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Unqualified teachers in the classroom, a real worry

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

  1. There is a BIG difference between unqualified teachers who have PGCE's but haven't got QTS and TA's and LSA's who don't have degrees therefore no subject knowledge and only have a basic knowledge of classroom management.

    I am astounded that some TA's and LSA's are being given the responsibility of an entire classroom, even more so that the TA's are accepting the responsibility. Even worse is when they get on their high horse and think they are better than their unqualified colleagues who have PGCEs but no QTS or even qualified colleagues!
  2. maizie, I'm in 2 minds of the 16 year old apprenticeship issue. On the one hand, I think it will be good for them to support children, as they may be better at 'getting down to their level'. On the other hand, I too feel uneasy about the implications of supervising them and the possible effects on the children's education if they are being helped by someone who hates it. I would therefore say that the idea itself isn't absurd but putting it into practice is.
  3. So you'd be quite happy when one of these 'apprentices' is put in charge of a whole class?

    As they inevitably would be, given that some SMTs seem to think that the only qualification needed for 'teaching' a class is the ability to breathe.
  4. No, I wouldn't for the reasons given in my previous posts. Plus, their level of maturity and experience in dealing with children and other potential issues in dealing with children. Like I said, I believe the idea of getting 16 year olds to WORK with children in a school under supervision (e.g. as an assistant not an LSA. Just an extra pair of hands) is good in theory but not in practice.

    I never said that I thought that 16 year olds should be allowed to teach children or deal with them unsupervised. If you think otherwise, you misread my previous post.
  5. I didn't think that you did say that 16y olds should be allowed to 'teach' classes.

    All I am doing is suggesting that *some* SMTs have no qualms about who they put in front of a class. The implication being that if you think TAs and CSs are bad, just wait until there are a few 16 year olds around...
  6. In that case, I definitely agree with you on this issue.
  7. Dear SarahB101

    I have just read your concerns about the amount of unqualified teachers that are being used by schools to teach in the classroom/s.

    I have, since the last 4 years been a Professional Mentor for a 'well-known' college in the Birmingham area, and I have seen plenty of 'unqualified' teachers in the classroom that have been 'misled and manipulated' by the school's system. This has been done in such a way (negative) that some of the candidates that were on the PGCE/GRTP/ITT course have decided to drop this and not go onto furthering their chances of becoming teachers.

    Frankly, some schools see this as an opportunity to 'manipulate' and use the trainees/unqualified teachers to cover their 'gaps' when it comes to supply/cover issues. HOD's also use this as an opportunity, with some providing scarce resources for the trainees and therefore almost hindering their chances of gaining a sustainable and accountable experience. Through this, a few of the trainees feel as if they are 'obliged' to carry out extra duties/curriculum activities on the basis that they may get a positive end result (pass) and the possibility of a job at the end of their experience towards their NQT year....

    Two trainees that I was mentoring also felt that they were put in a position where they felt as if they were 'bullied' into carrying out teaching activities.

    Most of the times the School, SMT and 'Qualified' Teaching Staff are certainly to blame.

    I have just finished working at an inner city school that is notorious in their approach to using 'non-qualified and supply teachers' to deliver and assess pupils, these were pupils who were coming to the end of their education (Y11). One non-qualified teacher (from a supply agency) was also put in charge of a vocational department, due to some major (bad) judgements made by the Deputy at the start of Y10, which left the school and the department in a very poor state.

    What must be remembered....non-qualified teachers do not cost too much, they can be used as a 'scapegoat' for school's that are struggling to 'cut the mustard', they add value to a school's retention rate (especially when it comes to IIP), and finally, most of them (especially those who are still training) are/can easily be misled and maniputlated by the school...through 'broken promises'.

    I completely agree with your concerns, but I also underline the senior members of staff commentary on what they said, brave...and they must also know what is in the pipeline for the school in the next academic year?...(WARNING)
  8. Can we stand back a lttle? This government and others have made shools as organisations extremely complex organisations. Too complex in my view with massive innovaion overload. Each Secreatary of State (and there have been loads) has brought their own crazy ideas to schools for implementation. This means all hands to the pump because human resources inevitably fall well short of demand. I actually recommend that schools use non-teachers as tutors BUT not in traditional YEAR set-ups with high numbers and ineffective systems. Schools that go vertical (see www.verticaltutoring.org ) reduce the size of tutor groups and reformulate relationships and it is this that enables wider access and the job more do-able. (I have tried to get the English good!)
  9. I think it ia appalling that so much money is being spent on mentors and helpers, where in my experience some were often giving the pupils the wrong information! Which meant that instead of saving valuable time for me with those students who needed extra help, it just made it harder for them and me as I had to correct mentors etc and the students. This meant me staying behind after school even more than I usually do. My husband was lucky to see me and when he did I was knackered. I am just glad he loves me and understands, lets face it, people have split up for less. It is a worry when in fifteen to twenty years down the line I forsee a huge rise in parents who have need of help with basic literacy as well as students (do not forget the population is rising all the time). The money should be spent on proper teachers and good resources. Meanwhile I am looking for a permenant job whislt others are leaving the profession by the barrel load.

  10. Must agree with this.

    If theyre letting unqualified teachers teach in our classrooms, what was the point of doing a degree and a PGDE ? As a probationer, Im trying not to get worried just now about not getting a job next year, but if Im prevented from a school asking for a teacher in my subject (ICT) cos they have someone teaching it who hasn't gone through the time, work and expense in getting qualified like I have, I wont be a happy man.

    There.....thats my rant over.
  11. As a matter of course, schools now demand supply cover supervisors, or more correctly, will only pay cover supervisor rate for general cover. This practice is commonplace and will rapidly become the norm.
    It probably means that supply teachers will go elsewhere and leave supply altogether ,leaving cover supervisors as the first line of cover for longer term work too.
    This is neither unexpected nor unplanned and something that saves significant sums of money.

  12. bobbycatrules

    bobbycatrules New commenter

    I now have QTS, but for 6 years before I did teacher training I was an unqualified teacher in my local area as there were not enough teachers to fill posts. Although an unqualified teacher in the classroom is not ideal, I was very good at my job and in some cases I was 'better' than those who had been teaching for years.

    The irony is that now I have QTS, like many other teachers, I am finding it difficult to secure a teaching post and I'm having to move to the London area where there are more jobs available. Without meaning to devalue the teaching profession, it's not rocket science to teach lower primary (my specialism), and I was pretty successful as an unqualified teacher.

    I find it annoying that as an NQT who cannot secure a post nearby to finish my NQT year, and who has a total of 8 years teaching experience, others who have recently completed their NQT year are regarded as 'higher status' in the teaching profession than me. My previous experience counts for nothing. On balance, some non- qualified teachers can be good at their jobs- remember there are also dire qualified teachers in classrooms. And by the way, from Sept 07 the government was heavily phasing out unqualified teaching staff.

    I only became an unqualified teacher because there were not enough teachers. Now there are too many with QTS who cannot find a job, so maybe it's for the best that unqualified staff are being phased out. I hope this gives a balanced view.

  13. You just did, I'm secondary and from my experience the workload on primary is much higher than mine, the weird way TLR's work also mean extra responsibility for no pay.

    Primary does tend to be oversubscribed, especially better schools.

    It's the gamble we all take, my next move may have to invlove a move or lots of travel, thats how teaching works - sometimes.

    If you are chasing jobs with a large field of applicants, put yourself in the employers shoes, a part finished NQT year against a completed one has the advantage (if I understood your post right?)

    Your previous experience should count for a lot more when you get into post, you will have a good lead on other NQT's and you can show how good you are then.

    I'd say some unqualified teachers are brilliant at what they do, but the bench mark should be QTS, which as you will have picked up is an ongoing debate, with CS's, which will replace unqualified teachers (IMHO)

    I haven't read all the previous posts, so apologies if I am wide of the mark.

    Have you thought of trying secondary? - some schools like teaching staff with KS1/2 experience to help with transition to KS3 - good luck and chin up, don't let it grind you down.[​IMG]

  14. That's the right thing to do.

    I am one of the "QTS" only subscribers, relativelly new to teaching I see widespread and systemmatic use of CS's as nothing but for bad news for supply teachers and therefore teaching itself. CS's are however here to stay so we have to get on with it.

    You will find strong opinions on both sides with the arguments quickly polarising and worst case scenarios being highlighted.

    There will be job's out there, especially if you can have a second specialism, maths for example, make yourself as employable as possible is the the trick. You may drop on a job that is 100% your specialism, brilliant, but the aim is to get a job - good luck
  15. Due to the 14 pages of postings, firstly an aoplogy if i am repeating what anyone else on this thread has already said.
    I am an unqualified teacher. A school took me on in October 2008 after I made enquiries for them to be my sponsor school for my GTP (primary) application. They had resource issues which meant that they were stuck for a teacher and I was looking for classroom experience it would make a good marriage.
    What I did find very uncomfortable was the fact that I was told to "keep quiet" about my unqualified status and to tell all staff that I was already on the GTP (it was also explained to the recent ofsted inspection that this was the case). I did tell the staff that I was unqualified as I needed to be able to justify why I was always asking so many questions and wanting support with lesson planning.
    I teach 100% of the time - the irony being I get less PPA that NQT's! I also worry that none of the parents know that 3 months ago I effectively walked in off the street. I'm confident in my abilities but with a very limited selection process (right place right time) how did the school know I would be able to do the job? I do feel bad for other teachers whose job I may now have but similarly, I'm getting paid far less yet the same amount is expected of me by the school as the current NQT's.
    I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds this position a bit questionable but at the same time a nescessity to a very competitive GTP application process...

  16. I am FE trained and hold many other qualifications in my chosen subject and am very proud that I gained post 16 QTS. In 2006 I left FE to work in a Pupil Referral Unit teaching very challenging students who come from difficult backgrounds. I left FE to work in compulsory education as I was fed up with seeing disengaged students falling through the net of compulsory education gaining nothing but reduced confidence and self worth. Once I left FE and entered the world of compulsory education I was amazed at the level of snobbery that surrounded QTS. I am seen as a second class teacher who does not even carry the title of ?teacher? but one of ?trainer?. Yes I am a trained lecturer but just because I do not hold a Pre 16 QTS does not mean I cannot teach. My passion is teaching students who have never been engaged by mainstream teachers (qualified or not) and am also very willing to gain QTS for the second time but working in a PRU hinders me from doing a PGCE, what must I do, leave for 2 years or stay earning insulting money but seeking to engage disengaged students.

    QTS is important but I come in contact with ?teachers? form all over my county who earn more, have more career progression and status then me and carry QTS but if truth be told should have never of been allowed in the classroom! A PGCE alone does not make you a teacher as there are many other qualities needed, all it does is allow you to access the Main Pay Scale! Let not just use the PGCE as the only route to teach but address the needs of the students addressing this issue not in a 2D way!
  17. Henriettawasp

    Henriettawasp New commenter

    I know this is a very old thread but..... I can not restrain myself.
    The complaint should be about the 'number' of unqualified staff, not 'amount'. We don't (yet) unload unqualified staff by the barrow-load.

  18. Your point is Henriettawasp !

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