Licence to teach - what do you think?

05 Jul 2009

First we had the expectation that all teachers will gain a master in Teaching and Learning within their first 5 years in the job. Now the government has said it will introduce a 5-year renewable 'licence to teach'. 

 What is going on? Is this all about raising the status of teachers? Or is it about copying the tough entry standards - and good CPD - that exists in countries like Singapore, Finland, and Hong Kong?

On the one hand, it seems to be an acceptance that the real key to raising education standards is not simply setting government targets, or having a series of latest wheezes and gimmicks, but improving the quality of teachers. That may be good news.

 But it might also be seen as a lack of trust in the teaching profession and the imposition of further, unnecessary burdens on school staff.

 After lively exchanges on this website about the MTL, I'd be very interested to hear your views, especially if you are a teacher.

User Comments

Paddy McGrath - 05 Jul 2009

Licence to teach

The difference between the least effective and most effective classrooms is four fold, that is students take 6 months to learn in the most effective classrooms what its take 2 years to learn in the least effective. I just hope they set the bar high enough

Mark - 05 Jul 2009

Teacher MOT

Schools currently undergo high level, high stakes scrutiny of their performance through inspections and the publishing of their examination results. A school's overall A*-C percentage & their last Ofsted judgement are in reality the measure of its success. Both of these indicators are extremely blunt tools that can often fail to capture a school's strengths or weaknesses. The absolute neccessity of getting these two measures right results in an inordinate amount of pressure placed on teachers; pressure that is rarely found in other sectors. The "terror of performativity" will only be enhanced by the introduction of a Teacher MOT & will once again fail to allow teachers to get on with educating the country's young people. However, if the government is insistent on enacting this policy, I'd be happy to agree to it only if an MP MOT is brought out alongside, so that our elected representatives can also continually prove they are up to the required standard.

Sophie Toovey - 13 Jul 2009

Teacher MOT

I completely understand many teachers feeling that too often the government is breathing down their necks negatively rather than offering support, but I think that if done in the right way, a regular MOT would prove very helpful to teachers.

I've just finished my second year of teaching, and I really appreciate people observing me and helping me to become a better teacher. I think that OFSTED produces a flurry of activity when actually you need teachers who are consistently good rather than just pulling out all the stops for an inspection.

I think one of the main problems schools face is how to deal with teachers who have been in the profession for years and do not seek to improve their practice or rejuvenate their material. This could be a really good idea.

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