Can England staff its schools?

Key issues in the supply of Qualified Teachers in the light of the Education White Paper 2016 – a Scrutiny Seminar 4-6pm Monday June 6th 2016.

The Education White Paper 2016 makes bold claims for the supply of teachers in English schools and the future training of qualified teaching staff. The key thrust of the paper is to shift the balance of teaching into schools, asserting that existing moves to schools’ level, notably School Direct, have proved successful. Involvement of universities (HEIs) is to be limited to a few ‘top’ universities, while standards would be set by headteachers in a few elite training schools.

But are the proposals in Chapter 2 acceptable? Given the widely reported claims of teacher shortages, have the current systems proved successful? And will the proposals improve or damage the supply of Qualified Teachers? How do they relate to the ongoing policy of academisation, with the intention of allowing all schools to employ unqualified teaching staff?

It is a fundamental contradiction that schools following the plans outlined must apply a lengthy, variable accreditation process for qualification – without Qualified Teacher Status being granted – but academies can employ unqualified staff in the classroom.

The Scrutiny Seminar will examine three key issues in the light of the overall thrust of the paper and the ongoing debate on teacher shortages in English Schools. These are

* the implications for teacher training/education in English schools through accreditation at school level

* the role of school based training notably School Direct

* the effect on individual subject provision, with mathematics as a case study, with the definition of a mathematics teacher and the current drive through bursaries and adverts to attract staff suggesting specific and general issues with supply.

The speakers will be:

Alison Ryan of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers on the implications for schools

Professor Tony Brown, Professor of Mathematics Education at Manchester Met, on the latest research on School Direct provision

Dr Sue Pope, of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics and Associate Head of Department at Manchester Met, on the case study of supply of Mathematics teachers.

The meeting will be chaired jointly by Lord Watson of Invergowrie and Trevor Fisher of SOSS.

To book a place at the seminar send your details to It will take place in the House of Lords. Attendance applications must be received by 5pm on 3rd June.

Sponsored by the Symposium on Sustainable Schools (SOSS)