Labour accuses the Government of dumbing down with unqualified teachers on the rise
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Thursday 10 April 2014
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.
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Trevor Noah: Jon Stewart's replacement faces online criticism over 'anti-Semitic' tweets
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 5 Syrian child photographed 'surrendering to camera because she thought it was a gun'
£25,880 – £28,610 per annum: Imperial College London: Imperial College London ...
£26,976 - £31,614 per annum: University College London: UCL Information Servic...
£30 - 32k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking an Instructional / e-Learning De...
£30500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Schools Education & Careers Executive ...