I would like to pose some questions:-

Does having a teaching qualification and qualified teacher status make you a good teacher?

Well, of course not, I was taught by and have seen some pretty awful teachers who were qualified.

Is there such a thing as a good teacher who is not qualified?

Most certainly there is. I have worked with some fantastically talented teachers who were not QTS.

So then, what’s all the fuss about academies and free schools using unqualified teachers?

By using the same logic as above, I am sure there are some people who can competently drive a car but have not got a driving licence. The law says that they are not allowed to drive on public roads until they get a licence, even if they have a PhD in driving, or get it back because they have been disqualified for some misdemeanour.

Why? Well because, although the driving licence doesn’t make anyone a good driver at least it guarantees a minimum level of ability and hopefully keeps the dangerous drivers off the road. (Although I sometime wonder about this when driving around the M25).

The same type of restrictions apply across all the professions, doctors, nurses, airline pilots, you name it. So why should teaching be any different?

I would suggest that to be a good teacher you need to have an excellent knowledge of the subject your are teaching, the patience of a saint and, above all, a commitment to the job.

Along with that commitment should go the desire to make oneself a better teacher through further training and CPD, and that should include getting QTS if you haven’t got it.

I know that I often moaned about the irrelevant things that were taught on my PGCE year and the long, turgid two hour lectures that told me that learning should be contained in no more than 20 minute blocks because that’s as long as anyone can concentrate, but there was more that was relevant and has helped me through my career.

Lastly, what does this say about safeguarding our children? At the moment it is possible to have QTS removed for a misdemeanour that won’t appear on a CRB check. Does that mean that, someone who is ‘struck off’ can apply for a job as a non-qualified teacher? Can anyone with a clean CRB teach our children whatever they have done?

One thing I really can’t understand is, why, oh why doesn’t Michael Gove want to employ the best teachers he can to educate our children. It couldn’t have anything to do with money, could it?