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Now you can have people teaching with no professional qualifications

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by oldsomeman, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Is this the end of the trained teacher as we go back to the employment of cheaper folk...What a waste of time ever training to be one!
  2. Yeah? Just to play devil's advocate here...how come the independent sector which employs a great many unqualified teachers does so well?
    Also as an ex-University lecturer I couldn't work in the state sector before. I work in the independent sector (SEN - before you scream elitism) and I taught part-time to fund my postgraduate studies. By the time I realised where my future really lay the school at which I was very happy couldn't have spared me for the ridculously inflexible placements required on PGCE nor were they in a financial position to offer GTP. At the time I write, I have an MPhil in my chosen subject, 3 years working in pastoral residential SEN, 4 years as classroom teacher 2 as HOD and am now HT. Until this decision was taken I could not have transferred into the state sector, other than as HT (the one role I don't feel qualified to do in a large inner city academy).
    I understand the concerns of the profession, but until training is made a great deal more flexible and inclusive many people who would be valuable in education will be unable to join the profession. I agree that training is invaluable but I also firmly believe that a lot of teaching is instinctive and that the "profession" remains a "vocation" for the very best.
    Of course how the government will manage to make this rather good idea unworkable and dangerous is something I will watch unfold with interest.
  3. megsie

    megsie New commenter

    Yeah? Just to play devil's advocate here...how come the independent sector which employs a great many unqualified teachers does so well?

    well perhaps because the children they teach are usually selected, well motivated and supported by their families in small classes?
  4. R13

    R13 Occasional commenter

    Sulla - you ask why the independent sector does well
    . . . the independent sector in SEN does well - when it does, which is far from consistently - largely because it is funded at a rate incomparable with what the mainstream sector gets. My state SEN school has regularly managed better with less than 50% of the funding given to educate a child independently . . . the child has only gone independent because residential is wanted by worn out parents
  5. Well said. You don't need all that PGCE rubbish to teach. All you need is subject knowledge and good classroom discipline. The PGCE thing (and I have one) is simply more process over actual content.
  6. This is an out of interest question here, because what state sector is funded is not known to us. What do you get as an average fund per SEN student? I suspect you may find it is not so far from what some of us get. We are not residential btw and we are a charity. We pay less than mainscale for our teachers (couldn't afford more) and our fees start at £8400 ish per year climbing to £25k ish for 1:1 teaching full time.
    Most of our students are placed by County, some are privately placed and some by social services. We cannot charge what we want and once we have set our fees we have to raise them by no more than the teacher's annual pay increase (not ours the state mainscale increase) unless we can prove material change. Material change does not include bringing in therapists. It really is material as in new classrooms etc (apparently).
    Students are sent to us because mainstream settings have not been appropriate mainly because the students are unable to cope with large environments. We only take Mild to Moderate learning difficulties and as for success... It is hard to meausre success with our guys sometimes because they gain lots of hard to quantify things like self-esteem etc but if you want measurables we do beat the local academy for A-C pass rate. Frankly that should say more about the academy than it does us though. We get better results from their discard pile than they do from their main intake?? That's apalling !It also goes to prove that no child should ever hit the discard pile while still at school.
  7. I don't disagree with any of what you say, but I would like to point out that to be taken on by a good independent school an unqualified teacher goes through the same observation/interview process as a qualified one and that the selected children you talk about are no different to the selected children in grammar schools. Independent secondary schools are usually fed by preparatory schools btw and they are not selective. Small classes I'll grant you make a huge difference. But I don't think you really think that all unqualified teachers are terrible do you?

    The point I am trying to make is that no system should be utterly prescriptive, routes into teaching should acknowledge the financial and other constraints of career changers and perhaps sometimes, God forbid, but an HT should be able to make a recruitment decision based on a teacher's ability, not just their post-nominals.

  8. megsie

    megsie New commenter

    No of course I don't think that all unqualified teachers are terrible. Up until now many FE teachers did not have formal qualifications, although this is changing, yet in a sense their work experience made them the most qualified to teach different vocational skills.

    I think that it is a completely different prospect teaching in an independent school than many state schools. Some prep schools may not be selective in an academic sense (although some are) but the children have been selected in a sense by their families income and economic advantage. Small classes, excellent facilities and parental engagement are huge advantages for children and quite possibly make them more responsive to their teachers.

    I don't think that there should only be one way into teaching, but I do think there needs to be some sort of standard. my uni teachers years ago were clearly very clever, but some of them were awful at teaching. Personally I would like to see teachers trained in their early 20's so they have some experience of the workplace outside of teaching, but I'm sure many wouldn't agree with that.

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