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Teaching Quality

Part of Opposition Day — [19th Allotted Day] — UNHCR Syrian Refugees Programme – in the House of Commons at 6:41 pm on 29th January 2014.

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Photo of Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan Shadow Minister (Education) 6:41 pm, 29th January 2014

Everything that my hon. Friend said was entirely accurate and has been confirmed by the letter. As I have said, we completely accept the explanation given in the letter. We accept everything that my hon. Friend has said, and the Secretary of State should accept that his support for unqualified teachers in taxpayer-funded schools is not supported by the School Partnership Trust Academies because it is wrong.

Given that the Secretary of State has given me some extra time, I will conclude my speech. As our motion says, no school system can surpass the quality of its teachers. That is why we need qualified quality professionals in our classrooms and better continuing professional development with revalidation to allow teachers to excel in their vocations. Yes, teaching is a vocation, as anyone who has watched programmes such as “Educating Yorkshire” or “Tough Young Teachers” or who has taught at any time in a school will know. That is why, despite the undermining of the teaching profession by the man who should be its greatest champion and advocate—the Education Secretary—teachers continue to put in hours long beyond their contractual obligations to help educate our children and build the future of this country. However, they cannot do that for ever without support and while being undermined, which is why we should strengthen, not weaken, their professional status, care about the time bomb of low morale, which this Secretary of State has armed, and pass this motion. Teachers and parents want a new direction and new leadership in education.