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Wednesday saw an Opposition Day Debate on qualified teacher status (QTS). Tristram Hunt, the recently appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Education started the debate by outlining the opposition’s policy that all teachers in state funded schools should have or be working towards, qualified teacher status. He pointed out that the best performing education systems in the world, such as Finland, had highly selective teaching professions that took the best candidates with high level qualifications.
The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, reiterated the Government’s support of the policy of allowing unqualified teachers in schools, explaining that in fact there were more teachers in schools that were unqualified under Labour then there are now under the coalition Government. Mr Gove questioned the wisdom of a policy that would result in the sacking of good teachers in schools, simply because they did not have QTS.
There was much debate in the House of Commons on the issue, which fell largely on party lines. All parties were agreed that it was important for great teaching and that this was the key issue in improving child outcomes.
The proposal by Labour for all teachers to be qualified did not pass in the House.
Opposition Day Debate - Hansard