Teachers should have university degrees

Filling the pail

There is an interesting debate raging in the U.K. after the government proposed a wholly vocational route into teaching. Although it is intended to be a ‘degree equivalent’, trainee teachers would not graduate from university in the traditional way and would instead learn on the job. The initial reaction from many teachers on Twitter was that this would deprofessionalise teaching and suspicions were raised that it is intended as a cheap solution to the problem of teacher supply. Under current arrangements apprentices may be paid as little as £3.50 per hour, which is far less than paying for proper teachers. Schools that are struggling to manage their budgets might find this attractive.

Others then weighed-in to the discussion, sensing hypocrisy. Backing the government, Sean Harford of the English schools’ inspectorate, Ofsted, accused teachers of preaching the equivalence of vocational and academic routes yet not wanting it for their own profession.


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