Lord Baker: ‘The best teachers go to schools, not colleges’

The TES is reporting an interview with Lord Baker in which he claims the standard of teachers in colleges is lower than in schools…

The standard of teachers in colleges is lower than in schools, Lord Baker has claimed.

In an exclusive interview with TES, the former education secretary said that the “best” teachers work in schools, rather than in the FE sector.

He also argued that his new breed of career colleges – standalone 14-18 colleges which will be established by FE colleges, focusing on a particular occupation – will help raise standards in the sector.

Lord Baker, chair of the Edge Foundation, has long been critical of the FE sector. Earlier this year, he said it had a “huge responsibility” for the skills shortages in some sectors.

But ahead of the publication of his new report The Skills Mismatch this week, Lord Baker said that the difficulty attracting the best teachers was a fundamental problem for colleges.

“The best teachers go to schools, not colleges,” he said. “That’s just the way it is.”

Lord Baker’s intervention comes after plans for a Teach First-style scheme to recruit “high calibre and ambitious graduates” to teach in FE were announced earlier this month.

He also criticised the “absolutely appalling” standards of careers advice available in schools, and called for students to be given greater access to people working in a range of careers…

Lord Baker’s criticism was rejected by Martin Doel, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, who said there was “no evidence” to back up the claims…

More at: Lord Baker: ‘The best teachers go to schools, not colleges’

Your reaction to Lord Baker’s comments? Do you think it is right to suggest teachers would prefer to work in a school than an FE college? If you chose the other way round, please tell us why in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Employment and Further Education.


  1. Janet2

    He’s right about the appalling standard of careers advice in schools.  But schools with sixth forms have a vested interest in keeping as many of their pupils in their schools until age 18 – they are NOT going to suggest the FE college (except for those pupils they want to see the back of).

    But Lord Baker also has a vested interest in steering pupils to UTCs (14-19 University Technology Colleges), studio schools (small 14-19 schools with vocational emphasis) and his “career colleges”.  This is best done by rubbishing the sector.

  2. HEPP_Jackie

    nrcantor SchoolsImprove I’ve worked in both schools and colleges, and can confirm this is nonsense. Bad, good and best teachers in both.

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