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QTS -its just ridiculous

Discussion in 'Overseas trained teachers' started by artbot, Jul 1, 2006.

  1. "It's probably ALOT different to Australia"-not really its just the national curriculum is ABIT different but the system IS VERY similar-no accuse there......
    U are right echidna but maybe were running out of steam having just completed a Masters of Education (distance learning from Australia) and at the moment counts for nothing-as for being on the high pay scale we are on less than £20,000-in fact we are earning less than when we started 3 years ago! One of us is at home teaching the children-we pulled them out as the the school put the children forward 2 years from australia and they NEVER recovered so its been EXTREMLY difficult-we would like to try the USA in community Colleges as they recognize the Masters and THERES NO QTS. but on to what I propose:
    Britain, due to the fact there is a teacher shortage should set up an International Global Platform for Teaching. This would include assessing overseas teachers not by QTS but by:

    1. Equivalency of degrees -whereby an organization would assess the degrees from overseas to see they are compatible with British qualifications.

    2. The Standards of Professional Practice-which would include a folio presentation in 1 year BUT ONLY relevant to the subject area being taught. I.e. there are very great differences in Primary let say compared to Secondary, special needs, peripatetic, supply, and teaching assistants.

    3. I year probation-this would include support with a mentor in all problem areas not only with teaching but settling in the country itself which is quite daunting-this could include help with accommodation, family matters, day to day difficulties etc. Classroom management skills in the UK-

    4. Observation- someone to come (Department Head) to observe actually how u teach-this would be assessed on ability to teach/skills, subject knowledge NOT an irrelevant test thats has no bearing what so ever on your professional practice.

    If u pass in all 4 core developmental areas then Overseas teachers would then go on the main teaching spine pay scale and paid according to the number of years in actual teaching practice (on the appropriate pay level with bonus spine points for outstanding teaching recommendations, extra post graduate degrees, awards, and service which is generally beyond what is normally required.

    If this was the case then overseas teachers could plan to stay for 2-4 years be paid fairly for their expertise and save enough money for a return-or maybe have the option to apply for permanent residency as u wouldn't want to loose the teacher after all the training and the school needed the teacher. Why should schools and children be subjected to this rotation of ever changing overseas teachers-then guess what no more teacher shortage!!!!!!

    I say again the present system is flawed and I even go to say California and WA in australia too (but there is no shortage there so thats the difference)-
    and one more thing why is it that the Private/independent school system DOES NOT REQUIRE QTS? Does that mean private school teachers are "unqualified"
     
  2. Hi Artbot,

    There is definitely not a shortage of teachers in the UK neither in secondary nor in particular primary (have a look at the UK trained teachers forum) there are UK trained teachers with QTS who can't get work.

    All OTTs might be interested to know that full employment is counted as a surplus of about 5% extra to requirement teachers. Plus having a certain amount of umemployment guarantees jobs for civil servants so it is in the gov's interest to have a surplus of teachers.

    About 5 years ago there was a crisis here in that many teachers left the education system and there was a gross shortage. Since then the labour party has taken some very successful steps to ensure that won't happen again such as giving teachers better pay and conditions, employing overseas trained teachers and offering £6,000 incentives to teacher trainees. Given that too many people in the UK are going to university to get useless degrees like English (my degree so don't scoff) they are drawn in by the prospect of £6,000 and 13 weeks holiday a year! This has resulted in the reversal of the situation whereby there are now too many teachers in the UK and not enough jobs. On top of that birth rates are falling so many schools are closing!

    OTT is without a doubt a way for the government to attract teachers who have been trained overseas at another countries expense and who often are very good experienced teachers to work at a far lower than average wage. They just wouldn't get away with treating UK trained teachers like that. Sorry but that is the grim reality.

    Still if you're determined enough and a truely dedicated teacher like Echnida then you can overcome it.

    I don't think the situation is much better in aus though is it - in terms of supply and demand - in WA anyway there seems to be more demand than supply for exactly the same reason as here so the gov can keep teacher's wages down.
     
  3. hummm......
    Abit disturbing but this sounds correct-it does now make sense and the QTS is made so difficult to prevent the Government from giving u a decent wage-Right, Yes thats it! Well thats interesting-I think we've been conned-we are not wanted really and to actually want to stay in the country thats was not their idea-This is exploitation and maybe the only way is to in fact form an Overseas Teachers Union-
     
  4. How would we get that started then, arbot? What's the next step.That would really help as we would be able to make our voices heard.Seriously, let's get something started.
     
  5. OK-well we need to get the word out to overseas teachers to see if they are satisfied with the present system-I think theres another section in TES which is "ask Tony Blair"-we could look at that-We could get a petition going-any ideas?
     
  6. tkh

    tkh

    I would just like to reiterate the point that is it just as difficult to come to Australia and teach. There is as much red tape and just as many hoops to jump through, albeit not tests (unless you don't speak English as your first language). I had to spend three weeks in school observing, teaching groups, ooh and wait for it even some whole class teaching. Then I had a 5 day assessment where a report had to be completed about my teaching. Talk about being back at Uni!

    After three months waiting for department approval, you then get told you're unlikely to get a permanent job, as it's there's a waiting list, and jobs are allocated to those waiting the longest - so you just have to do casual work indefinitely! What kind of a system is that! And as for any chance of career development, management experience, promotion...forget it.

     
  7. tkh

    tkh

    Oh I forgot to add. I was at uni when the QTS was introduced and we complained and petitioned until we were blue in the face for exactly the same reasons as you object to it - you have to have a basic english and maths qualification before you are accepted on a teaching degree - but we got nowhere. Can't beat them darned governments...
     
  8. I am an Aussie, I have been teaching in England for 2 years. I have just completed my NQT year as well as getting my QTS also. It is an absolute laugh that I have been getting paid as an unqualified teacher, however now that I am a 'qualified' teacher I get less money as I start at the bottom of the M1 scale. THought it was ridiculous that I was required to complete 3 skills tests, have lesson observations and compile a book of nonense to prove things like: can plan homework, can mark work, blah, blah etc, but I had been teaching the kids for 2 years anyway!
    It seems that we are good enough to teach the children, but we are an easy way to save some money!
    It's a joke.
     
  9. Hello

    I have to agree with the previous poster and i was going to make the same point about lack of jobs in Britain.

    I appreciate you want to come and live and work in England but there really is a lack of job opportunities for Primary and even Secondary. I read on one of the other forums that 600 NQT applied for 1 job position. I also read on another forum where someone who had taken a secondary shortage subject also was struggling to find work.

    If you have trouble believing this go to the NQT Forum.

    I'd just like to say that personally i think that it is important the pass skill tests. If your maths, english and ICT is fine then it shouldn't be a problem as you can take them over and over again.

    If you struggle a little with one of them like i do maths then it gives you a chance to refresh your memory on difficult subjects.

    Best of luck
     
  10. janemk

    janemk New commenter

    Yes, the whole system is stupid (even most of the PGCE and NQT standards that UK trainee teachers do for their course but that's a different matter..)

    However, I would have thought that if you were going to move from one side of the world to the other that you would have done your own research and not just listened to an agency which is obviously going to tell you what you want to hear in order to get their hands on your money.

    It's not exactly a secret that the UK is expensive to live in - I think we're second only behind Switzerland in Europe now.

    A few clicks on here would have told you what a dire job market there is now even for UK teachers, and before I went to live abroad I found out what I would have to do if I wanted to teach in their state schools and whether my UK qualifications would be recognised.

    Or is that just me?
     
  11. TrueFaith

    TrueFaith New commenter

    Two points here...

    1. Some years ago (when I was at school on the other side of the desk), a music trainee teacher came in for a placement. He had been head of music at a local private school for years, but wanted to work in the public sector, and thus needed to jump through the hoops of the PGCE course.

    2. A friend of mine, who is a brass peripatetic tutor, is being put through a PGCE by his Music service. This is in order that he can get paid as someone with QTS. Likewise, he has to undertake Skills Tests, in order to gain the qualification to teach trumpet
     
  12. I have to concur with mfl-hopeful the basic skills tests are just that, basic. If you can do them what is the problem, it is a bit like the eyesight test for driving, you look, you read you pass. If you can not do them then there are skills to gain and useful things to learn. Subject is no barrier, my daughter is secondary music but has taught some young lad maths on the grounds that he was unable to cope in class. Also even in teaching music some language will be used in the process; and I do think that we try to get this as near as possible to 'good usage' as we can.

    Going back to the rest of the OP. This is one of those all too common situations where there was a shortage but now there is a surplus. I speak as someone who teaches on a casual basis. Either you work within that market or move on. I suspect that a withdrawal of services would be greeted with (secret) relief by the current cohort of NQT's hitting the market place and not disturb the powers that be one whit. I suspect that there will be every attempt to make as many hurdles to QTS as is possible (for UK and Overseas teachers) and this will persist until there is again a teacher shortage.

    Meanwhile if it is much better in Australia, New Zealand or anywhere else do let me know and I will consider moving.
     
  13. If you don't like it, stay at home or go and work in Asia. In China, they'll take anyone on who can speak English and appears to be polite and respectable. Why do you want to work in the U.K. anyway? Aren't teachers always complainin about bad students?
     
  14. I am FE/HE trained but still work in schools. What gets me is that if I wasn't good enough I shouldn't be allowed to work without QTS, so why not pay me the same anyway? If you are offered a job, insist on being paid as qualified, it is NOT illegal, and if they want you and you are as good as a QTS they will pay.
     
  15. Gummybear

    Gummybear New commenter

    ..."because KNOW ONE will regognise it! Its ridiculous doing silly little tests-I mean I have just done a thesis for goodness sake-gee do I need to do an english test?"

    Shouldn't that be NO-ONE..

    ahem......what was that about an English test.

    No, joking aside, because that was just a bit of fun....I can fully understand your frustration. I too was annoyed at having to take this silly tests. When I was 15 I was informed that I'd need grades C in Eng, Maths and Science to get on a teacher training course. I got these grades and then I'm told I have to do these ridiculous time consuming tests......!AAAAAAAHHHH! Also, you can take them as many times as you like.....what's the point??!
     
  16. I came to the UK four and a half years ago. I have been teaching here throughout that time. Yes the QTS is a joke, it didn't challenge me, but then again I had already qualified to teach in Australia. My thoughts are I came to the UK, I chose to teach in the UK, therefore I have to jump through whatever hoops they have here, let's face it - it wasn't difficult. If I was in Australia I would still be jumping through hoops, just different ones :)
     
  17. russtic

    russtic New commenter

    Oz,

    well said.

    if you want to get into a club you follow the rules/procedures.

    if you don't want to do this then don't join..

    do people not see the collosal arrogance of saying that "I am too good" for the tests etc that every other new teacher has to go through.

    it not as though the tests only apply to non British trained teachers
     
  18. artbot, if you don't like go back to your country - this is the way we work over here. and you talk about winging poms?!?
     
  19. Everyone trained here has to pass the skills tests to qualify - so why shouldn't you. You are working in THIS country and wanting to be paid the same as others who have passed the skills tests - so pass them yourself (they're easy anyway).

    You say you are only teaching music, but QTS means you are qualified to TEACH. Not qualified to teach music. Therefore it is right that you should be expected to have a basic level in literacy (writing reports, letters to parents), numeracy (making sense of data, etc) and ICT (using the increasing amount of technology coming into the classroom, preparing resources, e-mailing colleagues).

    Also you say you are 'starving' on unqualified pay. Where on earth do you shop for food?! Teaching is a relatively highly paid job - especially compared to other jobs where you can finish at 3.30 (yes I know we do more work than that). I was shocked at how high the unqualified wage was compared to qualified. If you literally can't afford to eat, I think you need to re-evaluate your budget and see where your money is going. I know rent/etc is expensive but try doing another job and see how far your wages would go.

    If I chose to teach in another country, I would either do what I had to to qualify, or not move there!
     
  20. I think the main issue being raised here isn't the fact that overseas trained teachers have to achieve QTS but the fact that agencies simply seem to withold this highly relevant information.

    As an Aussie teacher working in Bristol I can understand the frustration of being made to jump through hoops but I can also see the need to maintain a level of standards. However had we been aware of the process involved when we were ruthlessly recruited by the agencies (who targeted us at university!) then we would have been able to make a much more informed decision about working as a teacher in the UK.

    Don't waste your energy targeting the government in the UK to complain, contact as many educational establishments, publications or media outlets in Australia/NZ that you can to let other potential teachers aware of the situation.

    I myself am half way through an OTT programme that is frustrating and time consuming but it's also challenging me and forcing me to evaluate my own teaching practices (which can only ever be a good thing). Don't lose hope, we are all in the same boat.

    Having said all that I would like to see some changes made to allow teachers of SEN to complete the QTS OTT programme, especially with the increased need for specialised SEN teachers within the UK.
     

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