Use of unqualified staff in schools continues to increase

Unqualified staff are being used deliberately by schools as cheap alternatives to qualified teachers, according to a survey by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union.

Over half (53%) of the over 7,000 respondents said they were working alongside unqualified staff. This number rose to 61% in academies.

Most respondents (65%) said they felt the situation was deteriorating because schools were unwilling or unable to pay for qualified teachers.

68% of respondents said that unqualified staff had been employed because their school had decided to take advantage of the Coalition Government’s decision to abolish the requirement for schools to employ qualified teachers.

The latest survey found evidence of unqualified staff performing duties such as:
·        regularly teaching lessons (90%). This figure rose to 91% for teachers in academies;
·        planning and preparing lessons (81%). This figure rose to 85% in academies;
·        assessing and monitoring pupils’ progress and achievements (76%). This figure rose to 83% for teachers in academies.

Representatives at the NASUWT’s Annual Conference in Birmingham will today denounce the Coalition Government’s attack on the professional status of teachers, during the debate on a motion which calls for the reintroduction of a statutory requirement for qualified teacher status in all schools.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“These figures demonstrate the scale of the problem across all schools which has been created by the Coalition Government.

“Parents no longer have the certainty of knowing that when they send their children to school they will be taught by a qualified teacher.

“Our children and young people have been robbed of a fundamental entitlement to be taught by qualified teachers.

“The decision to remove qualified teacher status had nothing to do with raising standards and everything to do with reducing costs, depressing teachers’ pay and feeding the free market.”

Notes to editors:

The NASUWT’s Annual Conference is being held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham from 18-21 April.

A report of the survey is attached.

Comments included:

“They work extremely hard for a poor wage (just a bit more than TAs). They are required to do the same as a teacher with little training and support. If anything it is exploitation. There should be either support or training in place or that they are required to do less than teachers. Schools are just cutting corners to save money”

“I think it totally undermines the profession and qualified teacher status.”

“Very often a school will go for the cheaper option.”

“The unqualified members of teaching staff at our school do not have the relevant skills or experience to ensure children's progress and I am extremely worried about the future of our school and the children's education.”

The full text of the motion is below:
Claudia Glasgow to move,
Deborah Long to second:
Conference denounces the Coalition Government’s attack on the professional status of teachers, which includes:
(i) the abolition of the statutory requirement for schools to employ teachers with qualified teacher status;
(ii) the redirection of funding away from university-led initial teacher education to school-based initial training and
(iii) the repeal of regulations governing the deployment of unqualified staff in classrooms.
Conference asserts that this attack on the teaching profession is an attack on the rights and entitlements of children and young people.
Conference endorses the continuing campaign of the national executive to publicise the adverse impact of the regulatory change on the pay, job security and recruitment of qualified teachers and on standards of education and to seek the reintroduction of a statutory requirement for qualified teacher status.
(Executive, Leeds)

Lena Davies
Press and Media Officer
0121 457 6250 / 07867 392746