3 August 2012
"Head teachers in mainstream and alternative provision academies will be given greater freedom over the teachers they employ giving them the same advantages as independent schools, Free Schools, Studio Schools and University Technical Colleges .
"Independent schools and Free Schools can already hire brilliant people who have not got QTS. We are extending this flexibility to all Academies so more schools can hire great linguists, computer scientists, engineers and other specialists who have not worked in state schools before. We expect the vast majority of teachers will continue to have QTS. This additional flexibility will help schools improve faster. No existing teacher contract is affected by this minor change.
"Existing academies can request for their funding agreements to be changed to include this new freedom if they wish.
"This policy will free up academies to employ professionals like scientists, engineers, musicians, university professors, and experienced teachers and heads from overseas and the independent sector who may be extremely well-qualified and are excellent teachers, but do not have QTS status.
"As with the independent sector and Free Schools, the vast majority of teachers employed will continue to have QTS, as it will remain the highly-respected professional status for teachers and one that all teachers training in the state sector must continue to meet.
"This new freedom for academies will allow them to bring in professionals who will bring a wealth of knowledge and new skills into our state schools."
Various independent school head teachers have supported the policy, arguing that "training does not make the best teachers".
Critics of the idea argue that this devalues teaching as a profession.
How do you raise teaching standards while encouraging the employment of unqualified teachers? If QTS "will remain the highly-respected professional status for teachers and one that all teachers training in the state sector must continue to meet" why allow some to teach without it?
Doesn't this contradict the Government's new School Direct training programme for QTS; bursaries scheme to encourage top graduates to become teachers, and tougher English and maths tests for trainee teachers striving for QTS?
Other professions such as medicine or the law would not allow the unqualified to practise or permit "great" and "well-qualified" teachers to enter their ranks without training and qualification.
Do let us know your thoughts.
Poll results (3 August – 25 September 2012):
Should all teachers in state-funded schools have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)?:
Yes: 72% (62 votes)
No: 28% (24 votes)
Total Votes: 86