Posted by Peter on 10th March 2009

News: fast track teacher training for out of work bankers

The Government are planning for ‘outstanding people’ to qualify as teachers in just six months.
Schools Minister, Jim Knight’ stated today that:
“By cutting the initial teacher training course to six months for the most able candidates, we will make teaching a more attractive choice for experienced people who want to get into the classroom quickly, but need high quality initial teacher training.”
Perhaps the question to ask is what do they mean by ‘experienced people’? A clue comes from another Minister, Liam Byrne, who has said that the six month course is for “good people” with “life experience behind them”.
He goes on to say,
We know there are a lot of fantastic mathematicians, for example, who would have once perhaps gone into the City but now actually might be more interested in a career in teaching.”
Once again, this appears to be devaluing the training that teachers have to do before qualifying, and, unfortunately, having good maths skills suited to work in the Stock Exchange is not necessarily what is needed to teach in tough schools with children who find the subject difficult. Many excellent mathematicians find it impossible to understand other people’s difficulties in the subject.
As Mary Bousted, General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said,
“It sounds like an employment scheme for unemployed bankers”.

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