Schools' minister's unqualified daughter working as teacher in one of his academies

'I would be loathe to employ anyone who did not have Qualified Teacher Status', a headteacher has said

Jess Staufenberg
Friday 13 May 2016 16:33
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Pimlico Academy is part of the Future Academies Trust which was set up by  Lord Nash and his wife and has their daughter as an adviser
Pimlico Academy is part of the Future Academies Trust which was set up by Lord Nash and his wife and has their daughter as an adviser

The undersecretary of state for schools has been criticised over the fact that his unqualified daughter has been given a role as an adviser, teacher and recruiter in the academy chain he set up.

An academy owned by Lord John Nash, who was a venture capitalist for 30 years, has placed his daughter in a voluntary role at Pimlico Academy teaching a GCSE class and advising on the curriculum.

Jo Nash is the third member of the family to be involved with Pimlico Academy, which was set up by her father and mother Caroline as part of their Future Academies Trust in 2006. Her mother is a former stockbroker.

Tony Draper, former president of the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) and headteacher at Waterhall Primary School, which is about to convert to a multi-academy trust, said he believed firmly in only hiring qualified teachers.

Lord John Nash, parliamentary under secretary of state, has been accused of undermining trust by some unions

"I would not personally have one of my own family in an unqualified teacher role," he told The Independent.

"And I would be loathe to employ anyone who didn't have Qualified Teacher Status."

Ms Nash, who is registered as a member of staff for Iain Duncan Smith on the parliamentary register, teaches two classes of year six pupils at primary level, one class of year seven students, and one class of GCSE students.

She also said in an email circulated to prospective teachers seen by The Guardian that she was "developing our knowledge-rich curriculum at Future Academies".

Meanwhile new jobs at the school direct candidates to her email address.

Mr Draper said placing people in advisory positions without a weight of experience undermined the profession.

"To me it's that credibility," he said. "People in any profession, particularly when people work really hard, and work long hours, want to know that those leading in areas have done it themselves."

Members of the NUT, meanwhile, have said that the familial connection made it difficult for teachers to "maintain faith" in the academy trust.

Jonathan Coad, the law firm representing the Nash family, said Ms Nash had been positively received.

"Jo Nash, who is the daughter of our founders and funders John and Caroline Nash, has been both a volunteer curriculum advisor and trainee class teacher. She has been a huge hit with both pupils and staff," he told The Independent.

"Jo serves only as a point of contact for possible new recruits and has set out her own distinctive journey into the teaching profession to communicate that there is more than one way to become a teacher. "

A spokesperson for Future Academies said: "All of our teachers either have qualified teacher status or have a degree relevant to the subject they teach."

The Department for Education said staff recruitment in schools, including those owned by the under secretary of state for schools, was an individual school issue.

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