The Government’s schools policy is taking school standards backwards: failing to meet teacher recruitment targets, placing unqualified teachers in our classrooms and talking down the teaching profession as the ‘enemies of promise’.
Day in, day out, it’s the teachers in our classrooms who hold the greatest influence over the learning and development of our children. We know that the quality of teaching makes the biggest difference to our children’s exam results, their character and their confidence.
We need to have a laser-like focus on reforms that will deliver a world-class teacher in every classroom by looking at the best systems, in particular Singapore. There, teachers have distinct, high status aspirations, like Master Teacher status, to keep the cream of the crop in the classroom.
Under this Government, instead of raising teaching standards, the Prime Minister has delivered a 16% rise in unqualified teachers in the last year alone. He has changed the rules to allow unqualified teachers into the classroom on a permanent basis. If we want to compete with the rising powers of the East, we should learn from their success.