Chris Ray letter to the Telegraph: Teachers should have an appropriate degree, and on-the-job training

In a letter to the Telegraph, 20/06/13, Dr Chris Ray argues that  teachers should have an appropriate degree, and on-the-job training Current teacher training and calls for PGCEs to be reformed.

SIR – Prof Tom Burkard (Letters, June 18), noting the many excellent but “unqualified” teachers in our fee-paying independent schools, is right to point out the irrationality inherent in the shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg’s promise to remove unqualified teachers from free schools and academies.

Of course, within the independent sector most of the teachers “without qualifications” lack only a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE); typically they do possess degrees in the subjects they teach. Sadly rather too many “qualified” teachers in the state-maintained sector do not possess appropriate degree-level academic qualifications.

It is time for a complete rethink on teacher training. All new entrants to the profession should be apprentices guided by other skilled, experienced teachers at the “chalk face” itself. Those in specialist teacher-training institutions currently providing PGCE courses might then refocus their expertise upon support for those wishing to take genuinely academic postgraduate degrees in education. These institutions could also offer short, intensive assessment programmes for those interested in becoming teachers.

Dr Christopher Ray 
High Master 
The Manchester Grammar School

Click here to read the letter.