many, if any, people about to begin a PGCE with an ordinary degree, competition is too high for unis to need to accept that low a classification.




    I'm not sure I agree with this one. I don't think a Masters is really necessary and don't really see how it relates to teaching ability at all.




    Personally, I've not seen PGCE people belittle the BEd route, my experience has all been the other way around. Both ways are valid but neither is better than the other I don't believe. Seeing as most PGCEs are now taught at Masters level, surely your Masters comment would suggest that the PGCE is better than the BEd? I'm not saying that's my opinion, but the two comments are a little contradictory on that front in a way.
     
  10. Further testing? Why? We are tested at GCSE, we are tested at A'Level, we are tested for degrees. What further measures need testing? Where would you draw the line on which subjects need testing - maths, literacy are the tip of the iceburg for primary teachers, so surely that would suggest that primary teachers need testing in every subject they teach? Should secondary teachers be tested in the subject(s) they teach too? If you raise the bar for entry to ITT then that should suffice, like I said we have already passed a multitude of far more stringent tests before gaining a place on ITT

    In the case of your friend I think that is a difficult situation but I do think he should be stopped from qualifying until he has a qualification at the correct level. I appreciate how harsh that sounds and I don't say it lightly at all. Pressumably he could have continued his course for a term or so until he could submit his dissertation, that is what he would have had to do if he was trying to qualify as a Doctor, Vet, Lawyer etc. If you want the profession to have the standing of these then you have got to make some hard choices and, for me, an ordinary degree isn't good enough - regardless of the circumstances.

    Like most things the grass is always greener! You did a PG and have experienced that, I've done the BE'd and seen the reverse - isn't life grand! I think the Masters, if it is in the right field -be that subject specific or education specific - demonstrates a commitment to professional learning, enhances professional knowledge and can directly improve your classroom practice as a result, as long as you wish it to. I don't understand your point about my contradiction - I think the PGCE is a valuable route to entry for secondary teachers and it is the START of a Masters, not the finished product. My criticism with the PGCE is the length and scope for primary teachers, as I said I firmly believe it is too short. I'm sure the assignments etc are rigerous and worthy of gaining Masters credits, I think there should be an incentive for people who have completed a PGCE to go on and finish their Masters and not just say 'I've got 60 M level credits' and stop there and for BEd grads (and GTP, already qualified teachers etc) the financial incentive should allow them to do their entire Masters and be on a level playing field with people who have entered via PGCE.
     
  11. Those entering teaching should be expected to have at least 3 good A Level grades. BBB as mentioned above would be a good minimum requirement. Those entering at PGCE should have at least a 2.1, preferably 1st class degree. Teaching is, extremely well paid (it is relatively quick to get to around 35k) when you factor in a quarter of the year off and a pension that would cost vast contributions in the real world. We should demand a high level of entry qualifications for such a job. Not many other jobs give you 35k per year, a final salary pension scheme and extremely sociable hours for having a couple of basic maths and English GCSEs or a 3rd class degree. It is high time to put teaching on a par with medicine and law and demand that those undertaking it as a profession are very intelligent people. Let's also make sure that the role of the teacher cannot be covered by an uneducated teaching assistant, however well they do their own job. If they were maybe the profession would be better respected.
     
  12. On a separate point, the Government has interfered in education for as long as I have known. They would never interfere in Medicine or Law in such a way. Could you imagine a National Medical Strategy? Or a National Law Strategy? With step-by-step websites showing them how to do tonsillectomies or how to defend a murder suspect. The Government openly dictating to doctors and lawyers how to carry out their professional duties would be unfathomable. And it would give the message that there is no confidence in how doctors and lawyers do their jobs. They don't do this because these people are extremely well-trained, self-disciplined and do their jobs well because of it. Teaching should be placed on exactly the same footing, but to do this there must be a higher callibre of teachers.
     
  13. I think they do actually interfere in different but similar ways - if you get my drift?! Funding boundaries, restrictions on waiting lists, a&e times, same sex wards, NICE dictating which drugs can be prescribed etc. In that way actually I think teaching is less prescriptive - can you imagine knowing a fact that would help a child underderstand something but not being allowed to tell them? That is what happens with NICE issues.
    On the points ref TA's I think that should also be a better respected role, with minimum qualifications. Plenty of TA's are very intelligent, educated and professional people - they could do with getting recognition for that as much as teachers.
     
  14. Nice idea. But perhaps the bigger problem is retaining very intelligent people in state schools?
    Acc to a brief piece in the i (shorter 20 p version of Independent) yesterday, 4 out of 10 trainees are not in state schools by the Jan after their training.
    Governments have been treating teachers like idiots for last 25 years. Bright people can't take too much of that.
     

  15. What about a 40 year old going for a PGCE for whom their GCSEs were close to 25 years ago? That's not really a reflection on their knowledge anymore is it. Even for me where I did my Maths GCSE in Year 9 and 10 and haven't touched maths since, that was now almost 10 years ago and so it doesn't reflect my knowledge. If I was asked to sit a GCSE Maths paper now, who knows if I would still pass. It shows my maths potential and ability but not necessarily my knowledge. And let's face it, a C isn't that high a grade really is it? Raising the classification requirements has no reflection on a persons ability when it comes to teaching or subject knowledge.



    Well then you, quite frankly, are a person who is capable of thinking as a textbook but not as a person. Not everything is black and white and you can't rule someone out based on simple things and always get it right. He did continue his course and resit the module but at that point, he was so ill that it still wasn't possible. You obviously have no understanding of ME or CFS and so it's not something I'm going to discuss any further with you.




    I have no issue whether people do a PGCE or a BEd, you're the one saying that. I don't think I've got it better, I don't think a BEd has got it better. Personally, I think that the PGCE is more suited to me but I don't think of it as any better.




    You said that all teachers should have a Masters, which implies that having a Masters is better than not and sets you at an advantage does it not? A PGCE may not be a complete Masters but it is a third of one and the whole of the PGCE is taught at M level (level 7) whereas a BEd is at level 4 for a year, then level 5 and then level 6 for the last year. So, using your thinking as it appears, it would suggest that a teaching qualification at M level 7 is better than a lower level. I'm not saying that's what I think, but that's what what you've said would kind of imply. I agree that there should be support for those wishing to go on and complete a Masters, I'm not sure whether there should be anything given to the teacher but certainly a scheme where fees are paid for. I know that that's something that I would definitely do if I had the choice, however the cost of a Masters would be a major barrier for a lot of people.
     
  16. How rude! Not capable of thinking as a person? I think you'll find that I am fully capable of that. I certainly do understand the impacts of ME, thank you. However we are talking about issues that relate to a whole population and NOT to an individual - well I was, you are obviously finding it difficult to consider this on a wider scale, being rude to me demonstrates that quite clearly.
    Yes, I think that a teacher with a Masters is a better qualified teacher but as I have said I believe this extra qualification can/should be gained whilst on the job. It doesn't make a PGCE a better qualification, unless by better you mean that the person has already started the Masters. I've also made that clear.
     
  17. I forgot to mention exams! I took my Maths GCSE 17 years ago and I know I could still pass it - I have a teenage daughter so I am familiar with the syllabus! I think the issue isn't about whether you know a specific set of facts but more one of general intelligence. This is why I believe the A'Level entry requirements for BEd students should be raised and then that degree classification should form a barrier to entry for those BEd students who don't progress as they should and for other graduates wishing to start a PGCE.
     
  18. I think the article you refer to is about bursaries and people who train and take the payment but don't carry on in teaching? Or have I got it wrong?
     
  19. I apologise if it came across as rude, I think it meant things a lot more harshly than intended. What I meant though was that you're looking at people as textbook rather than an individual person, I hadn't meant to say or imply that you yourself were incapable of thinking as a person. Poorly worded which has obviously given the wrong meaning which was not intended and so I apologise. What I meant was that we can't look at people as textbook and say that because they don't meet this black and white requirement, they cannot do something when personal circumstances could have had a major impact. I doubt there are many people with a third or ordinary degree who currently get a PGCE place but I'm not sure that people should be automatically ruled out when there are circumstances to consider. What if they'd then gone on to complete a Masters for example, does that outweigh a 'poor' degree?
     
  20. No worries.
    I understand your point, but as a nation we can't make decisions based on individual circumstances like that. Certainly other professions don't make allowances in that way.
    I agree that entry to PGCE is normally blocked with that level of degree. I consider it to be a bigger issue with those graduating from BEd's with QTS who do not have their qualification scrutinised further by having to apply for a post grad course. There are people who graduated with me who have an ordinary degree and will go straight into teaching, I think this is a real cause for concern for the professionalism of teachers.
    Any further study 'tops up' your qualification level - resitting modules to improve your degree, studying at M level etc, it is all working to the same end - getting better qualified, higher calibre teachers. I know the risk of my opinion is that I sound very elitist, I know your degree etc is only a part of the picture but I believe it is a crucial stepping stone to getting better teachers and in reducing the numbers of unemployed teachers due to the constant influx of NQTs. I don't think this one has been explored enough in the consultation.
     

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