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Say No To The Use of Unqualified People in Teaching

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by -, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Guest

    I believe the issue of schools using unqualified staff to teach classes in schools is very important and so have copied it to the FE forum. It was started last year with a petition to the government urging them to follow their own public sentiment of 'every child deserves a qualified teacher'. It was subsequently copied onto another thread by a teacher and I am copying it here.
    FE being the 'Cinderalla/Poor Relation' of the teaching profession which faces the first and deepest cuts of all, those of us in it can see how, if it becomes standard as it seems to be becoming in schools, it will rapidly follow in FE. Some might argue it is already happening in FE. Whatever the 'official' line of government is, there is another line - that of privatising the entire education sector. Schools and colleges are increasingly being run like businesses with an array of business managers who have no background in education and who have been recruited from corporate sectors where profits are more important than quality of teaching and learning. This affects all of us, whether teachers in FE or in schools, whether unemployed, supply, part-time, sessional, fractional or those on full-time contracts. It is our livelihoods at stake and the future of the people we teach. Please sign the petition if you beleive it is wrong to make education into a business and people into a commodity.

    Posted by:
    ninasimone 27/10/2012 at 13:29

    I urge all supply teachers to sign this e-petition
    "All those teaching in UK schools deserves to have every moment in the class with a high quality teacher." http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/40106
    also ask you contact you friends, former colleagues and highlight the
    petition, we need every signature possible. if you are a member of the
    unions email them as well.
    If you don't then do not moan about
    the lack of jobs or the fact that schools and academies are using the
    unqualified to teach, when you are signing on every fortnight.
    HistoryGrump for stealing your post, but thought I would try and do my
    little bit to keep the E-petition at the forefront of peoples minds.

    - I feel all the time supply spend posting threads venting our anger at
    the use of non-qualified staff to 'teach' classes and, in particular,
    the use of unqualified CS to cover classes is a waste of time. Yes, its a
    scandal but I cant help feeling that it doesnt make any difference. I
    mean, who is lsitening anyway??

    Its true that
    many CSs are qualified teachers, but I suspect that many
    are seemingly forced into this so called role as there is no other way
    of staying in education. This is because teaching posts are like Halleys
    Comet - FEW & FAR BETWEEN! Schools and agencies only look at the
    bottom line on who can screw the teacher for the least amount of pay,
    the unions are useless and impotent and the govt are clueless.

    only way to get this scandal more public airing is to take drastic
    action. Gather a ground swell of teachers emailing, writing letters to
    their MPs/unions weekly or maybe getting a group together to lobby the
    powers at be. I mean I could do with a day day out!

    forum has become the home of the voiceless. Teachers are the bottom of
    the pile when it comes to consultation, hence the current absurd
    situation supply teachers find themselves in.

    UNIONS/SCHOOLS/AGENCIES/GOVT - hang your cluless heads in shame for allowing this to happen!!

  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Copied from the original thread.
    historygrump 03/01/2013
    <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><tr><td class="post">In truth I am losing hope with the attitude of the teachers, the NUT have found that moral is very low amongst teachers (especially those lucky to be in a permanent post), we have supply teachers moaning about the lack of work and we have unemployed teachers saying they cannot get job, what is worse is that schools are recruiting unqualified support to teach. Yet the unions seem to adopt the approach of the Carathusian order in that they seem unable to utter anything on the issue and the teachers will not support a petition that is designed to benefit the the children and the professional status of teachers. Is it no wonder that the politicians of all parties have been able to push for the deprofessionalisation of education and allow any person from the part-time dinner lady to an unemployed former shelf stacker to cover and teach lessons, this will not benefit the kids. Yet is allowed in the name of saving money and we have politicians, business leaders and the media asking why are so many kids leaving school with no qualifications or why are children leaving primary school with poor literacy and numeracy skills. Oh they say 'it must be the poor standard of the teachers' and not the fact that there so many unqualified staff being used to save money, while qualified teachers are signing on or hoping for a few days of work to pay the bills. Was it Gove or some other leading MP, who suggested that if the Tories form the next government after 2015, schools may be allowed to make a profit, how can they make a profit? Get rid of teachers and replace them with more unqualified staff, so moaning on the TES will not work, we need action from teachers.
    Sign the petition.
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    From the original thread
    ninasimone 03/01/2013

    <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><tr><td class="post">
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Somewhere in the region of 100,000 unemployed teachers mainly caused by this government allowing the use of unqualified staff. A complete scandal and terrible indictment on this country !
    From another poster
    Bronco 05/01/2013
    <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><tr><td class="post">The agencies are like the DfE - incompetent.
    Questions to the DfE - How many supply teachers are there in this country? Answer from the DfE - We do not know (their last published statistical tables showed 11,500 occasional teachers in post. Are these supply teachers by another name? Last figures from the now extinct GTC showed about 47,000.
    Question - How many teachers are unemployed? Answer - We do not know; ask the DWP. Whan asked the DWP said the number had risen from 28,000 to 47,000 over the last 3 years. Yet the previous years figures as supplied by the ONS said the figure was 49,000.
    Now add in the unknown number of teachers who are forced to work in s asupport role and there must be about 100,000 qualified teachers in this country who are either unemployed, underemployed or misemployed. So for anybody to say that there is a lack of teachers is showing a woeful level of ignorance.
    This is why the epetition should be supported since these figures are likely to rise
  5. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    I have signed the petition which I think is spot on. A friend of mine who was a TA was unqualified as a primary school teacher. However, after a few years she found herself in charge of classes as much as any teacher would be. The school was cheating and nobody seemed to care.
    At the time of this posting, only 420 signatures, so hopefully people here sign it.
    However, the petition specifically refers to schools and academies and not FE colleges. I think that if it did refer to FE colleges I would have difficulty in supporting it. I ran a series of courses training industrial and domestic electricians, where, by far, the most important qualifications needed by the teaching staff were the electrician qualifications we were teaching and industrial experience. At the beginning I was the only one with both the industrial experience and qualifications combined with teaching qualifications, but my colleagues did go on to obtain teaching qualifications where they could.
  6. I quite agree. I was unqualified when I started in FE. I had a wealth of industry experience but not teaching quals - those I gained on the job and, I don't think this is too much trumpet blowing, I am the better lecturer for it - as are many others who followed a similar pathway in.
    At the moment I have not seen an FE job that does not require a candidiate to 'have or be willing to gain' FE certs.
    I also agree that it is invidious using TAs etc in that manner. Primary and Secondary must, in my opinion, only be taught by qualifed teachers.
    FE and HE less so as the outcomes are, or should be, entirely different.
  7. Right on Pobbie! Yeah for the Pob!
  8. Oh how I have missed my 1 member fan club!
    Happy New Year, BarneyBoy [​IMG]
  9. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    I agree with you totally for primary and secondary education Darrymann. However, I think we might be talking at cross purposes. To mix up adult vocational education with children's schooling is unnecessary and will only weaken the most important cause that you are pushing.
    I have taught mainly secondary followed by FE after an early industrial career and feel I am in the position of being able to compare the skills needed for teaching pre and post 18 year olds in academic and vocational areas. There is no getting past the point that a deep and authoritative knowledge of the subject is essential for vocational courses and we have to be very careful not put up barriers for suitable people to enter the profession of adult education.
    Having said that, I would still say it is in FE teacher's interests to sign this petition. We need the firm base for our students that a decent prior teacher will have provided for us. So I think your posting here is very pertinent and valid. The wording of the petition is exactly what I would want to say myself.
    Good luck with pressing the cause.
  10. I thought so too.
    I would agree with your post and signed the petition based on that viewpoint!
    BUT would still hold that FE needs to remain more open in vocational courses, for the reasons you cite!
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Yes they should be more open regarding vocational courses but the real issue is the attack on the professional status of teachers in FE and schools. The agenda is to ultimately privatise the entire education system and turn it into a wholesale business. We can already see clear signs of this happening now in FE colleges and schools, particularly with the use of unqualified staff despite the government's claim that children should always have a qualified teacher all the time.
    Education is increasingly being treated as a business ripe for making huge profits. Teachers, whether in FE or schools, are merely being treated as a means to that end. An issue which affects us all.
  12. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Posted by: les25paul 30/01/2013 at 19:39<table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><tr><td class="post">http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/40106
    Posted by: les25paul 30/01/2013 at 19:39
    <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><tr><td class="post">[​IMG]
    </td></tr></table><li class="forumPost oddForumPost"><a name="7970875">[/URL]</td></tr></table>
  13. Some (many) like myself would indeed! In fact, it's been happening in FE for years for the reasons that other FE forum posters like teachered and the pobble have said. It's one of the reasons why FE is seen as 'the poor relation' because some schoolies think that the fact that many FE/HE teachers/lecturers/tutors (I call myself a teacher) come from a range of backgrounds, have a myriad of post 16 teaching experiences and/ or qualifications and teach a range of courses and have never had QTS or a teaching qualification which is not a PGCE, makes them less competent as teachers. Some have gone so far as to call post-compulsory teaching qualifications and/ or experience useless or worthless!

    I totally agree with the pobble and teachered when they say that for this reason, it is pointless to ask FE/HE teachers to sign a petition which is more relevant to school trained teachers (I signed it because I'm currently teaching my A-level subject in a school as a post 16 subject specialist and also because I agree that regardless of specialism any teacher who is clueless and incapable of asking and receiving help from colleagues etc should leave the 'semi' profession before they do even more damage to our students' education).

    This forum also isn't used much these days anyway, thanks to the constant rows over the QTS/QTLS issue which is constantly resurrected in numerous new threads, despite numerous answers being given more than once, and of course, the same trolls who insist in boring the pants off us all with their lame jokes in threads on inane subjects under ever changing usernames!

    I wish you luck with your campaign
  14. I'm pleased to read that as your previous response to me suggested otherwise :).

    I never said that you were trying to 'use' FE teachers. All I said was that the reason why people like teachered have got irate is because you're asking FE teachers to sign a petition on an issue which is more relevant to school teachers on the grounds that it's relevant to FE teachers as well but you've now just contradicted yourself by saying that FE issues aren't relevant in asking people to sign your petition (" I haven't referred to specifics in FE because they are not relevant to teh request for people to sign.").......er okkkkkkk! ;-)

    Could I do the referring? I already have :) In my original response to you, I have already outlined one relevant issue that we experience in FE, particularly those like myself who are asked to teach FE courses in schools. To give Gove his due, he has done one good thing for me in amending the law which previously rendered my teaching qualifications 'illegal' in a school, so I'm not going to grumble about that situation anymore. ;-)

    As for other issues, where would you like me to start? There are so many of them that I (and no doubt others) could fill a book with them. For starters, let's talk about what school teachers have that FE teachers don't such as a statutory body, a standardised payscale, PPA time, a list of 'teaching duties' (others are performed by support staff), PPA time, the rarely cover rule and funding (and therefore resources) for the courses that they teach, oh and mostly importantly a phone in the classroom with a pre programmed hotline to SMT (in better schools) which can be dialled in an emergency. All we get is hot air from our managers (we endorse what you're saying but you mustn't brandish 'warnings' or whatever system the college has in place about as it undermines the system, or 'we support you and so and so is on a learning contract and has been told to write a letter of apology'. A week later said student returns with the same 'attitude' as before. But, that's ok because 'that's FE' and we need to keep the bums on the seats, so we can't get rid of said student no matter how badly behaved he/she is or unlikely he/she is to pass their chosen course)! The above examples I've given do not make up an exhaustive list by the way. I haven't even started with the pathetic terms and conditions which poor managers impose upon us because they know that they can, but as I said, if I ranted about this as well, my post would be neverending!

    As I said, I fully support your campaign and also hope that it's successful! :)
  15. Yessss, it's me with a new username. I'm glad that you agree with me. :)
  16. For the record, I don't get irate......
  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    No I don't think my previous post suggested other than what I've been saying from the beginning. But why don't you start a thread on the problems in FE and write a petition about it? You obviously feel strongly and have strong views about them. I am aware of some of these problems myself through talking to FE colleagues. There are many similarities with those in schools. And as I said from the beginning, these issues affect all of us. Education is being made into a wholesale business. Start a thread about the problems so others can see these simalarities as well.

  18. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

  19. In an earlier post you said the present policy on qualifications contradicted the DfE's line on quality. The petition, however, declares this to be: "we all know that every child deserves to have a high quality teacher for every moment in class." So there is, in fact, no reference to qualification/s in the DfE's statement. The focus on qualification is an interesting one and, I think, reflects the 'template' for school teaching which takes (in the main) young graduates with little life experience outside of education and locks them continuously into the world of the school. Qualifications are all they know and there is some unchallengeable belief that qualification = excellence. It doesn't and never will do. If the petition talked about a more rounded sense of professional excellence it would have my support. As it is I cannot support it as it simply fails the evidence test. I've seen far too many qualified teacher who are, at best, poor and far too many unqualified teachers who are good or better.
    I would much rather my children be taught by professionals with a minimum threshold for qualification, a stratified professional status identifying those who had moved beyond this towards excellence and a reuirement to remain in good standing through CPD.

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