Feb 092009

Via Tim Worstall (yes, again), I find this piece in the Telegraph, in which the General Teaching Council for England indicates that it would very much appreciate it if all private school-teachers acquired an official teaching qualification as teachers in the state sector are required to do.

Such a qualification can be obtained on a one-year post-graduate teaching course, a one-year qualification-cum-experience course, or a degree in education.

Tim rightly takes issue with the box-ticking, hoop-jumping nature of this sort of requirement, labelling it ‘part of the spread of the hateful credentialism of our times.’

My own criticism is related to something else entirely, and not in any way influenced by the fact that I myself am an unqualified private-school teacher. According to the UK immigration website, teaching is a shortage occupation. Which means – I think I’m right in saying this – that there aren’t enough teachers.

So the solution to the teaching-shortage problem is to make it even more difficult for people to become or remain teachers. Riiiiiiiiight.

  4 Responses to “Supply and demand”

  1. You’re right, it’s another barrier to entry that’s unnecessary, and maddeningly interfering too. I reckon, though, whilst it might discourage potentially very good teachers, it might actually encourage rubbish ones (according to my definitions of good/rubbish, obviously).

    A pre-defined hoop like this would draw those who can’t or don’t think for themselves, but see the value of education only in terms of their progress against someone else’s standards. The people who think that learning is measurable and externally defined; and that only the right test/exam results are an adequate indicator of success – at school or in employment. The people I really wouldn’t want teaching my child.

    To use you as an example- an unqualified teacher who is nevertheless employed in a private setting – I would deduce from that you’re probably very good at what you do and more willing to accept that valuable learning is not only that which is delivered by a teacher or accredited in some way. With no further information at my disposal I would feel pretty confident about you teaching my child. And if I was able to read something like your (unquantifiable, untestable, unique) blog, then my mind would be further made up. Not because of the specific subject matter you might cover, or that I might tend to agree with you. But because you show a broad understanding of many contemporary issues and their inter-relatedness, and most important you challenge convention opinion and exercise critical thought.

    “Quality assurance mark” my arse.

  2. It’s another thread in the web that’s being spread to catch the private schools.

    Meddling of one sort and another, pointless raising of the bar on charitable status, dark threats about what might happen if they don’t share the facilities (paid for by their customers) with other people (who haven’t paid for them), and so on.

    They need to be bold enough to tell the State to take a hike.

  3. […] is points-based and extraordinarily complex. My background and qualifications (or lack thereof; see here) do not add up to the requisite number of points. The essential problem comes from my lack of […]

  4. I certainly hope they do that, although I suspect they won’t, especially when there are still rather prominent people out and about agitating for the abolition of private schools in general.

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