Labour accuses the Government of dumbing down with unqualified teachers on the rise

 

Education Editor

The number of unqualified teachers in state schools has shot up by 16 per cent over the past year, sparking accusations from Labour that the Coalition Government is “dumbing down” teaching standards.

Figures show their numbers have risen overall from 14,800 to 17,100 in a year, with the rise most marked in the Government’s flagship free schools and academies - up 49 per cent to 7,900. In free schools, 13.3 per cent of teaching staff are unqualified.

Tristram Hunt, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said parents “would be shocked to learn that David Cameron is damaging school standards by making entry requirements into teaching in this country amongst the lowest in the world”.

“That is why Labour would scrap David Cameron’s unqualified teacher policy and insist on a qualified teacher in every classroom,” he added.

However, a Department for Education spokesman said the number of non-qualified teachers was 700 fewer than four years ago, and added: “It is entirely right that state schools should enjoy the same advantage that private schools have to bring great linguists, computer scientists, engineers and other specialists into the classroom.”

Today’s figures also show the overall number of teachers has increased in the past year by 9,100 to 451,100 - the number of teaching assistants also rose by 4.9 per cent to 232,300. The rises are thought to be a result of an increase in the size of the school population.

There was also an increase in the number of teachers qualified in the subjects they teach. 82.7 per cent of maths lessons were taken by teachers trained in the subject, up from 82.1 per cent, and 84.8 per cent of English lessons, up from 82.1 per cent. The number of science specialists fell from 87.8 per cent to 87.6 per cent.

In addition, they show the number of teachers earning six-figure salaries is now approaching 1,000, with the majority working in academies. 300 of these are earning more than £110,000 a year.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Teachers is claiming age discrimination is forcing growing numbers of women teachers over the age of 50 out of the profession through disciplinary procedures questioning their capability. Its annual conference next weekend will say schools should be more sympathetic to the plight of women going through the menopause who can suffer hot flushes, headaches, tiredness and sweating. In particular, they should ensure access to cold drinking water and be able to work in reasonable rather than high temperatures.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Imperial College London: Safety Training Administrator

£25,880 – £28,610 per annum: Imperial College London: Imperial College London ...

University College London: Client Platform Support Officer

£26,976 - £31,614 per annum: University College London: UCL Information Servic...

Guru Careers: Instructional Designer / e-Learning Designer

£30 - 32k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking an Instructional / e-Learning De...

Recruitment Genius: Schools Education & Careers Executive

£30500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Schools Education & Careers Executive ...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss