Clegg at odds with government over unqualified teachers


Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has criticised the Department for Education's policy of allowing unqualified people to teach in certain state schools, predicting that it "will not stand the test of time".`

The Liberal Democrat leader has attacked the policy before, when he argued that free schools should not be allowed to employ unqualified people.

He was asked by Labour MP Kevin Brennan during questions on 8 July 2014 how the policy came to be adopted, given that it was in neither party manifesto, and in light of Lib Dem opposition.

Mr Clegg said the Lib Dems believed that "all teachers should be qualified or seeking qualification", but the Department for Education, led by Conservative Cabinet Minister Michael Gove, had introduced the policy.

"It is something which in my view will not stand the test of time because I think most parents want to know that their children... are being taught by properly qualified teachers," he added.

Before the rules were relaxed, state-funded schools could only employ teachers on a permanent basis if they had completed teacher training.

The government says the changes allow schools to hire talented people and the vast majority of teachers will continue to have the recognised qualification.

Labour has promised to make qualified teacher status a requirement for permanent teaching staff in state schools.

After the question session, MPs pressed Attorney General Dominic Grieve and his team on matters including the Court of Appeal, regional variations in conviction rates, and prosecutions of child abuse offences.