23 October 2013

million+ calls for Coalition to review policy on qualified teachers and teacher education

In advance of a speech by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, in which he is expected to distance the Liberal-Democrats from the Government’s policy of allowing schools to employ untrained teachers, the university think-tank million+ has welcomed comments made by Schools Minister, David Laws, to the Education Select Committee in which he said that teachers should hold or be working towards a teaching qualification. million+ has written to the Schools Minister asking him to clarify the Government’s policy in terms of teacher education and to confirm that all teachers should have an academic as well as a teaching qualification.

Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of the university think-tank million+ said:

“The support of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Schools Minister David Laws for teachers to be properly trained is very welcome. No-one would want to see a doctor without academic as well as practical training and parents need to be assured that teachers are similarly qualified.”

“In all high performing education systems teachers are trained in universities and combine their studies with practical experience in the classrooms.”

“However the Coalition Government has devalued the importance of teaching qualifications and undermined the role of universities in teacher education by transferring training places to schools where there is no guarantee that schools will recruit the trainees that the nation needs or that these trainees with have an academic as well as a professional qualification.”

“We therefore welcome the interest of the Deputy Prime Minister in this important debate but would also want to be assured that the allocation of teacher training places for 2014-15 ensure that teacher training courses led by universities remain viable.”

ENDS

Notes to editors
1. For more information please contact Pam Tatlow on 0207 717 1655 or 07795 645241.
2. million+ is a leading university think-tank. More information about million+ can be found at www.millionplus.ac.uk.
3. In September 2013, Pam Tatlow was called to give evidence to the Education Select Committee on the impact of School Direct on teaching education.
4. Teacher education and teacher supply was also the subject of a Westminster Hall debate on 22 October for which the million+ parliamentary briefing can be found here.
5. David Laws MP, Liberal-Democrat Schools Minister, was speaking at an Education Select Committee evidence session on schools places on 23 October 2013.