By Angela Harrison
Education correspondent, BBC News
27 July 2012
England’s new academy schools can now hire unqualified teachers, after a change to the rules.
Government officials say this means academies will be free to hire “great linguists, computer scientists and other specialists who have not worked in state schools before”.
Unions for head teachers and teachers have attacked the move, describing it as a damaging backward step.
The change is immediate.
Until now, most state-funded schools could only employ people with what is known as “Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)”, meaning they have been trained and approved as meeting a range of standards.
Independent schools are exempt.
The change also brings academies in line with the new free schools, which are already free to employ people without QTS.
Academies, like free schools, are funded by the state but are semi-independent, outside of local authority control and have greater freedom over the curriculum and teachers’ pay and conditions than other schools.
‘Dereliction of duty’
The government says it still expects “the vast majority” of teachers to have the qualification, but that the change will allow head teachers to bring in professionals with “great knowledge and new skills”.
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “This policy will free up academies to employ professionals – like scientists, engineers, musicians, university professors, and experienced teachers and heads from overseas and the independent sector – who may be extremely well-qualified and are excellent teachers, but do not have QTS status.”
Christine Blower, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “This is a perverse decision by the Department for Education and a clear dereliction of duty.
“The NUT believes all children deserve to be taught by qualified teachers.
“Parents and teachers will see this as a cost-cutting measure that will cause irreparable damage to children’s education.”
The changes will apply to schools switching to become academies. Existing academies will have to apply to make the change by altering their contract (funding agreement) with the government.
About half of England’s secondary schools are now either academies or are in the process of becoming academies. Only a small percentage of primary schools have made the change.
Head teachers’ leaders have come out against the change too.
The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) described it a “significant backward step” which might damage the professionalism of teaching.
And Brian Lightman, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Teaching is a skill and the idea of employing individuals who have not been given the tools to do a professional job flies in the face of the coalition government’s aspiration of creating a high status profession.”
The headmaster of a leading independent school, Brighton College, has supported the changes.
In a statement released through the Department for Education, Richard Cairns said:
“I strongly believe that teachers are born not made and I will actively seek out teachers from all walks of life who have the potential to inspire children.
“At Brighton College, we have 39 teachers without formal teaching qualifications, including me,” he said,
“Once teachers are in the school, they have a reduced teaching timetable to allow them to spend time observing other good teachers and are actively mentored. By the end of the year, they are, in our view, better trained than any PGCE student.”
“Brighton College is the leading co-educational school in England“
The Sunday Times.
Academic results are consistently the best in Sussex and the best of any co-educational school in England.
The exam results at Brighton College are truly outstanding. Although there are other schools with excellent results, there are no other schools in the country that have seen their results across both GCSE and A-Level (as measured by The Sunday Times in their Parent Power supplement) improve every year for the last five years.
This continual rise has taken Brighton College to 18th place nationally; by far the best results in the region and the best of any mixed school in the United Kingdom.
In 2011, The Sunday Times described this as “an unparalleled achievement” and was one of the reasons why Brighton was declared England’s School of the Year 2011-12 by the newspaper.
Within Sussex, Brighton is the only school in the county in the Sunday Times’ UK Top 100 schools (18th in the UK).
Only one other Sussex school (Burgess Hill in 127th place) makes it into the UK Top 150.
Most schools at the very top of the league table are very selective.
Brighton is the exception.
At the College, we have managed to make huge strides in terms of exam results despite leaving the pass mark for Common Entrance at 55%.
This large improvement from entry at Year 7 or Year 9 to the final public exams is reflected in some of the best value-added scores in the country.
All Brighton College pupils are entered for examinations under the College’s centre number; no pupils are entered as private candidates or under a different centre number.
All of this is down to the school’s recruitment and retention of truly outstanding teachers who inspire children here to achieve more than anyone thought possible.
Below you can find a brief summary of the key percentages showing the improvement over the last five years.
The improvement over the last five years:
GCSE A Level A Level
Year (%A*/A) (%A*/A) (%A*-B)
2006 64.4 49.0 78.0
2007 64.4 60.3 88.1
2008 69.9 70.7 94.2
2009 76.5 70.6 95.3
2010 83.0 72.8 94.5
2011 91.1 77.8 95.8
At most universities world-wide, future EFL teachers are required to write in an academic style. Essays, research papers, and theses are examples of the most important academic writing that the student-teacher (hereafter ST) does. Furthermore, when they become EFL teachers, it is quite possible that they will teach students wishing to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels. However, there are few published, experiential accounts of how future EFL teachers are taught to do academic writing. In this article, I will attempt to fill that gap by sharing an account of an integrated, genre-based/process-writing experience in the Chilean context.
Click on the link below to get Teaching Academic Writing:
The global search for high-quality education, embedded in high-performing education systems, has taken on mythical proportions, almost resembling the alchemists’ quest to turn common metals into gold.
It is my hope that the present day search for global education, equitable and providing equality of opportunity for all, shall not cease until the “gold” we seek, has been found.
I therefore dedicate this book to all the educators, researchers, parents and students the world over, who strive to achieve this elusive goal,high-quality education for all the citizens of the world.
In this endeavour, it is my belief that the International Baccalaureate merits a closer look, based on their more than 40 year history of delivering consistently excellent results.
I add that all of the reflections and views in this book are mine alone, unless otherwise noted, and can not be attributed to my employer or any other organization I am affiliated with, past or present. For any errors or oversights, I bear the complete responsibility.
Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He is the Head of the English Department at Colegio Internacional SEK in Santiago, Chile.
He is the Co-Founder and Co-Organiser of EdCamp Santiago, free, participant-driven, democratic, conversation based professional development for teachers, by teachers. EdCamp Santiago 2012 was held at Universidad Mayor in Santiago.
Thomas is also a member of the Advisory Board for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL), where he also serves as a reviewer and as the HETL Ambassador for Chile.
Thomas enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. Thus far, he has written the following genres: romance, historical fiction, autobiographical, sports history/biography, and English Language Teaching. He has published a total of forty four (44) books overall.
The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family, his wife Gabriela, and his son, Thomas Jerome Baker, Jr.