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Teaching Quality

Part of Opposition Day — [19th Allotted Day] — UNHCR Syrian Refugees Programme – in the House of Commons at 5:41 pm on 29th January 2014.

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Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Conservative, Kingswood 5:41 pm, 29th January 2014

That is a good point and I welcome its being placed on the record.

Another problem is the Labour party’s definition of “working toward QTS” including a two-year cut-off. I would appreciate the shadow Secretary of State putting it on the record whether the axe would come down at the end of that period. Would the 14,000 who are still unqualified simply lose their jobs because they had not gained QTS in that period?

There is an elephant in the room in this debate in respect of QTS, which is that are plenty of bad teachers who have QTS. The problem is that defining a good teacher as one who has QTS is nothing short of protectionism. The General Teaching Council estimated under the previous Government that there were 17,000 teachers with QTS who were underperforming and should not be in the classroom, but in the past 15 years, and even up to this day, we see bad teachers not being removed from the classroom or sacked, but instead being managed out. Up to 2010, only 18 teachers had been removed altogether from the teaching profession for poor teaching standards. What we see is this “dance of the lemons”—teachers moving from one school to another, into deprived areas, which are the areas that suffer the most. That is a national scandal. We need transparency—