The BBC has reported that Labour is considering announcing a plan for teachers to be licensed every few years in order to work in England’s schools (Olly from PSI: the evasive language suggests this is very much in testing the water territory).
Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said that regular re-licensing of teachers would allow the worst ones to be sacked whilst helping others to receive more training and development. Teaching unions have criticised the projected policy as “pointless”, while Conservatives responded that they had already taken steps to improve teaching standards.
Former Schools Secretary Ed Balls – the current Shadow Chancellor – proposed a so-called “licence to practise” in 2009, which the dubbed a “teacher MOT”. The plan was dropped after the National Union of Teachers said it would be “another unnecessary hurdle” for teachers while the Association of Teachers and Lecturers said it would be a “bureaucratic nightmare” to introduce.
Olly from PSI: After spending the majority of this Government on the back foot in regards to education policy, this announcement suggests that Labour are trying to go on the offensive by proposing a policy that shows three political strands; that Labour has its own ideas to raise teaching standards and are willing to propose policies unpalatable to unions, while the “teacher MOT” plan is also a useful vehicle (excuse the pun) to attack the Coalition for allowing academies to hire unqualified teachers.