Lib Dems in call for all state teachers to be qualified

 

Political Editor

Tensions in the Coalition over education will erupt again today when the Liberal Democrats call for every state school to follow the national curriculum and employ properly qualified teachers.

The Lib Dem manifesto at next year’s general election will include a “parental guarantee” that all children will be taught a core curriculum and by qualified teachers. The pledge moves Lib Dem policy closer to Labour and away from the Conservatives, who allow academies and free schools to depart from the national curriculum and employ unqualified teachers.

Nick Clegg’s move follows allegations that some schools in Birmingham promoted Islamic extremism. A senior Lib Dem source said: “Many people will have been shocked by the revelations in Birmingham this week that show how easy it is for some schools to drop subjects parents might think are important but which might not fit with a particular governor’s point of view.”

The Lib Dems accused the Conservatives of inconsistency, pointing to calls by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, for all schools to promote “British values” while denying academies and free schools a means of ensuring that through the curriculum.

Mr Clegg insisted: “Lib Dems want more teachers and schools to enjoy freedom from Whitehall diktats. Under the Lib Dems there will be no return to the bad old days of Labour where teachers received a constant barrage of emails, regulations and guidance telling them how to run their school. But that does not mean parents and children should not have some basic safeguards."

The Deputy Prime Minister added: “There is no reason why a child attending an academy or free school should not enjoy the same basic right to be taught by a qualified teacher or to follow a core curriculum as any other child. These changes will guarantee parents that, whichever school their child attends; they will enjoy a world class education that will help them fulfil their potential.”

David Laws, the Lib Dem Schools Minister, said: “Education will be at the heart of the Lib Dem manifesto in 2015 and ensuring there is a qualified teacher using a core curriculum in every classroom will be at its centre. We know that these reforms enjoy the support of teachers and parents and respond to the recommendations of Ofsted made this week.”

The party’s manifesto will say that commitment that by September 2016 every school would employ teachers that are properly qualified, or working towards a teaching qualification. All schools would deliver a core curriculum, set by independent experts, including the essential skills and knowledge that every child needs to succeed.

A Conservative Party source said: “The Lib Dems helped us massively extend academy freedoms by voting for the Academies Act in 2010. It’s thanks to the votes of Lib Dem MPs that 4,000 schools now have the freedom to set their own curriculum, compared to just 203 schools four years ago. It’s obviously a shame if the Lib Dems now want to roll back those freedoms. We are taking power away from politicians and bureaucrats in Whitehall and handing it to heads and teachers, as they are the ones who know their pupils best.”

The two Coalition parties have also clashed over Mr Gove’s proposals to reform GCSEs; the inspection regime for chains of academies and Mr Clegg’s plans to provide free school meals for all five-to-seven year olds.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
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 General

KS2 Teacher Cornwall

£21500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd...

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London