To be fed up that my child is being taught Biology, History, English etc by PE teachers?

(147 Posts)
apricotdanish Mon 28-Mar-16 20:24:37

I have a child in a grammar school, can't mention name for obvious reasons but an increasingly large amount of subjects are being taught by teachers with no experience at all in the subjects they are teaching and I'm not exaggerating when I say P.E teachers are teaching all of the subjects above, there are also some specialist teachers but clearly not enough. I'm really concerned about how this will affect my child's education long term.
This is not anti teacher at all, quite the opposite, and I'm not underestimating the intelligence of the PE teachers but I don't think it's acceptable for them to be teaching subjects like Physics and Biology that are so specialised when they haven't trained in that specialism. I feel as though I've been sold a bit of lie about how wonderful this school is when this practice is so widespread.
Just wanted some opinions on what others felt about this?

Euphemia Mon 28-Mar-16 20:26:23

Is this a permanent arrangement?

trinity0097 Mon 28-Mar-16 20:28:32

How do you know that they aren't a History teacher for example that teaches some sport on the side? We have a huge sport department, with two full time sports qualified teachers, the rest are trained in other subjects and combine sport and their specialist subject.

FoundNeverland Mon 28-Mar-16 20:30:08

YABU. Unless the rules have changed in recent years, all PE teachers are qualified to teach another subject in addition to PE.

apricotdanish Mon 28-Mar-16 20:30:23

Yes, I've found out it's been going on for years and they feel it's a good use of resources. This is happening at GCSE level and KS3.

CosyNook Mon 28-Mar-16 20:31:15

I thought PE teachers had to be able to teach a curriculum subject, but this doesn't apply to other subject teachers.

Catvsworld Mon 28-Mar-16 20:33:21

My friend is having a similar issue her son is supposed to be in a studio school and learning construction however they haven't had a practical lesson since before Christmas as the head is teaching them

He's not happy espically and they are not even looking for a replacement hmm

Euphemia Mon 28-Mar-16 20:34:02

This wouldn't happen in Scotland. You have to have a Sports degree to become a PE teacher.

monkeysox Mon 28-Mar-16 20:34:06

Pe specialists being used to teach maths in a local secondary here.

There was no requirement for the pe specialists to offer another subject when I trained.

Yanbu

IamChipmunk Mon 28-Mar-16 20:34:08

It probably happens more than you think.

I teach 4 hours of my 'specialist' subject (the one I have my degree in). The rest is another subject, totally unrelated.

I have taught 4 or 5 different things in the last 10 years.

I enjoy the 'other' subject I teach and have done for a few years so I'm quite experienced in it now . My results in it are very good so I don't think it's a massive issue. - unless it means pupils are not bring taught properly and achieving their potential.

apricotdanish Mon 28-Mar-16 20:36:30

How do you know that they aren't a History teacher for example that teaches some sport on the side? We have a huge sport department, with two full time sports qualified teachers, the rest are trained in other subjects and combine sport and their specialist subject.
I have no way of knowing this but a lot of the children have felt the quality of teaching has declined since the teachers they had that were specialists in those particular subjects were replaced. Also there are PE teachers that are teaching three additional subjects not just the on additional one.

ilovesooty Mon 28-Mar-16 20:37:03

Teachers are contracted to teach and the HT can choose how to deploy them,

Don't forget that in many schools the teachers may not even have any teaching qualifications.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 28-Mar-16 20:37:28

My DH is a PE teacher and in his previous job (12 months ago) he was teaching GCSE Geography twice a week. He was really unhappy about it as he knew it wasnt fair to the children and their education.

After 6 months of him having to do this extra role he changed jobs, with the subject teaching being one of the main reasons.

He'd be bringing homework back to mark and it was ludicrous that he was assessing a child's knowledge on something he had no idea about himself.

AnUtterIdiot Mon 28-Mar-16 20:38:55

Loads of teachers teach more than just the subject they had a degree in, don't they? They did when I was at school confused

Writerwannabe83 Mon 28-Mar-16 20:39:05

And my DH is definitely not trained in anything other than PE Teaching.

acasualobserver Mon 28-Mar-16 20:39:19

Teaching - any subject - has become a deeply unattractive proposition. Until that changes, expect your children to be taught by whoever is willing. As for being qualified as a teacher, enjoy it while you can - academies are not obliged to employ people with a PGCE.

TeacupsandFigs Mon 28-Mar-16 20:41:54

Have you asked the school if they are qualified to teach that subject?

apricotdanish Mon 28-Mar-16 20:42:50

Writerwannabe83 I sympathise with your DH, you're right, it doesn't seem fair to the children or the teachers. They have to spread themselves too thinly.

DorothyL Mon 28-Mar-16 20:44:44

I wonder if our children are at the same school... Does the name start with P?

apricotdanish Mon 28-Mar-16 20:45:35

Teaching - any subject - has become a deeply unattractive proposition. Until that changes, expect your children to be taught by whoever is willing. As for being qualified as a teacher, enjoy it while you can - academies are not obliged to employ people with a PGCE.
This is why I'm so worried about the prospect of all schools being academised to be honest.

PennyPebbles Mon 28-Mar-16 20:48:35

I'm a History teacher. This year I teach 10 hours of Geography. I don't even have a GCSE in Geography. I spend hours teaching myself the topics and planning the lessons, much more so than I spend on my History. I was asked (in a way that made it clear I couldn't refuse) to do this as the Geography department has long-term sickness issues and I'm a 'safe pair of hands'. My Geography lessons would stand scrutiny, but only because I am a perfectionist and have sacrificed my own Mental Health to make them good. I'm on Easter holidays at the moment and have spent everyday planning lessons - at most I can get two a day done as I teach myself first.

I've always taught a bit out of subject - bit of RS, PSHCE etc, but this year there are teachers teaching anything and everything - a colleague is teaching across 7 subject areas and about to have a breakdown.

apricotdanish Mon 28-Mar-16 20:49:57

I wonder if our children are at the same school... Does the name start with P?
No, sadly not otherwise we could have compared notes smile

eyebrowse Mon 28-Mar-16 20:49:58

Schools are not replacing teachers because of budget cuts. If they do try to replace them the teacher shortage (caused by the government cutting teaching qualification places and because teaching is no longer family friendly) means that there is often noone suitable who applies. Thus more and more lessons are being taught by non specialists.

educatingarti Mon 28-Mar-16 20:50:28

Teaching - any subject - has become a deeply unattractive proposition. Until that changes, expect your children to be taught by whoever is willing. As for being qualified as a teacher, enjoy it while you can - academies are not obliged to employ people with a PGCE.

^ This. The PE teachers probably aren't that happy about it either!

meditrina Mon 28-Mar-16 20:52:13

I've always found there seems to be a high number of PE teachers who also teach geography. And I wouldn't be too worried about biology, as that's such a major component in sports qualifications.

And teachers do sometimes teach subjects other than those in which they originally qualified. A lot depends on the calibre of the teacher and their knowledge of the subject.

If the quality of teaching appears to be dealing, it strongly suggests that the underlying match-ups are not good ones. And if there has been an outflow of staff, then what caused that? It could be an issue with the specific head and/or senior leadership at her than the funding mechanism of the school.

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