British children taught by trainee teachers who don’t even have an A-level in their subject

The Mirror is reporting that children face being taught maths, physics and biology by teachers who do not have A-levels in their specialist subjects, shock research reveals.

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said: “These figures show just how desperate the Tory teacher crisis has become.

“Far from their promises to ‘lead the world in maths and science’, the Tories have been forced to recruit trainees to teach subjects that they themselves do not have qualifications in.

“The Tories are failing badly at delivering the high quality education our children deserve.”

A Department of Education spokesman said: “These figures are misleading.

“Undergraduate teacher trainees represents a very small proportion of the overall cohort, with the vast majority of entrants holding a degree.”

More at: British children taught by trainee teachers who don’t even have an A-level in their subject

Do you think all teachers should have A-levels in the subjects they teach? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter ~ Nellie

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Comments

  1. MadgeJesss

    SchoolsImprove I was once landed with teaching Chemistry, after struggling to get my O level. I was useless at it.

  2. bentleykarl

    SchoolsImprove Better fact check this as most ITT I know of don’t take PGs for Sec without A level or majority of Degree in subject.

  3. The evidence suggests that knowledge over and above the level you are teaching does not give any significant advantage.  
    The more important knowledge is about what the students will find difficult and how to help.
    A non-specialist who knows the subject knowledge and has good teaching skills will do better than someone with a PhD who baffles the students.

  4. The evidence suggests that knowledge over and above the level you are teaching does not give any significant advantage.  
    The more important knowledge is about what the students will find difficult and how to help.
    A non-specialist who knows the subject knowledge and has good teaching skills will do better than someone with a PhD who baffles the students.

  5. gbgray

    What about very able teachers who didn’t study science A-Levels but later either completed a Science University Access course/ Level 0, Open University Degree or completed a Masters degree in a science they obviously wont have science A-Levels ( does it mean that they shouldn’t be teaching?) as they haven’t retrospectively decided to do an A-Level? I recruited several outstanding teachers in the past who were transformational for students but wouldn’t meet this criteria as they made different A-Level choices and changed there minds afterwards to convert to science. I also agree with the previous point that persons with impressive degrees don’t necessarily make/ and often don’t make the best teachers. Although I do remember a past Principal of mine informing me I should be delighted to have 2 Russell group graduate teach first teachers coming to my department next year, so they would have to be given cherry picked top set classes with all the challenging students removed to meet Teach First requirements. I did reply to this that they would feel right at home with myself and the rest of my 22 + department (all but 2 who were Russell group graduates).
    Perhaps this shows how little time Principals, Ofsted or the Department for Education ministers choose to spend analysing before making sweeping generalisations about schools. Having been in leadership in both ‘challenging’ secondary and ‘outstanding’  grammar schools, most of the best science teachers were found where those outside of direct involvement with education might least expect them( in challenging secondary). Although it wouldn’t fit in with the current OFSTED 9mainly statistical) approach to attributing blame or measurement of achievement of teaching and learning to make that correlation.
    I would also point out the best( multi award winning) teacher I have ever had the pleasure to teach with was a former science technician with no science A-Levels who did a foundation degree and then a PGCE, he is now a senior leader in an outstanding school and has personally transformed the lives of countless wide ability range of children that he inspired to perform to their fullest potential, as he fundamentally understood how to teach children who struggle with science as he had experienced, first hand the struggle himself. This is this the sort of person you need to be modelling teaching not stopping teaching!

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