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

Unqualified teachers in the classroom, a real worry

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

  1. At my last school a year 13 student returned in September 2004 as a teacher, he had his own tutor group and full teaching schedule. I believe he initially taught non-GCSE PE but he has recently taught AS students all who failed his module. He did a rugby tackle on a year 7 student and broke his leg so badly that the lad needed a plate (2005) and was unable to attend lessons for months. There was also 'gossip' in the staff room with respect to his relationship with a year 11 student and the strange relationship he had with both student and students mother. In spite of this he was form tutor to this boy.
    When I left the school they did not advertise my post (part-time) and employed an unqualified teacher who had no experience with young people and he will only begin his training in September as GTP. In addition a technician in science has been taking lessons all year and his style is chalk and talk and total silence from the students. If they boys complain I am told that he makes them put their jackets on (on hot days in the lab) and such forth.

    We we're all told at parents evening to insist that all teachers were qualified.

    I think you will find that schools are doing this because it saves money but it devalues teaching and lets students down. What a mess. I believe it will get worse in some schools unless teachers work together and that will not happen. What is the Union doing????

  2. It's not just unqualifieds that do these things you know. I my experience qualified teachers have done just the same.
  3. cally4

    cally4 New commenter

    my daughter announced today her french teacher had left due to ill health and her new teacher was Miss....
    I asked, isnt that a TA we know? Nope shes the new teacher. Well she isnt shes a TA who has an NVQ 2!!! Not even French speaking!!

    However the teacher who takes GCSE childcare is qualified in geography (2:2). I know there is a TA in school who has a first in childhood studies who would probably be better qualified to teach the subject!!!
  4. I am unqulaified because of my subject : Psychology. In the past I know of jobs that has been filled by English teachers, Geog teachers with absolutely no Psych qualifications. I have a degree and masters (nearly). Generalisations can be dangerous.
  5. I know that some 'untrained' teachers may be really good and I know and have seen poor quality teaching from so called trained teachers. However, untrained good teachers are really being exploited with much lower pay, no pension etc and I believe this is just the slippery slope of devaluing teaching as a profession. There are already enough issues that need addressing and untrained teachers just make it worse.
  6. Does anyone know how to get QTS with your PGCE for teaching post 16? I have this but am about to fail my PGCE due to lack of support. Some teachers think that they need to prove how tough it is and if you survive the bullying they give you then OK teach. The TA's I have worked with contribute a lot towards classes and if teachers support them why not let them teach??
  7. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    The only reason I do not find your statement, ?The TA's I have worked with contribute a lot towards classes and if teachers support them why not let them teach?, mind-bogglingly astounding is that it seems par for the course in the UK. Such an idea would be unthinkable in Australia, which PISA tests show out-performs the UK in education. If it is not necessary to be qualified to teach, then you might as well give up the whole concept of teaching as a profession with its own body of knowledge. What other profession would be so uncommitted to its own standards?

    I can only conclude from the acceptance of unqualified people teaching, whether TAs or cover supervisors, and from so much else I read on this site that UK teachers and their foolishly squabbling unions are either demoralised beyond hope or completely lacking in understanding of what makes a successful education system, while the political leadership of the country must be pathetic.
  8. jessicajane

    jessicajane New commenter

    I don't think its the subject knowledge that's the issue. The PGCE or other ITT routes provide us with the basic professional standards.

    We have alot of Overseas Trained Teachers in our school, which is fine when they have come from an educational system based upon our own. When the system they came from is completely different we have had issues, for example with not having four part lessons and sometimes behaviour management is a problem too.

    My school is good in that it will help and support the OTTs and provide them with the opportunity to gain QTS and register with the local university.

    I never used to think the PGCE was very good but when watching unqualified memebers of staff struggle through and deliver poor lessons I do see the value of ITT.

    Cover work is a different issue, covering a lesson is nothing like having to deliver a lesson unless on long term supply in which case a teacher with QTS should be used. We have some excellent HLTAs in our school, some of whom I team teach with or let them take part of lessons.


    Polly for someone so pathetically obsessed with grammar and punctuation you have an aposrophe in one of your posts that isn't needed.
  9. I find this a really interesting argument.

    I am myself an 'unqualified' teacher, and as someone said earlier this is mainly due to my subject (in my case, Drama). I also have a desire to qualify however, having finally tracked down a GTP that will provide the training in my subject and the school are unlikely to sponsor me. The course provider won't let me pay my own fees. So what am I to do?

    I do think the problem lays with the schools wanting cheap labour. Please don't assume that 'unqualified' means 'unsuitable'. I take great pride in my job, my teaching, my planing and my students.

    Don't blame us for something that isn't our fault. when i took post there was only me who applied, so I haven't taken anyone else's job. I hold a degree and have 10 years professional experience in my subject... what more can be done????


  10. I totally disagree with I think the majority of posts on this.

    As a trainee induction tutor, I have had better quality unqualified teachers than long serving teachers. It is a nonsense to say that a qualification means you cannot be a good teacher. I have met many 'naturals' who don't need a years PGCE/GTP to teach them what they already know.

    Any teacher that says their qualification taught them everything they needed to know about teaching is a liar! You learn more about SEN, planning, management from actually doing it.

    I do believe however, that all staff need support.

    This will shock some of you. I've had unqualified teachers who are Head of Department AND Head of year.

    And what about this, an unqualified teacher who went through the threshold..... (thats a long story!)

    Lets face it, some unqualifieds put qualifieds to shame!
  11. Come on, spill the beans, tell us how an unqualified managed to go through threshold when they shouldn't even be on the main pay scale!
  12. Thank you Christopher Curtis (post 27)and no one is saying that all unqualified teachers are useless egyptiangirl or that "their qualification taught them everything they needed to know about teaching" . These things just have not been said! Read post 27
  13. WillowFae

    WillowFae New commenter

    When I went on an interview day for a GTP there was a guy there who was working as an unqualified (infact most of the people on the interview were) and he was HoD. I was shocked.

    And excuse my naivety but I have heard TAs complaining that they are having to teach (and do lesson planning) but all while being paid as a TA rather than a teacher. Rather than complaining surely they should either refuse to do it, or get qualified and work as a 'proper' teacher?
  14. It all comes down to pay, my dears. The Management want unqualified teachers because they are cheaper. If this is allowed to happen then we, the qualified and expensive become expendable. That is why I think the unions should demand that no group of pupils in a classroom may be instructed unless there is a qualified teacher present. Disagree if you want less pay.

    In terms of quality, There are rubbish and wonderful people working as unqualified and qualified teachers. Qualification is one means to ensure a certain basic level of quality and knowledge but bad apples do, sometimes, slip through.

    On a simpler level, would you like a random person off the street to perform open-heart surgery on you? How about to re-wire your house? Or neuter your pet? No? Why not? They're very, very good at it, promise!
  15. WillowFae

    WillowFae New commenter

    Why DON'T the unions do something about it? Do they have a policy on the issue?
  16. ITT courses need to be more user friendly and encourage TA's who are keen to teach to be able to become teachers, than maybe more people would get qualified.
  17. "35 | Posted by: WillowFae at 25 Jun 2008 15:08

    Why DON'T the unions do something about it? Do they have a policy on the issue? "

    I wish they would take action, but seriously- what do you expct them to do? Call for a strike? Did you read the posts on these message boards recently from teachers suggesting that striking was unprofesional, that they couldn't afford to lose a days pay etc etc? The unions can only fight if the majority of their members support them and sadly, it seems to me, while we'd all like more pay, smaller classes and better professional standards, there are too many out there who wouldn't bother to fight.
  18. While in principle I do agree we should not have unqualified teachers teaching- there are some excellent unqualified teachers- we had one brilliant cover supervisor who had excellent classroom management skills and made a real effort to put material over to the students.

    What does concern me, is that many qualified teachers are no good. I remember several from my own school and when observing teachers during my PGCE a few years ago there seemed to be a few who were not good teachers... Their classroom management was poor and, in some cases, the way they taught was not good at all.

    A degree most certainly DOES NOT indicate that someone will be able to teach- I am confident that almost everyone is able to get a degree.

    Maybe standards should be higher to pass the PGCE and NQT... I think it is hard/impossible to get rid of a poor teacher and hard to fail the PGCE/NQT.
  19. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    I guess I will never understand why the teaching profession in your country accepts the presence of unqualified people as teachers. I?m not aware of doctors, lawyers or dentists doing the same.


    In my state, teacher training courses have to be accredited by the Victorian Institute of Teaching, just under half of whose governing council is elected by teachers. It is similar in other states. The New South Wales Institute of Teachers has just knocked back one proposed course as not good enough. Surely, if the teacher training courses are not producing good teachers, there is some body that can act to ensure that they do.

    There are doctors and lawyers and dentists who are not satisfactory, but we do not conclude that we no longer need professional qualifications from those who work in those fields. Teaching should not be any different.
  20. I think the problem here is not one of teaching ability but one of specialist knowledge.
    The school i work in employs a handful of teachers who hold post compulsory PGCEs and therefore without QTS but as far as i am concerned they are still "qualified teachers" and perhaps i am fortunate not to have experienced TAs/support staff coordinating lessons.
    I have worked in a range of support roles in secondary schools and hold an MA. In many ways, i don't doubt that i would have better ability, subject knowledge and classroom management than some embarrasingly bad qualified teachers. I find some of the attitudes expressed here to be somewhat patronising towards "civilians" because i don't believe the qualified/unqualified issue is one of ability.
    Yet i don't believe that i should be teaching because i don't have specialist knowledge of teaching issues/terminology/practices, i would inevitably be a weaker candidate in an interview situation, i would struggle with lesson planning and marking. For this reason, the qualification is important. But i believe that there need to be changes to the ITT system in order to allow support staff to become qualified - surely there is a great deal of scope for expansion of GTP?

Share This Page