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Academies to be able to hire non-union, non-PGCE teachers

(92 Posts)
longfingernails Sat 28-Jul-12 13:32:23

The legions of unionised mediocrities who labour under the mistaken assumption that they are adequate teachers simply because they wield useless PGCEs and have the (ludicrous) "qualified teacher status" will be further sidelined. Yet another feather in Gove's cap!

The way he is ripping up decades of left-wing nonsense in education is a joy to behold.

Olympicnmix Sat 28-Jul-12 20:30:10

Having unqualifieds means they haven't done their PGCE/GTP which is not full of left-wing theory but is in-school based training, following a degree, that shows them how to put together a lesson, how to assess, how to keep discipline of a class. It's a baptism of fire that weeds out the chaff. There is also the following Newly Qualified year which does exactly similar.

I don't know any rabid lefties in my school. Do you know why we belong to a union? It's insurance from litigious parents and weak heads who don't follow employment law.

There is a good reason for getting unqualifieds into school and it's tied to Gove's 'leaked' campaign to bring back the 'Gold standard' of O Levels. That's fine for the top 40%-70% (% vary according to what source you read) but what about the rest who'll be in a system funded and designed to fail them? Hence there needs to be heavy investment at school level in vocational training. You need people like mechanics, engineers, bricklayers etc to teach who won't have the necessary current qualifications to deliver these subjects.

iggi777 Sat 28-Jul-12 20:35:02

You don't think you're an adequate teacher because you wield a pgce (useless or otherwise). You know you're 'adequate' when you've survived a week of teaching mixed-ability classes of 16 year olds without losing your temper or your sanity; and their work and feedback tells you they learned something. Most teachers I know reach far beyond adequacy. Flashy 'Superstar' teachers generally hang around in the classroom for enough years to get the promotion to management they were after. It is naïve to imagine the shortcuts proposed stem from anything other than financial motives.

flexybex Sat 28-Jul-12 20:45:08

In my school, we have 14 teachers. Of those:
One used to be in PR - has PGCE
One used to be in publishing - has PGCE
One is ex-military - has GTP
One is ex-nursery - has PGCE
One is ex-transport and logistics - has PGCE
One is ex-building society - has GTP

6 teachers in a normal school, who have actually had jobs in that scary outside world before they took a teaching qualification. Most of these have even (I feel you shudder) .... worked in the private sector.

The GTP course is best preparation for the classroom. Why? Because the students have learnt about classroom management and teaching strategies in a practical way, at the same time as completing theoretical assignments at college. They have learnt how to teach.

IMO, having done a PGCE, I was not very well qualified to go into the classroom after such a short course as I had very little experience how to manage children's behaviour.

Denise34 Sat 28-Jul-12 21:07:17

Education has become far too much about ticking boxes, and people outside of the education system largely do not care a jot about those boxes, but it is clear that too many kids are leaving school without the skills they require to get on in the world. For teachers to claim that those outside the system "do not understand teaching" is complete tripe. When I look at a watch I can see if the time is wrong without knowing the exact ins and outs of how the watch works.

longfingernails Sat 28-Jul-12 21:08:44

Olympicnmix I certainly think there should be insurance schemes available to protect teachers from vexatious complaints. There is no need for teaching unions to be the vehicle to deliver such insurance schemes.

YvyB I disagree vehemently. Good teachers have to know how to present material in a motivating way, as well as having a thorough command of the subject (which certainly isn't the case in the dystopian state of Labour's failed education legacy). They need to be able to control their use of time, and to be authoritative and engagine. None of that needs courses (except a high quality subject specific university degree, or equivalent real-life experience, which is far more relevant that any PGCE).

A week or two of pop-science neurobuzzword bingo will not somehow fill PGCEers with a keen sensitivity to the human condition. Nor will it yield that magical psychological insight which you seem to believe necessary to teach effectively.

Feenie Sat 28-Jul-12 21:11:10

A week or two of pop-science neurobuzzword bingo will not somehow fill PGCEers with a keen sensitivity to the human condition. Nor will it yield that magical psychological insight which you seem to believe necessary to teach effectively.

Where do you get this stuff from? It's such total garbage. Please enlighten us.

YvyB Sat 28-Jul-12 21:25:17

Denise, whilst it's good that you can identify the wrong time - must have been a good teacher somewhere in your primary school ;) , in teaching, once we've identified a pupil has 'got the wrong time' as it were, we then have to do something about it, in order to put it right. At this point, you really do need to know how the watch works if you want to try to mend it...

Long - do you actually have children? If so, would you really want them taught by someone who's never received any training or guidance in how to go about doing so? I wouldn't take my cat to a 'vet' with no qualifications, much less subject my own child to 14 years, day after day, of so-called 'education' by someone who has received no training. I take it you wouldn't advocate someone just getting in a car and driving off without passing their test on the grounds that 'good drivers will just intuitively know how it works'?

longfingernails Sat 28-Jul-12 21:42:19

YvyB I would not want my children taught by people without subject-specific experience. I would certainly prefer them to be taught by people without teaching-specific "training" which I believe to be massively detrimental to education.

Having been forced to go to several "teaching skills" workshops run by PGCE lecturers much earlier in my life (though not for a teaching job, I hasten to add), I can attest first-hand to the nonsense that gets spouted at such courses, though mercifully, I was only subject to miniscule doses.

I can recall only one practical bit of information which could be acted upon - namely, the best colours to use when writing on a whiteboard to avoid potential issues with colour-blindness. Even that is fairly obvious to anyone with a small amount of common sense. The bulk was claptrap from start to finish. It angers me that taxpayers' money is wasted on this.

StunningCunt Sat 28-Jul-12 21:46:23

Had a few shit teachers when I was at school. I am sure they were qualified, just not good at teaching.

Feenie Sat 28-Jul-12 21:48:18

Having been forced to go to several "teaching skills" workshops run by PGCE lecturers much earlier in my life

And your evidence for believing it must therefore be the same years later is............................

LaurieFairyCake Sat 28-Jul-12 21:52:55

Only stupid people who don't understand there is an actual process to being able to teach post this bollocks.

There are quite a few things I'm 'expert' at but since I loathe other people's children, am a shouter who would want to sit on a six year old who refused to do what he's told, have zero patience, have little interest in diferentiated learning, am lazy, have no time for idiots (which to be fair most 6 year olds are), dont do paperwork as I cant be arsed, I'm not exactly what any normal, rational human would want teaching their kids grin

DH on the other hand (outstanding, qualified teacher, expert in his field, passionate about children's learning) - yeah, you want him.

Only a foolish person who doesn't understand how education works would want an 'expert' - didn't you see Starkey trying to teach ??!!

Hadn't a Scooby.

TalkinPeace2 Sat 28-Jul-12 21:54:34

Please read the big thread

as I say there

ANY fool can teach a small cohort of bright motivated kids - the only type that Gove and and his arslikans recognise

ONLY a qualified teacher with training in planning, differentiation and learning styles can engage the bright kids without rich parents AND stop the unmotivated from wrecking our long term economy

and to all those who says its easy : go do it or shut up

I'm told I'd be a great teacher BUT I teach at a postgrad level. I'd be SHITE at under 16's as I have neither the patience or the insight (and have the intelligence to recognise such - UNLIKE Gove)

Olympicnmix Sat 28-Jul-12 21:59:23

The year spent on a Post Graduate Qualification in Education or on a Graduate Training Programme is not like the days of yore. They spend the vast bulk of their time in school acquiring the practical, hands-on skills needed to convert subject knowledge into successful lessons. And it's an essential year, followed by the essential NQT year as, apart from equipping them with these skills, it also weeds out those who are not cut out for the profession.

Gove might want unqualified in schools (they are considerably cheaper, true) but they are still going to have to do the equivalent of the GTP where they spend 70% of their time in front of the class with a mentor in support in the background.

YvyB Sat 28-Jul-12 22:05:33

Long, you have my sympathy. You've obviously had some very negative experiences regarding education. The PGCE students I have supervised have all improved greatly over the course of a year. Whilst not every one of them had the natural 'makings' of a good teacher (indeed, some - sensibly - decided not to make teaching their career); without exception, the PGCE course helped every single one of them to improve their classroom skills, which can only be of benefit to their future pupils.

As I implied in my earlier post, whilst a driving licence does not guarrantee an excellent driver, it does at least ensure that anyone who goes on to the road alone has a basic grasp of how to handle a vehicle and keep themselves and other road users as safe as possible. This really is the function of QTS (whether via PGCE, BEd or an alternative route). The long process of becoming an excellent teacher takes a whole career. You learn from every experience and you become more adept at understanding the psychology of a myriad of different students. To return to my driving analogy - the QTS does at least guarrantee that no child will be taught by a 'driver' who has received no training whatsoever about how to keep children 'safe' on the educational highway.

HauntedLittleLunatic Sat 28-Jul-12 22:10:59

Yeah cos I spent 9m sitting in a lecture theatre listening to PGCE lecturers.

I seem to have missed the 6m of that where I was in school being 'taught' by advanced skills teachers.

I have life experience. So it seems you would be happy with that. I have been a scientist in a real lab, so I think you would be happy with that. First time in the classroom I was shocking...first few weeks I was shocking. I would not have wanted my own children to be in my classes.

Oh and I am told by my mentors that I will make an excellent teacher...that I have what it takes....I just needed the PGCE to learn those teaching skills to take me from one with excellent potential to a teacher.
I also need the nqt year to develop those teaching skills.

Odmedod Sun 29-Jul-12 00:17:27

I thought we already had unqualified teachers in schools? Labelled as instructors, and paid on a much lower scale- is this not the case?

(people such as outdoor ed instructors)

Odmedod Sun 29-Jul-12 00:25:17

But honestly, I wouldn't worry. It will have the effect of making academies even more dire, and people won't send their children to them.

EvilSynchronisedDivers Sun 29-Jul-12 10:05:41

Odmedod - given how many schools are academies (almost all in the county I live and work in) where do you suggest parents send their children as an alternative?

TalkinPeace2 Sun 29-Jul-12 11:50:26

More than half of all secondaries are now academies - and rising. It will be 3/4 within a year ....

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 29-Jul-12 20:46:47


Your arguements are only beaten in magnitude by your ignorance.


Odmedod Sun 29-Jul-12 22:47:14

Really? I hadn't realised, only a handful in my authority, fewer than 6% of schools.

niceguy2 Sun 29-Jul-12 23:23:15

I'm in two minds about this one. We need good teachers. That much is not in doubt. But does a piece of paper make a good teacher? Not necessarily.

One of the teacher's who inspired me and without whom I wouldn't be where I am today. He wasn't qualified at all. But by god could he explain things.

Given the choice I'd rather have a person who is a natural at teaching than a qualified teacher who cannot.

But quite how you determine that I've no idea. I guess giving the headteacher the option to do this 'could' be a good idea. But at the same time I can see how this could quite easily backfire.

rosabud Mon 30-Jul-12 12:55:30

Of course a piece of paper doesn't make a good teacher. A piece of paper also fails to make you a doctor/ train driver/ firefighter etc etc It's the years of training which you have to go through and PASS in order to acquire the piece of paper whch makes you a good teacher or whatever else.

You'd rather a natural teacher than a qualfied one that can't do it, but you've no idea how to determine between the two? Well that's what the piece of paper is for, it shows that you have PASSED all the training and have been assessed as able to teach.

Why are we assuming that a teaching qualification does not mean you can teach? Does a medical qualification mean you don't know how to be a doctor?? Of course not, it means you can do the job. So does a teaching qualification.

Would I like to be saved from a burning building by a naturally heroic sort of chap who blunders in and may well have a bit of luck on the day or by someone who has done lots of training and knows how fires spread and how to use all the equipment?? Hmmmm.....tough one!

CouthyMow Mon 30-Jul-12 13:00:38

100% of Secondary schools in my town will be Academies from 1st September. When DD started there 3 years ago, I chose the school partly BECAUSE it wasn't an Academy. Now for her final, most important two years of education, it will be. Choice? HA!

Also 5/7 of the local Secondaries have formed an 'Academy Consortium', run in the same way, with the same hiring terms for new staff, the same admissions criteria etc.

All of which means that there is NO element of choice in whether your child attends an Academy.

My DS's primary is also converting to Academy status on 1st September. I have no choice but to continue to send my two DS's there, as there is an extreme shortage of local primary places for DS2, already in a bulge class. He has been on waiting lists for 6 other local schools for 4 years now, and his highest position on a waiting list is 20th, one school he is 35th on the waiting list.

So no, for lots of people, there is no choice whatsoever about sending their DC's to an Academy.

CouthyMow Mon 30-Jul-12 13:05:03

And why is it that all these 'wonderful' people that Gove wants to become unqualified teachers CAN'T do a PGCE. Would it possibly be because they wouldn't PASS the PGCE and the NQT year?!.

That is what bothers me, if they would be such great teachers, then why don't they do a PGCE or a GTP? Unless they know they wouldn't pass. In which case, I don't want them teaching MY DC, thank you very much.

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