‘Teach First’ but for how long?

We see that the “Tories back ‘Teach First’ scheme”.

High Fliers

It seems sensible to encourage ‘high-flying’ graduates to join the teaching profession so that they can pass on their skills and experience.

However, we would argue that this scheme is not the answer to teacher recruitment and retention. Improved working conditions especially eradicating all paperwork and restoring lesson planning freedom and creativity are.

We would also argue that Teach First is public-private initiative (sorry, ‘charity’) that line the pockets of former civil servants and business people while hiding behind slogans and bold statements of intent (“a powerful social change initiative aimed at tackling educational disadvantage in challenging schools around the UK”).

Cherry-picking 500 teachers on the condition that they can leave after a few years is a joke. What does that say to the other ‘inferior’ teachers? That teaching, if you have enough ability, is simply a stepping stone to better paid, more suitable career? Morale is low enough as it is without rubbing this in.

And what about these high-fliers? Is there a correlation between being good academically and being a successful teacher? Where’s the research and proof?

Lastl, it is hardly value for money to train teachers up and then suggest they leave.

This and similar schemes have been latched onto by the political parties because they’ve given up. They’ve decided that reform can only come from outside. Government famously is addicted to outside consultants and this is just one more example

Reduce bureaucracy, allow teachers to teach, stop changing things for change sake and trust new and existing teachers to do a good job. That’s the answer.

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