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Unqualified teachers in the classroom, a real worry

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by SarahB101, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. I really am concerned about the amount of unqualified teachers that are teaching in our classrooms. I have left my recent school because there were so many unqualified teachers, teaching,including the caretaker! I was advised by staff, including very senior staff that I should leave my post as the school was becoming a joke with the amount of non-qualified teachers teaching. There were times when teachers would refuse to support the TA's teaching as actually as the qualified teacher you are legally responsible for that classroom and not the TA. I supported my departments requests by refusing to have a TA teaching in the department and I'm glad I did. If you think that you are qualified to teach then get qualified, otherwise stick to being a TA. Any TA who says that they have got great reviewa from the Head etc is talking rubbish,they just go easy on them so that they can justify them teaching. I really do have a concern about unqualified teachers who are teaching and have seen time and time again. At the end of the day only qualified teachers can truly teach.
  2. Malaguena

    Malaguena New commenter

    Hear, hear!! This argument keeps coming up - do a forum search and you will see. And you will get lots of unqualifieds on here writing "but I'm brilliant, why shouldn't I teach?"

    The point is that teaching is a PROFESSION. And if we want to keep it a PROFESSION, we have to insist that the people who do it have the PROFESSIONAL TRAINING required. I slogged my guts out doing PGCE -why should someone who hasn't bothered just walk in to a teaching job?

    And before the unqualifieds rush in saying PGCE is rubbish - it doesn't matter what you think of the PGCE, the point is that is the professional training which gives the qualification and the preparation to teach. And of course, there is the GTP programme if you don't want to follow this route.
  3. Agreed. But I think it's going to get a whole lot worse, before it gets better.
  4. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    Sarah - I agree that you have a point. However, you do not do your cause a great deal of good when you write such a badly expressed and punctuated paragraph.
    If you wish to be taken seriously as a professional, then it is important to use good and correct English.
    I have been dealing with two solicitors recently. One expresses himself eloquently, using perfect punctuation to ensure that his meaning is clear. The letters of the other are vague and poorly worded.
    I know which solicitor I would prefer to employ.
    Even if you are merely getting it all off your chest, it shows more respect to your readers if you make every attempt to write concisely and correctly. It is not mere pedantry, and certainly adds more weight to your case.
    Thank you for listening.
  5. I too I'm becoming increasingly concerned about this issue. At our school, this year, we have had at least 3 people teaching who dont ahve any teaching qualifications, two of which dont even have A levels yet were teaching KS 4 in the humanities department. and A level general studies!! The same people were also temporarily replacing the deputy head of sixth form, which obviously reduced the amount of opportunities for others to gain experience of being in a position of responsibility. A total money saving exercise. I too believe with the post above - this could only be the beginning.

  6. The point of my argument is one one genuine concern for education and childish comments about punctuation is just not worth answering it's a site for professionals but this is yet another example of TA's not knowing how to respond ina professional manner.

    My point is that I am truly concered about the amount of unqualified teachers in the classroom and the affect on pupil learning. If you want to teach then GET QUALIFIED
  7. GTP is only available in some subjects not all. I agree that teaching should be a degree profession and should have people that have been trained to teach but that doesn't always have to mean they have QTS. The use of TA's is a concern, but some TA's have degrees, masters and in one case a Phd. If they are able to do the job effectively does it matter?
  8. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    Sarah - I assume that you are referring to my perfectly reasoned post?
    In case you think that I am an offended TA...oops...a TA unable to respond in a professional manner.. I am in fact a very well-qualified teacher of 35 years' experience.
    If you would re-read what I wrote, you would see that I quite agree with your sentiment; it is merely the fact that to be taken seriously in a public forum, one's "professionalism" must be seen to be a sine qua non. That requires that we express ourselves in a manner befitting professionals.
  9. I totally, agree but please spare a thought for teachers like me who have a degree and PGCE (post-compulsory) who are now in the position of having to move into school 6th forms due to the increased leaving age etc, who are fully qualified to teach our subjects, such as A-Level Psychology in colleges but not schools because of a little thing called QTS, which as some people have put it, renders our qualifications 'near worthless' in a school! I.e. We're examples of the 'unqualified' teachers that you refer to in your post because we have a different type of PGCE to you! Btw, Of course I'm willing to be qualified. I'm in the process of applying for the QTS assessment only based route as I write this.

    Btw, stop being so picky polly.glot! I didn't think that there was anything wrong SarahB101's English! The 'poor English' consisted of what I call typing errors. Besides, this is a teacher forum, not a legal website! Of course, the language isn't going to be perfect! If you want to communicate with Lawyers, I suggest that you find them on legal websites and leave us in peace to continue discussing more important issues!

    Just a suggestion! Besides, if you reread your post again, you'll notice that your style wasn't exactly eloquent in places either!

    In your (edited) words:

    "Even if you are merely getting it all off your chest, it shows more respect to your readers and certainly adds more weight to your case, if you make every attempt to write concisely and correctly. It is not merely a case of being pedantic,
    Thank you for listening."

  10. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    Please feel free to point out my errors of syntax or anything else, Lynsita. I shall refrain from doing the same for yours.
    I reiterate my point that a professional should be seen to use his/her native tongue effectively. I was not in any way making a witch hunt of Sarah or her post (which contains, incidentally, more than mere typing errors - though I had, and still have, no intention of pursuing that.)
    Please be aware that these fora are read by people other than just teachers, and if you wish to engage public support for your perfectly reasonable stance, then you would do well to be seen to be professional in your communications. Believe it or not, the public still expect teachers to set standards in the skills they teach.
  11. Polly.glot,

    Your continual assessment of style is inappropriate and unjustified, and perhaps suggests nothing more than a weak argument.

    SarahB101 makes a perfectly valid and rather well argued point; you, however, seem to be the perfect example of immaturity. I am sure we could sit here all day and point out the flaws in each other?s syntax but that would be arguing over the means rather than the end.
  12. The point being made is right, the problem however is not with individuals within any school being encouraged to teach without QTS.

    The problem is management who are using these people to solve various problems, not least providing PPA and absence cover so we don't have to do cover.

    The other contradiction is wanting teaching to be an MA profession - contradictory and confusing.

    Feel free to comment on my grammer, spelling etc - don't give a stuff:)
  13. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    I do not normally comment on English mistakes in posts, but I do notice them and they do detract from the argument. Spelling, grammar and punctuation do matter. We all make mistake sin typing ? no doubt, I will make one here because I am commenting on the topic of correctness. However, it is disrespectful of your audience not to make the effort. It also provides ammunition to the teacher-bashers of the world, who, while a definite minority, are quite vocal.

    I note that questions re unqualified staff keep coming up on this site, and I do not understand why things are so bad. It would be unthinkable for a TA or a cover supervisor (a non-existent concept where I come from) to take a class in Victoria ? absolutely unthinkable. Yet I have red threads in which head teachers say they cannot afford to pay teachers to cover PPA, so they must employ someone else who at least can breathe. Why is there not a huge outcry across the whole country that this happens in the UK? Is it only in England or do Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland suffer from the same problem?
  14. Thanks for that advice, polly.glot. I shall remember it in future postings! :)
  15. Should unqualified staff have a tutor group?
  16. Oh my god - I can't believe how petty some of you teachers are - especially, it seems, the ones who have been teaching for 35 years! I am about to start a PGCE at Cambridge in Secondary Science having worked as a Cover Supervisor in a Secondary school for 6 months but if teaching makes you this bitter and twisted maybe I should reconsider.....?

    I don't know what things are like in other schools but where I work I cover short term absences, for example if the teacher is in a meeting or ill for a day. Work is usually set and I am not there to "teach", simply to explain the work, enthuse the students to do the work and help where I can.

    Supply teachers are used if there are too many lessons for myself and the other Cover Supervisor to cover but they are very expensive for the school, charging 4 times what we earn. They do not "teach" either as they often cover subjects they know nothing about. They do not know the students well so often end up with students rebelling or walking out and they do not follow up with sanctions so the students do not do any work in lessons covered by Supply Teachers. Cover Supervisors are valued in my school as most teachers believe its better for the Students to have lessons covered by permanent staff who know the students and the schools policies well.

    Thanks for listening and I hope my grammer/spelling is OK.
  17. When you find your future school has employed an unqualified member of staff over you because you are more expensive maybe you'll understand where teachers are coming from!!

    I dont think the issue is cover anyway. I'm more concerned with unqualified staff being used as permanent replacements or cheap options for full time teaching roles. Cover lessons are never done particularly well and I often return to work not that has not either been done or done wrong because the TA thought she/he knew better.
  18. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    Thank you, CC, for a most sensible and reasoned post. Interesting that we are both from Down Under - are the Antipodes the last bastion of standards in English?
  19. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    I?d love to say that the Antipodes are the last bastion of standards in English, but, as anyone who reads our newspapers knows, this is not true. Perhaps we are the last bastion for professional standards in teaching, but I do not really know. The existence of non-teachers as teachers in England is something I never expected could happen so there may be other countries in the world that are doing the same. Who knows?

    Decades ago, when Victorian teachers were fighting for professional standards, if an unqualified person took a class, the teachers in the school would walk out. Melbourne High School, the state?s oldest high school and one of only two a selective entry schools in the state at that, took six-week strike action on the issue. It took years, but eventually a proper registration system was established and so far no one, not even the worst of the horrible think tanks, has suggested doing anything like what the UK does.
  20. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    Unqualified and unregistered teachers are barred from our schools also. I read about the enormous problems faced by UK teachers to gain registration in NZ, where every document appears to be required in triplicate and scrutinised in minute detail to ensure standards are maintained.

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