Academies given power to hire unqualified teachers

Thousands of state schools will be allowed to hire unqualified staff to teach for the first time because ministers believe the best teachers are “born, not made”.

More than half of secondary schools are now academies, according to the Department for Education.

Under existing rules, all mainstream state schools have had to ensure their teachers held “qualified teacher status” (QTS) after completing officially recognised training.

However, the Department for Education announced that academies will be given the same freedom that private schools have to hire anyone they think would succeed in the classroom.

Headteachers of academies will be able to employ professional scientists, engineers and musicians, or experienced staff from overseas, who could make excellent teachers but do not have QTS, the government said.

Under new contracts announced yesterday, all schools that become academies from November will automatically be given the new freedom to hire staff without QTS.

Michael Gove, the education secretary, will also allow all 1,957 existing academies, including around half of state secondary schools, to apply for the same power.

Mr Gove was unavailable for comment on his reforms, which are expected to be resisted by teachers’ unions.

The education secretary has already clashed with the two biggest teaching unions, the NASUWT and the NUT, over a series of changes that they say amount to an attack on teachers’ pay and working conditions.


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