Teachers less qualified than McDonald’s staff, say Labour

The Telegraph is reporting claims from Tristram Hunt that shift managers at McDonald’s require more qualifications than teachers under Michael Gove’s flagship free schools…

…Mr Hunt, a television historian before entering parliament, said the “wholesale deregulation” of schools had undermined teachers and would drive down standards.

“Under David Cameron, we have this situation where you now need more qualifications to work as a shift manager at McDonald’s than to become a teacher,” Mr Hunt said.

“I am pleased McDonald’s insist on qualifications for their shift managers. It’s surprising and alarming that Education Secretary Michael Gove doesn’t operate in the same way.”

He added: “The quality of our teaching system determines the success of our education system, so it makes no sense to water down standards for teachers.”

In 2008 the fast food restaurant introduced an A-level standard Diploma in Shift Management, endorsed by Ofqual, the qualifications watchdog.

The on-the-job course is examined by a multiple-choice examination, practical assessments and coursework and teaches business principles and people management.

Mr Gove’s department insists state-funded schools should be able to employ untrained teachers in the same way that private schools “hire the great linguists, scientists, engineers and other specialists they know can best teach and inspire their pupils”.

But the policy has caused a split in the Coalition, with the Liberal Democrats supporting Labour calls for teachers to require teaching qualifications.

David Laws, the Liberal Democrat schools minister, yesterday spoke in defence of Mr Gove’s policy in the Commons, before abstaining on the vote.

The Labour motion, to force all teachers to have a minimum standard of qualifications, was defeated by 263 to 229 after only one Liberal Democrat voted with the Government…

More at:  Teachers less qualified than McDonald’s staff, say Labour

Let us know what you think of this debate in the comments, via twitter or by entering our poll “Should free school heads should be able to employ individuals without QTS as teachers?”

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Categories: Free Schools.


  1. MsTPole

    SchoolsImprove wish they’d address real issues, like overcrowded classes for example.Even best teacher can’t effectively teach 30 5yos.

  2. LiterateGrumpy

    SchoolsImprove From the party that had 13 years to do something about it.. and that canned grammar schools?#FightSocialMobilityWithLabour

  3. ClaireTVI

    MsTPole SchoolsImprove & lack of school places despite being aware of population increase extending already large schools not the answer.

  4. zsharman

    wclou SchoolsImprove … Ha Ha ! .. they would frighten the customers and they would not be able to make their minds up on what to serve

  5. thebigdog4312

    zsharman SchoolsImprove Thats not what the article actually says….its targetting unquals in free schools, which is fair enough.

  6. MarkQui12591531

    LiterateGrumpy SchoolsImprove Actually Labour can be proud if educational record + support for comps. Gove removed requirement to have QTS

  7. no1fiftiesfan

    LiterateGrumpy SchoolsImprove Instead of party which thinks Academy’s don’t need qualified teachers,and who penalise ‘satisfactory schools

  8. misterhutt

    SchoolsImprove We should worry when teachers are less ABLE than McDonald’s staff. Why this hangup on a bit of paper?

  9. ian_bec

    misterhutt SchoolsImprove because it demonstrates an ability to do the job (which is more than the actual teaching)?

  10. TheDominie

    misterhutt SchoolsImprove I’ve watched very episode of Casualty think I’ll be a doctor Im also good at arguing I’ll go be a lawyer.

  11. MrsHall_History

    SchoolsImprove misleading headline. Was really angry til I read it properly and realised it wasn’t aimed at most teachers.

  12. LiterateGrumpy

    MarkQui12591531 SchoolsImprove Labour abolished grammar schools. Massive choke on social mobility. Greatest crime ever against education.

  13. LiterateGrumpy

    no1fiftiesfan SchoolsImprove Not supporting Gove – highlighting Labour’s failures on social mobility. Social engineering doesn’t work.

  14. misterhutt

    KeithMaxwell21 SchoolsImprove I intrvwd teacher with BEd, MEd + days away from getting PhD. Worst tchr I ever saw. Yup, had loadsa paper.

  15. misterhutt

    ian_bec SchoolsImprove No it doesn’t. It demonstrates an ability to jump through hoops. That is nothing to do with teaching and learning.

  16. MarkQui12591531

    LiterateGrumpy SchoolsImprove Labour closed no grammar schools in 13 yrs. Selective schs are greatest brake on social mobility.

  17. misterhutt

    ian_bec SchoolsImprove the piece of paper doesn’t make a person a good teacher. Talent and experience make a good teacher. #brainwashed

  18. misterhutt

    ian_bec SchoolsImprove So you’ve never interviewed a qualified but rubbish history teacher for your ‘big comprehensive’?

  19. ian_bec

    misterhutt SchoolsImprove I have interviewed better teachers and worse teachers; the “rubbish” (as you say) doesn’t get interviewed.

  20. misterhutt

    ian_bec SchoolsImprove clearly. When will people stop equating pieces of paper with talent? Sheep follow the flock.

  21. ian_bec

    misterhutt SchoolsImprove some did some did not. Neither of us can know how good these non-interviewees were. Especially you. Not proof.

  22. ian_bec

    misterhutt SchoolsImprove last time we advertised we had more than 50 applicants for 5 interviews. So only the outstanding applicants had>

  23. misterhutt

    ian_bec all hoops are meaningless. Teachers don’t become great by getting bits of paper. They start with talent and are nurtured.

  24. misterhutt

    ian_bec look at many indie schls. They outstrip state. Gov aspires to their levels. Bits of paper don’t make great teachers.

  25. covrules

    misterhutt ian_bec too simplistic a view. Doesn’t take into account ind Sch = selective, parents pay so demand more & not true social mix

  26. covrules

    misterhutt ian_bec also my understanding is that ind sch’s have smaller class sizes & as parents pay pupils tend to have higher attendance

  27. ian_bec

    covrules misterhutt I agree. It is a different ball game. But obviously everybody who has attended a school believes themselves expert. >

  28. ian_bec

    covrules > My discussion with misterhutt has faltered rather on the question of specifics. But the prejudiced are making policy.

  29. ian_bec

    covrules misterhutt This govt believes that teaching is mere transmission of what they have decreed important. Both wrong and insulting.

  30. misterhutt

    ian_bec covrules Heads always been free to interpret how they wish. Best ones pick and choose what to use and what to ignore.

  31. misterhutt

    ian_bec covrules which specifics? Apologies for not replying immediately. Was on journey from Cairo to Alexandria. Road blocks a pest.

  32. ian_bec

    misterhutt covrules that sounds rather more exciting than twitter and my marking. Specifics about which parts of QTS you object to.

  33. ian_bec

    misterhutt covrules in practice that is broadly the case with the National Curriculum, but not exam specifications, though there is choice

  34. misterhutt

    ian_bec covrules obtaining QTS does not make a good teacher. It is just a series of hoops. But it doesn’t make a good teacher.

  35. ian_bec

    misterhutt covrules it does show somebody can cope with the various demands of the job once certificated however. That may not fulfil >

  36. ian_bec

    misterhutt covrules > your definition of “good teacher”, but it is still useful to know, and is an affirmation of basic efficacy.

  37. LiterateGrumpy

    MarkQui12591531 SchoolsImprove (2/2) Universal GSs gave opportunities to thousands of bright kids from less/ disadvantaged backgrounds.

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