Become a teacher in just 6 months

10 Mar 2009

 The government's latest idea is that high-flier recruits can be trained to become teachers in just six months. This seems a crazy notion and the timing is particularly odd.

 In times of economic recession, applications to teacher training always rise. This recession has been no exception. High quality graduates who might have considered more lucrative careers are willing to sacrifice big salaries for job security. So there is no need to take emergency measures at this time.

So why cause this damage to the teaching profession? Saying the brightest graduates can become fully trained teachers in just six months will undermine the other reforms this government has made to raise the standing of the profession. Would the government do the same for medical doctors? 

 Frankly, the existing one year PGCE is already too short. Cutting it by a further six months seems crazy. This would be shorter than programmes that offer education degrees online!

Yes, Teach First has been a success. And, yes, fast-track schemes may bring in valuable graduates in shortage disciplines such as maths and science. But while a graduate could start in the classroom, under supervision, after a few months, no-one should pretend they can possibly be the finished article.

What do you think? 

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