One of the reasons I got involved in politics was because of my passionate belief in education. I was educated in Kidderminster and the excellent teaching I received at King Charles and Kidderminster College inspired me to go into teaching as a career. As the father of a young daughter I know how important a well-trained and well-motivated teacher can be.
The Labour Party announced this week that the focus of a future Labour government would be on ensuring that our teachers are the very best and have the skills and qualifications to offer every child an excellent education.
Under the current Tory-led Government the focus has not been on improving teacher quality but obsessing over structural reforms. A lot of schools have undergone a lot of changes (with differing levels of success), while the most important component in a child’s education – the skills of the teacher – has not had nearly enough attention.
Since the Tory led government came into power, Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has talked down the profession, watered down standards in teaching and allowed unqualified teachers into our classrooms on a permanent basis. Labour would put an end to this policy. We want to raise the quality of teaching in every classroom. To achieve this we would want all teachers – in all state funded schools, including academies, to become qualified.
And once qualified, we want teachers to continue to develop and update their skills and knowledge throughout their careers so they stay up to date. In many other high-status professions – such as medicine, law and accountancy -; re-validating professional expertise at regular intervals is entirely normal, helping to raise levels of performance. We believe that it should be normal in teaching too. It is vital that this training is meaningful and not onerous but helps our teachers give the support they need. Our children deserve nothing but the best.
Dr Matt Lamb Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wyre Forest