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Michael Gove insists teachers "must be better"

In a speech yesterday the Shadow Schools Secretary Michael Gove insisted that teachers needed to be better qualified before entering the classroom.  He said that students would be required to obtain at least a "B" grade in GCSE Maths and English before teaching primary schoolchildren.   Students with a third class degree will also be turned away from teacher training postgraduate courses if a Conservative government is elected.  1,200 such students are usually accepted on to teacher training courses each year.  He also announced "an end to multiple re-sits".  Trainee teachers can currently re-sit the literacy and numeracy tests as many times as they choose.

Talking to the Institute of Physics he said:

"We need to ensure those entering the profession, particularly those in primary schools, have the level of knowledge required to really stretch all our pupils. The current hurdle of C grades in English and maths are too low. Under a Conservative Government, we will raise the bar for primary teachers."

Mary Bousted of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers gave a lukewarm reception to the announcement (quoted in The Telegraph):

"Being a maths genius does not mean you will be any good at teaching children, particularly primary children. There’s more to English and maths than phonics and numeracy. Unless primary teachers understand the different ways children learn and develop, so that they know how best to teach each child in their class, any mathematical expertise will be of little use.”

Tim Montgomerie


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