Parents don't want unqualified teachers

Henry Stewart's picture
Nick Clegg’s statement, that only qualified teachers should be employed in state funded schools, is very welcome. However it is unclear why it has taken so long to reach a conclusion that has long been obvious to parents.

He has been accused of seeking to win votes through this change and the policy is certainly unpopular with the public. Parents no more want unqualified teachers than they would want to take their child to an unqualified doctor. A YouGov survey earlier this year for the NUT found that 80% of parents, and 94% of those expressing a preference, wanted only qualified teachers to teach their child.

Michael Gove appears to have little interest in responding to the popular mood. 75% of parents do not want academies and free schools exempt from national food standards and only 19% think academies and free schools will improve education. Fully 84% are opposed to the for-profit schools that Nick Clegg has said would have been introduced if not for the coalition.

The response by a DfE spokesperson that free schools are run by teachers “not local bureaucrats” only shows how little they understand our education system. Schools have not been run by local authorities since local management of schools was introduced in 1990. All maintained schools decide “how they spend their money and employ who they think are the best people for the job”.

What we are losing is the ability of local authorities to challenge and support local schools, as they have done so successfully in London. Instead this role has been centralised and schools are accountable only to the Department for Education, who have little local knowledge or understanding.

When asked who they trusted to improve education, 59% of parents said headteachers and 58% said teachers. Only 6% said they trusted Michael Gove.
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