1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice


Discussion in 'Education news' started by msuxg, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. msuxg

    msuxg New commenter

    There's a debate at the Association for Science Education annual conference on Thursday to address the question "How do we raise the professional status of teachers?"

    Does the professional status of teachers need raising?
  2. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    Probably not
    But the public perception of that status definitely does
    Flere-Imsaho likes this.
  3. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Maybe we should start by discussing whether teaching is a profession.

    My understanding was always that professions had regulatory bodies, which means that teaching wasn't, then was, and now isn't a profession (since the GTC was abolished).

    Google's definition is a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification, and it even gives teaching as an example.
  4. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    It isn't a profession and hasn't been for a long time. I'd class it as a semi-skilled job.

    Anyone can legally teach now in most schools. Qualifications are not mandatory. There are also many instances of Cover Supervisors (often with few qualifications) now taking classes. The pay is now poor if you look at the job, and if you look at the pay per hour, it really is a disgrace. There isn't any trust - teachers have their work constantly scrutinised and probed, they are constantly checked on and asked about, they are required to evidence everything they do.

    I'd put it on a par with an assistant manager at McDonalds, or a train conductor, or maybe a car technician.
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Absolute Twaddle.......and I'm being kind.
  6. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    But I think Twinklefoottoe has a point!

    When you are micro-managed to the nth degree, to the point where you have little, if any input into your lessons, and just become a 'deliverer' of information, or whatever, you do begin to wonder what the heck you trained for!

    (Perhaps it's my unfortunate experience in one particular school!)
  7. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    There has been an attack on the idea of teaching as a profession for a very long while. I'm getting deja vu posting this so sorry if this is a repeat.

    A long time ago, probably early 70s, I remember a Party Political broadcast type thing on TV. It was from a pressure group who wanted to "de-professionalise" teaching. The reason being that "anyone can teach".

    There has always been discussion about whether teaching qualifies as a profession on the grounds of control of entry and unique skill set. I have always thought of it as a profession but there has always been this discussion in the background.

    I think the real problem started with OFSTED (again) because the entire premise of that organisation was distrust of teachers and teachers not being professional.

    I started teaching in Scotland which has had a GTC since the middle 60s. I remember some of the teachers at our school being out one day which was the last day for registering. I think about 200 teachers were sacked because they didn't take advantage of this last ditch offer. Scotland still has its GTC.

    The GTC in England started much later and was a completely different animal. It was never about professional standing it was about control. I remember the Teacher Standards document which came out around 2008/9. Every item in that document was accompanied by a description of how the GTC had punished transgressors of each standard descriptor.

    By contrast the Doctors' professional guidance document issued by the GMC at about the same time had a statement on the front which said:"Doctors who do not comply with the contents of this document may be required to justify their professional judgement."

    The difference is stark, Doctors are afforded the idea of "professional judgement", Teachers are not.

    In many schools, Teachers are no longer treated as professionals they are treated as automatons who may not make an independent professional judgement on pain of "capability".

    It is not a case of raising the professional status of teachers because they have none. Teaching as a profession is effectively dead, last person out please switch off the light. Teachers need a new deal starting with the withdrawal of OFSTED from all schools. Only this way can we start to build teaching up into the profession it needs to be.
  8. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Teaching well requires many skills and a lot of training, and should involve a significant amount of autonomy to select the best way to proceed to work with the children being educated.
    This fits in with JacquesJacques's google definition, but not with the notion of a professional regulatory body.
    I think the professional regulatory body for teachers is a bit of a red herring and the "are we professionals?" debate a bit of a waste of energy.
    The status of teachers needs to be raised in the eyes of many in Government, ofsted and the media. I'm not sure how this is to be done short of the entire body of teachers resigning en bloc and refusing to work until we're treated with more respect. It will be interesting to see what happens with the junior doctors next week.
    I'm happy to be out of the mainstream working somewhere where I do seem to be held in esteem.
  9. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter

    I had thought the question raised in the OP was quite beyond parody.

    Then I read the first reply.


    ***** wept.
  10. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

  11. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Do doctors, lawyers and accountant constantly bang on about how what they do is a profession? No they don't!

    I remember people going on and on about this ever since I sat in the first lecture for my PGCE. Perhaps people might like to consider why teachers feel such a strong need to do this. Are they following one of
    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
  12. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Teachers have also played their part in decline of teaching as a profession. I'm staggered at the number of (especially younger) teachers who just buy schemes of work. Aside from what Hattie has to say about the negative impact of teachers using someone else's schemes of work, how can you claim to be a professional, with the required specialist knowledge and training, if you choose to reduce yourself to the status of someone reading a script?
    cissy3 likes this.
  13. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    Problem is, is that sometimes you're ordered to use someone else's scheme of work.

    That's why I left that particular school.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  14. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    It's not a profession any more. It's a job.

    Professionalism went out of the window when pseudo-scientific and "not even wrong" data began to appear. Add in innumerate SLTs setting PRP targets that are not valid, the widespread cheating in coursework, an inspection framework - via Ofsted - that was shown by Prof Robert Coe to be actually worse at accurately gauging teaching than tossing a coin, and you must be having a laugh to call it a profession any more. Thankfully, there are still plenty of people who carry out their teaching duties professionally.
    oldsomeman, cissy3 and indusant like this.
  15. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter

    "I think the professional regulatory body for teachers is a bit of a red herring and the "are we professionals?" debate a bit of a waste of energy.
    The status of teachers needs to be raised in the eyes of many in Government, ofsted and the media. I'm not sure how this is to be done short of the entire body of teachers resigning en bloc and refusing to work until we're treated with more respect...."

    Given that Jeremy Corbyn is much much much much more likely to become PM than is your only posited solution to come about, might not an attempt to "professionalise" teaching in a way which you and several others here find incredible be worth a try?

    (If only in your specific case faute de mieux, as you have clearly stated your lack of conviction over that route without having any credible alternative whatsoever to offer. Though I believe in it, as the only possible slow laborious and more than extremely unlikely to succeed route ahead, given the current vile mess in English state schools.)
  16. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I'm not sure that anyone has status any more. The Doctors might have had it until they recently gave the wrong answer to the question "What's wrong with your new conditions of employment?"
    The only arbiters of status are the press and maybe they'll bestow it on Captains of Industry but even then not always.
  17. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter

    I agree.

    That is because their professionalism is a given in contemporary English society
    . IMO. Obviously.(I make no comment about the validity of the judgement but merely highlight its general acceptance.)

    How does this fact relate to the question in hand re lack of professional status amongst current English state school teachers ?

    And how does this relate to Goebbels's comments about lies (since I take it for granted you are not proposing to shoot English teachers for their lack of interest in culture (sic) ?
    ValentinoRossi likes this.
  18. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Given the blame culture that pervades many schools, I can sympathise with younger members of staff who 'play it safe' by using an 'off the peg' SoW!, although I well know the frustrations and agonies of having bought in SoWs imposed from on high, causing staff to have start from scratch every couple of years.
  19. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I started my teaching career thinking of myself as a professional, in that I was trusted to do a professional job and given the latitude of do it in my own way. Then, it was the outcome that was important, not so much the process. By the end of my career, I did not think of myself as a professional as I felt profoundly distrusted, by my managers and everyone else. I felt about as trusted as the inmate of high security prison who has wandered too near the wall of the exercise yard. In addition, I felt as trusted to impart knowledge as someone who pushing leaflets advertising pizza through letter boxes.
  20. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Nope, it does not, although I am pretty sure that the professional standards of 'on the take', under informed, bullying, pigheaded, and greedy MPs and civil servants might? Just popping it out there...

Share This Page