Cameron’s Choice

David Cameron, Tory leader, is today quoted as calling for the creation of a ‘teaching elite’.


EducationState would like to remind Dave that to teachers and many people teaching is ALREADY an elite profession just as much as being a lawyer and doctor.

It is the strategy of both main UK parties to peddle the notion of crisis in the education system so that MPs can reaffirm their self-importance by coming up with ‘urgent’ solutions of their own.

Labour, as always, see the answer to this ‘crisis’ in more and more and more and more and more regulation (e.g Licences to Practice). The Blue Rinse Brigade see the answer in bringing in people from outside and creating an elite…assuming there isn’t one already!

If we assume there is a ‘crisis’ for one moment, then Tory Dave and chums will respond by upping the qualifying requirements for new teachers as well as recruiting bankers, lawyers, civil servants and anyone else who wants to have a go.

The proposals raise other questions: if it becomes easier to joining the teaching profession outside of the traditional route straight out of university, why would anyone bother with the latter anymore?

Dave also talks of making sure only those graduates with Second or First Class degrees become teachers but surely that is overlooking the experiences of those committed to teaching who, for whatever reason, failed to impress at university but have this ‘failure’ to inform their teaching strategies.

We learn from our mistakes, after all, and by creating an elite with only top grades isn’t our Dave creating a very middle class and wet-behind-the-ears elite that only knows success and hasn’t tasted failure? What good is that to state school kids where ‘failure’ is more of reality than the type of kid who went to Eton like Dave and his chums, or private school Ed Balls-Up and his mates for that matter?

That is not to say that our Dave didn’t make some sense on the question of quality. It is just that he didn’t know he was and he ultimately contradicted himself.

As he acknowledged, “Everyone remembers a teacher who made a difference through sheer force of personality.” In other words, Dave is saying it is personality that is the key factor.

If that is the case then David why bother creating more obstacles to people with personality from joining the profession? First and Second Class students do not necessarily have that personality, and you certainly don’t.


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