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Private school employing inexperienced teacher

(38 Posts)
Figamol Fri 29-Aug-14 21:37:19

I wanted your opinion on this. We live abroad where the education system is different so chose to send our children to a good private school. By chance our babysitter told us her best friends cousin is starting to teach at the school next week. She has been working in a bank and because she apparently knows the headmaster he has given her a primary school class straight off and will go to college on a saturday to do her teaching certificate.
I've no problem with career changes and I am sure she is lovely and will eventually be prepared, but am I unreasonable to think this is pretty outrageous? We really work hard to pay to get our kids the best education and expect them to hire the best teachers, or at least ones that have taught before.
Im unsure how to react - due to reshuffles I am predicting she will have a class in my daughters year. Can I ask what you would do? Would you ask to speak to the headmaster? I told two other mums today and they didnt believe me, thinking it would literally never happen, but I know for sure that it is. And when it does Ive probably just loaded a right out show down! Which I do feel terrible about, I completely understand the need to treat this girl with respect.

LadySybilLikesCake Fri 29-Aug-14 21:39:52

A lot of schools, even state ones, employ unqualified teachers. If she can do the job and is just lacking the name, does it really matter? I'd see how well she teaches as she may be fantastic.

thelmachicken Fri 29-Aug-14 21:42:55

Private schools and academies can (I think) employ teachers with no teaching qualifications in the UK also. Only the SENCO needs to be a qualified teacher.

I'm not sure what I would do in your shoes...maybe wait and see what happens. Your source may not be reliable!

Soapysuds64 Fri 29-Aug-14 21:43:49

I experienced this (kind of) - unqualified teachers in an International school (private) abroad. I could see issues, other parents were reasonably happy (or at least didn't care). I decided it wasn't worth raising it with the head, as I didn't think other parents would support me when push came to shove, and I think I could have looked vindictive and a bit silly. Made me realise how important teaching qualifications are.

rollonthesummer Fri 29-Aug-14 21:45:50

Only the SENCO needs to be a qualified teacher.

Really? Where have you heard this?

TalkinPeace Fri 29-Aug-14 21:47:32

Unqualified teachers exist everywhere
the UK has an incredibly free press so its a topic of conversation
if one does not like it - in either private or state, TBH : put up with the education system at home
(and start reading up on teacher qualifications elsewhere)

thelmachicken Fri 29-Aug-14 21:50:07

SENCO must be a qualified teacher.
Other teachers can be unqualified in private schools and academies.
In practice most teachers will be qualified though.

Coolas Fri 29-Aug-14 21:50:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thelmachicken Fri 29-Aug-14 21:52:32

Gove thinks that anyone can do it and that all teachers are lazy, work shy enemies of promise.

Figamol Fri 29-Aug-14 21:54:57

Wow, I really didn't know that. It seems insane to me that given the standards expected by governments that they would put in trained people to do the job. Even more so in private when they become answerable to parents to an extent. I'm really v surprised. I am a qualified TEFL teacher and taught for a few years out of uni. I have no shame in admitting I found making sure all kids kept pace and behaved not an easy task. Im a mum of 3 now and I feel even more so that with under 6's, it is a job that requires experience. I probably won't have to say anything, Ive never met the headmaster personally, and wouldn't want to under this circumstance. But I know the place is filled with mothers that are pushy and root out inadequacies so it will probably take a direction of its own without me. I just think its very poor.

TalkinPeace Fri 29-Aug-14 22:02:12

your gut feeling is correct
sadly teaching is cursed by the "I've been to school so I know" analysis
the next one along is
"I've been in hospital so I know about nursing"

its a crap situation, perpetuated by self serving ignoramus career politicians who are scared shitless by those with any true comptetnce

Figamol Fri 29-Aug-14 22:17:54

Thats exactly how I would describe it. Its like saying Ive bathed 3 kids so I could totally be a midwife now!

I remember by best friend TOILING her way through her primary PGCE year working all hours on lesson plans and theory, never going out, and then diligently doing her placements. I just presumed everyone went through the same dedicated process!

Coolas Fri 29-Aug-14 22:20:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 29-Aug-14 22:28:08


Or a dentist? But then I start thinking of that film with the dentist, I'll have nightmares now.

Coolas Fri 29-Aug-14 22:52:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rollonthesummer Fri 29-Aug-14 22:55:06

I didn't know that. My friend (an LSA) has recently been promoted to SENco of the children's centre she works in. That's either a bit dodgy or it must be different in a children's centre.

rollonthesummer Fri 29-Aug-14 22:56:19

Imagine being told your pilot was a businessman who has a real interest in planes but no formal training.

That's what gets me; if you had unqualified surgeons, dentists or pilots, there would be an outcry!

SingSongSlummy Fri 29-Aug-14 22:59:30

A friend of mine recently took up his first ever teaching post....... as Head of Department in a very expensive private school in London. He'd never stood up in front of a class before in his life! Despite excelling professionally in the subject which he now teaches, he has absolutely no qualifications to teach!

WaffleWiffle Fri 29-Aug-14 23:00:40

Only the SENCO needs to be a qualified teacher.

I believe Head Teachers have to be qualified teachers too. I can see this changing in the future though.

Not unusual for independent, academy and overseas schools appointing non-qualified teachers though. My brother has an art degree. No teaching experience or qualification. He spent two teaching art in a local school.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 29-Aug-14 23:03:01

I can I Do, I can't I teach, I can't teach, I teach PE.

Coolas Fri 29-Aug-14 23:16:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 30-Aug-14 08:12:22

It all really depends on the individual. DD's school often employs people without teaching qualifications. Part of their employment contract is that they need to complete their qualified teacher status within two years of joining the school.
They don't just choose anyone obviously examples are specialist music teachers and specialist science/maths teacher. The individuals have all been excellent teachers.

EdithWeston Sat 30-Aug-14 08:18:40

School-led teacher training isn't new and is endorsed by Dept of Ed.

What would concern me about OP's scenario is not that this school is using a school-based programme but that the head is appointing from among his friends rather than by a normal open recruitment process.

Noteventhebestdrummer Sat 30-Aug-14 08:31:09


Do you mean that personally? I hope not!

prh47bridge Sat 30-Aug-14 09:52:40

Gove thinks that anyone can do it

I haven't seen anything Gove has said or written that indicates that is what he thinks. From what he has said he believes that a passion for and knowledge of the subject is more important than a teaching qualification. He also appears to believe it is ridiculous that experienced, qualified teachers from other countries are classed us non-qualified teachers here, although they can generally gain qualified teacher status without having to undergo the full training course. I am not saying he is right.

Note that the OP is talking about an independent school, NOT a state school, so Gove is irrelevant (as is a lot of the comment on this thread). Independent schools have never been required to use qualified teachers. They can appoint anyone they think is suitable to any post. I can't find any statistics but a significant proportion of teachers in independent schools do not hold qualified teacher status. Many of them have been teaching successfully for a long time.

If QTS is important to you, you need to send your child to a state school (although even then there is a significant possibility they will be taught by a non-qualified teacher). On the other hand, if the head has been in post a while and the school has performed well under his leadership you may feel you can trust his judgement.

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