Schools hire bouncers for classroom 'crowd control'

Teaching union in warning over use of untrained staff

Bouncers and former military personnel are being hired by schools as "crowd control" to cover classes for teachers.

In one case, a state secondary school in the Midlands approached an agency which employed bouncers to take two doormen on to their staff. They were given full-time jobs as "cover supervisors" – standing in for teachers who are sick, on maternity leave or on courses.

Teachers at the National Union of Teachers' annual conference in Cardiff warned yesterday that too many heads were using untrained staff to take lessons. They voted to demand that every class should have a qualified teacher.

Andrew Baisley, a maths teacher from Camden, north London, said: "The idea is more about crowd control... than education. If you're stern and loud, that's all that's necessary."

He added: "I have nothing against a bouncer wanting to become a teacher and training for the job, but if you want to be a teacher you need training to work with children."

He said neither bouncer had been offered any training before taking on their "teaching" jobs. One has since left after a disciplinary offence against a member of staff. Both bouncers were subjected to criminal records checks.

One recruitment agency in the West Midlands, Aspire People Ltd, has advertised urging former Marines, firemen, athletes and actors to sign up to work as "hard core cover" in schools. The positions would appeal to "someone who thinks they can get involved in a school environment and control the kids", offering pay of up to £70 a day.

Delegates warned that schools were likely to hire more untrained staff to take lessons from September, when a new clause will be inserted into teachers' contracts saying they can only "rarely" be asked to cover for absent colleagues.

A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: "Heads should ensure that people they employ have the relevant experience and training. Our guidance is that cover supervision should only be used as a short-term solution."

Delegates called for teachers to be allowed the equivalent of one day a week off from the classroom to reduce their workload. Figures show the suicide rate among teachers is higher than the average for the country – 14.2 per 100,000 compared to 10.25.

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

Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Windows, Linux - Central London

£40000 - £48000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Windo...

Guru Careers: Product Training Specialist / Software Trainer

£25 - 32,500K (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Produ...

Recruitment Genius: Unqualified NVQ Assessors - Health, Social Care & Management

£16000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Advisor - OTE £30,000

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence