The teaching profession

Currently one in three teachers is quitting the classroom within his or her first five years. We would address this by valuing the profession, creating better working conditions and opportunities.

We commit to making teaching a Masters’ level profession, beginning with a requirement for all newly qualified teachers to be working towards a government-funded master’s degree in education or a subject relevant to their classroom work within five years. We would also encourage practising teachers to obtain the qualification through part-time study.

In addition, we would:

  • Improve the teacher-student ratio, to enable more group and one-to-one tuition.
  • Develop career pathways including mentorship schemes and reform of incentive schemes.
  • Appoint more non-teaching staff to deal with pupil needs beyond education.
  • Simplify the supply teacher structure by reverting to a system run by Local Education Authorities. All education workers, full-time and supply teachers alike, should have access to continual professional development throughout their careers.
  • Conduct a review of Initial Teacher Education and Continuing Professional Development to ascertain their relevance to the demands of the new curriculum.

Teaching assistants and support staff have a critical part to play in making schools organisers of experience beyond the school boundaries. We would develop this as part of a more attractive and formalised role for teaching assistants who currently do not have a clear career pathway.

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