Should experts be allowed to teach in schools without Qualified Teacher Status?
by Harris MacLeod in Politics Lab
Fri August 3, 11:43 a.m. BST
Education Secretary, Michael Gove has announced that academies will now be able to employ professionals or specialists in fields such as engineering, linguistics and music as teachers, even if they do not have formal 'Qualified Teaching Status'.
The Department for Education said that the development would bring academy schools in line with independent schools and free schools, "who can already hire brilliant people who have not got QTS," and that it expected that the "vast majority of teachers will continue to have QTS."
But NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said that:
“Such a move will reduce the status of teachers in England in the eyes of their colleagues and employers elsewhere in the UK.
“Qualified teacher status represents the means by which parents and the public can be assured that children are receiving a guaranteed standard of teaching and learning. It is the entitlement of all children and young people to be taught by a qualified teacher.”
In YouGov’s Politics Lab, we invited our panellists to tell us which side of the debate they’re on.
Q: To what extent do you support or oppose academies being able to employ as teachers individuals who are experts in their fields, but who haven't got 'Qualified Teacher Status'?
The largest proportion of those who took part in the Labs discussion did in fact support academies being able to hire unqualified ‘experts’ as teachers, for the following range of reasons:
- Those of you who were in this camp argued that if someone is passionate about their particular subject and has a wealth of experience working in that field, they may very well be better at teaching it than a professional teacher who has ‘Qualified Teacher Status’.
- You told us that outside experts could bring ‘real world experience’ into the classroom, and teach pupils valuable lessons about what it takes to succeed.
- A number of participants in this crowd questioned the quality of many current teachers, saying that the simple fact of having Qualified Teacher Status didn’t guarantee that the teacher in question was necessarily up to the task of bringing a subject to life in the classroom.
A slightly smaller proportion disagreed with Mr Gove’s stance, and were against academies being able to hire individuals who did not have ‘Qualified Teacher Status’.
- Participants in this group argued that teaching is a skill, and therefore it is right that a professional qualification is required to ensure a base level of quality for all those entering the profession.
- Some of you also raised concerns that removing the QTS requirement could lead, in some cases, to school governors hiring inappropriate individuals, and to an overall decline in teaching standards.
- Others felt the move undermined the legitimacy of the professions? Seems to be a further point made. Scrap if you really don’t think so though
Click on the headings below to read comments from panellists taking part in Labs:
Do you think that everyone working as a teacher should need to have QTS?
Is there a public figure you think would be good at teaching a particular subject?