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Teachers need fewer qualifications than burger bar employees thanks to   Government education reforms, Labour claimed.

McDonald's head chef has stated he does not believe any of the food served by the fast food chain is unhealthy.

“Under David Cameron, we have this situation where you now need more qualifications to work as a shift manager at McDonald’s than to become a teacher,” Mr Hunt said. Photo: Getty Images


7:13PM GMT 30 Oct 2013

Shift managers at McDonald’s require more qualifications than teachers under   Michael Gove’s flagship free schools, Tristram Hunt, the shadow education   secretary, claimed.

Free school headteachers are able to hire staff without formal teaching   qualifications, like their counterparts in the private sector.

Mr Hunt, a television historian before entering parliament, said the    “wholesale deregulation” of schools had undermined teachers and would drive   down standards.

“Under David Cameron, we have this situation where you now need more   qualifications to work as a shift manager at McDonald’s than to become a   teacher,” Mr Hunt said.

“I am pleased McDonald’s insist on qualifications for their shift managers.   It’s surprising and alarming that Education Secretary Michael Gove doesn’t   operate in the same way.”

He added: “The quality of our teaching system determines the success of our   education system, so it makes no sense to water down standards for teachers.”

In 2008 the fast food restaurant introduced an A-level standard Diploma in   Shift Management, endorsed by Ofqual, the qualifications watchdog.

The on-the-job course is examined by a multiple-choice examination, practical   assessments and coursework and teaches business principles and people   management.

Mr Gove’s department insists state-funded schools should be able to employ   untrained teachers in the same way that private schools “hire the great   linguists, scientists, engineers and other specialists they know can best   teach and inspire their pupils”.

But the policy has caused a split in the Coalition, with the Liberal Democrats   supporting Labour calls for teachers to require teaching qualifications.

David Laws, the Liberal Democrat schools minister, yesterday spoke in defence   of Mr Gove’s policy in the Commons, before abstaining on the vote.

The Labour motion, to force all teachers to have a minimum standard of   qualifications, was defeated by 263 to 229 after only one Liberal Democrat   voted with the Government.

Defending his party’s stance on teachers, he said it came down to “some   of the responsibilities that come with government, some of the need for   compromises in coalition”.

Kevin Brennan, the shadow education minister, raising a point of order,   suggested the Liberal Democrat stance was in breach of “the voice and vote   provision of Erskine May”, the House of Commons rulebook.

Eleanor Laing, the deputy speaker replied: “As you are aware, the way in   which individual members decide to use their right to vote is not a matter   for the chair.”

Mr Gove said Mr Hunt’s position would force unqualified free school teachers   to lose their jobs.

He said Mr Hunt had enjoyed good teaching at a private school before going to   Cambridge, but wanted to “deny that teaching to poor children”.

“It is the same old Labour Party, do as I say, not as I do. A Labour Party   willing to pull up the ladder form the next generation, a Labour Party which   has benefited from all the advantages that money can buy and then when the   poor come knocking on the door, saying liberate us from ignorance, says   ‘sorry, no, we’re with the unions, we’re not on your side’,” he said.

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3 thoughts on “Teachers less qualified than McDonald’s staff, say Labour ( U.K. )

  1. Muslim children need Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. A Muslim school in Derby is in a mess because the Board of Governors employed non-Muslim head and a couple of non-Muslim female teachers. An un-qualified Muslim teacher is far better than a highly qualified non-Muslim teachers. A Muslim teacher understand the needs and demands of the Muslim children. He/she is in abetter position to educate their children. Education does not mean A to C Grades and a Muslim school is not supposed to be an Exam factory. Islamic schools protect Muslim children from the onslaught of Euro-centrism, homosexuality, racism, and secular traditions

    “There is no requirement for teaching staff to hold appropriate qualifications or have the necessary experience; there is no requirement to follow the national curriculum, which does work towards recognised qualifications, … ”and in a different paragraph: In my town the children attending the state schools have below average attainments at GCSE compared to the national average. The children are not achieving their full potential and are being let down by the qualified teachers at these schools. Although I’ve no doubt that there are many non-‘qualified’ people who could teach as well as, or better than, many of those certificated to do so. A very real concern is that those who teach in state schools (often also including “assistants”) lack proficiency in the subjects they teach, even at the most basic levels. In those circumstances, what they are doing is not teaching, but inculcating wrong information or none at all. Curriculum seems to have been dumbed down to accommodate teachers who probably would never have passed the subject at O level in times gone by – let alone A level or a degree.

    The question of qualified and unqualified teachers is a bit like elf ‘n safety; all is well if the paperwork is OK. Some years ago, Gareth Malone gave a group of ‘specialist’ primary school maths teachers a test paper designed for 11 year olds; not a single one got 100% – in Maths. I don’t understand why this is an issue. A graduate can become a qualified teacher by spending 1 year learning their craft on the job. After that they are a qualified teacher. This is hardly an onerous requirement. It is a good opportunity to see whether they are suited to the profession and to learn the skills (other than a knowledge of the subject matter) that are required to manage a classroom, produce lesson plans etc. It isn’t a question of “freedom and choice” it is a basic question of competence and safety. When public money is spent on appointing 27 year old think-tank workers as head teachers and they are walking out after a month because they can’t cope then it throws schools into chaos. When you are giving public money to the wife of a schools minister to run a chain of academies and 2 of her 4 heads leave in a month that isn’t good either.

    I remember from my school days that the best teachers were those that had worked in industry first and went into teaching late in life. I think a mandatory 12 months teaching course is a barrier to such folk entering teaching. We have some of the worst sink schools in the entire developed world full of people with qualified teacher status, and most of those teachers I wouldn’t want anywhere near my children. I don’t see qualified teacher status has done anything to help those schools which have been rubbish for over 40 years that I know of.

    You better teach your children in your own schools and let migrant communities teach their children according to their needs and demands. British Establishment and society should concentrate on the evils of their own society and stop trying to change the way of life of Muslims. Muslim community does not want to integrate with the British society, indulging in incivility, anti-social behaviour, drug and knife culture, binge drinking, teenage pregnancies and abortion. Prince Charles, while visiting the first grant maintained Muslim school in north London, said that the pupils would be the future ambassadors of Islam. But what about thousands of others, who attend state schools deemed to be “sink schools”? In education, there should be a choice and at present it is denied to the Muslim community. In the late 80s and early 90s, when I floated the idea of Muslim community schools, I was declared a “school hijacker” by an editorial in the Newham Recorder newspaper in east London. This clearly shows that the British media does not believe in choice and diversity in the field of education and has no respect for those who are different. Muslim schools, in spite of meagre resources, have excelled to a further extent this year, with couple of schools achieving 100% A-C grades for five or more GCSEs. They beat well resourced state and independent schools in Birmingham and Hackney. Muslim schools are doing better because a majority of the teachers are Muslim. The pupils are not exposed to the pressures of racism, multiculturalism and bullying.

    There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This mean the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam’s teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline, structure and boundaries. Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their needs and demands.
    Iftikhar Ahmad
    London School of Islamics Trust

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