M616 – Education Reform Motion 2020

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Andrew97
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M616 – Education Reform Motion 2020, Miss Maddie MP

Education in the UK is under-performing. The most recent PISA results place the UK 15th in English and Science and 18th in Maths. Part of the problem is the lack of qualification of the teachers. For example, 7,500 secondary school maths teachers in England have nothing higher than an A Level in maths (including lack of cognate degrees), more than a third of physics teachers have no physics degrees and more than 20% of maths and English teachers have no higher qualification than A Level (including lack of cognate degree). More than 25% of chemistry teachers have no higher qualification than A level (including lack of cognate degree). It is clear a large proportion of pupils are being taught by teachers lacking extensive subject knowledge. [All 1 and 2]

The quality of entry to teacher training is high with 18% of entrants having a first in their subject. Maths has an 88.9% employment rate so 1 in 10 of graduates are without a job. At the same time there is a shortage of maths teachers. Physics also has 1 in 10 graduates unemployed, engineering has 15% unemployed. The government is failing to capitalise on highly intelligent, unemployed graduates who could teach GCSEs in their subject with ease. It is a disservice to our young people that maths lessons are taught by PE and geography teachers who barely have a GCSE in maths when there are thousands of unemployed maths graduates. The same is true for other STEM subjects.

Who would you rather teach maths: a non-qualified maths graduate who knows a lot about maths or a qualified teacher who knows nothing about maths? At present the latter is happening.

We are irresponsibly focusing on a qualification to teach rather than a qualification in the subject they want to teach. To improve the situation, this House calls on the government to introduce the following reforms.

1. QTS needs to be easier to achieve. QTS should have three ways of being achieved: QTS through education, through on-the-job learning and through workplace experience. QTS through education is taking an introductory teaching module as part of your undergraduate degree in your third year at university. This module will award QTS and allow graduates to step right into a school as a qualified teacher. QTS through on-the-job training allows graduates to step into a classroom and gain QTS through a year-long teaching programme (think a scheme similar to Teach First for any graduates wanting to teach without the teaching module in third year). QTS workplace experiences for people with five years’ experience in a cognate industry gaining QTS on application and becoming a teacher. If someone is capable of explaining medical problems to patients, they will be capable of explaining biology to GCSE students. PGCEs as a postgraduate course would be abolished.

2. All STEM subjects need to be taught by teachers with a degree in the subject (or people who have a cognate degree) within five years.

3. All restrictions on state schools employing teachers without QTS needs to be lifted. The judgement of who would make a good teacher needs to be left to the head teacher.

4. Fine schools if STEM subjects are taught by teachers without the required qualification (see point 2).

5. Ban primary school STEM subjects being taught by idiots. For example, a teacher with a C in GCSE maths teaching primary school maths needs to be stopped. Teachers teaching the basics need to know the basics inside out. A love for subjects develops at a young age and a teacher struggling in maths does not encourage that love. We need to avoid situations where pupils grow up fearing maths and science.

6. Increase a teacher’s salary when they have a degree related to their subject. Teaching needs to be a more worthwhile profession to attract the talented people.

7. Give every teacher and prospective teacher a spelling and grammar test. It is time to clamp down on uneducated teachers. If a teacher fails to consistently use correct grammar, they need to be sacked.

Sources:

https://fullfact.org/education/are-t...nderqualified/
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/e...-a7829801.html
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04MR17
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Seconds away, round 3. **ding ding**

I'm going to have a lot of fun with this one. This really does feel like my week in MHoC at the moment...
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Theloniouss
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In response to the: "Who would you rather teach maths: a non-qualified maths graduate who knows a lot about maths or a qualified teacher who knows nothing about maths? At present the latter is happening."

I doubt that there are any maths teachers who know 'nothing' about maths. I am also confident that if you have a good A level in maths, you can easily teach GCSE maths and below - your quality as a teacher being far more important than your quality as a mathematician.

I wholly support preventing teachers with only a C in maths (or English) GCSE from teaching primary. I think that the academic (if you can call GCSEs that) qualifications for being a primary school teacher are far too low - I'm not 100% sure if higher GCSE requirements are an effective solution though.

When it comes to spelling and grammar, that should be subject-specific. A maths teacher who can't spell? Nobody cares. A music teacher with poor grammar? Same thing.

I also think that "The judgement of who would make a good teacher needs to be left to the head teacher." Conflicts slightly with later points.

Overall, I think I would support this motion - some revisions would be nice though.
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Moonbow
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(Original post by Andrew97)
M616 – Education Reform Motion 2020, Miss Maddie MP

Education in the UK is under-performing. The most recent PISA results place the UK 15th in English and Science and 18th in Maths. Part of the problem is the lack of qualification of the teachers. For example, 7,500 secondary school maths teachers in England have nothing higher than an A Level in maths (including lack of cognate degrees), more than a third of physics teachers have no physics degrees and more than 20% of maths and English teachers have no higher qualification than A Level (including lack of cognate degree). More than 25% of chemistry teachers have no higher qualification than A level (including lack of cognate degree). It is clear a large proportion of pupils are being taught by teachers lacking extensive subject knowledge. [All 1 and 2]

The quality of entry to teacher training is high with 18% of entrants having a first in their subject. Maths has an 88.9% employment rate so 1 in 10 of graduates are without a job. At the same time there is a shortage of maths teachers. Physics also has 1 in 10 graduates unemployed, engineering has 15% unemployed. The government is failing to capitalise on highly intelligent, unemployed graduates who could teach GCSEs in their subject with ease. It is a disservice to our young people that maths lessons are taught by PE and geography teachers who barely have a GCSE in maths when there are thousands of unemployed maths graduates. The same is true for other STEM subjects.

Who would you rather teach maths: a non-qualified maths graduate who knows a lot about maths or a qualified teacher who knows nothing about maths? At present the latter is happening.

We are irresponsibly focusing on a qualification to teach rather than a qualification in the subject they want to teach. To improve the situation, this House calls on the government to introduce the following reforms.

1. QTS needs to be easier to achieve. QTS should have three ways of being achieved: QTS through education, through on-the-job learning and through workplace experience. QTS through education is taking an introductory teaching module as part of your undergraduate degree in your third year at university. This module will award QTS and allow graduates to step right into a school as a qualified teacher. QTS through on-the-job training allows graduates to step into a classroom and gain QTS through a year-long teaching programme (think a scheme similar to Teach First for any graduates wanting to teach without the teaching module in third year). QTS workplace experiences for people with five years’ experience in a cognate industry gaining QTS on application and becoming a teacher. If someone is capable of explaining medical problems to patients, they will be capable of explaining biology to GCSE students. PGCEs as a postgraduate course would be abolished.

2. All STEM subjects need to be taught by teachers with a degree in the subject (or people who have a cognate degree) within five years.

3. All restrictions on state schools employing teachers without QTS needs to be lifted. The judgement of who would make a good teacher needs to be left to the head teacher.

4. Fine schools if STEM subjects are taught by teachers without the required qualification (see point 2).

5. Ban primary school STEM subjects being taught by idiots. For example, a teacher with a C in GCSE maths teaching primary school maths needs to be stopped. Teachers teaching the basics need to know the basics inside out. A love for subjects develops at a young age and a teacher struggling in maths does not encourage that love. We need to avoid situations where pupils grow up fearing maths and science.

6. Increase a teacher’s salary when they have a degree related to their subject. Teaching needs to be a more worthwhile profession to attract the talented people.

7. Give every teacher and prospective teacher a spelling and grammar test. It is time to clamp down on uneducated teachers. If a teacher fails to consistently use correct grammar, they need to be sacked.

Sources:

https://fullfact.org/education/are-t...nderqualified/
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/e...-a7829801.html
1. QTS needs to be easier to achieve. QTS should have three ways of being achieved: QTS through education, through on-the-job learning and through workplace experience. QTS through education is taking an introductory teaching module as part of your undergraduate degree in your third year at university. This module will award QTS and allow graduates to step right into a school as a qualified teacher. QTS through on-the-job training allows graduates to step into a classroom and gain QTS through a year-long teaching programme (think a scheme similar to Teach First for any graduates wanting to teach without the teaching module in third year). QTS workplace experiences for people with five years’ experience in a cognate industry gaining QTS on application and becoming a teacher. If someone is capable of explaining medical problems to patients, they will be capable of explaining biology to GCSE students. PGCEs as a postgraduate course would be abolished.
Aye, I agree that it should be much easier to access for postgraduate students. It would be nice for them to be able to gain the necessary qualifications while working, and the school would be able to help them gain these.
2. All STEM subjects need to be taught by teachers with a degree in the subject (or people who have a cognate degree) within five years.
That is an admirable goal, but it is just convincing these post graduate students to go into teaching as a profession. The wage increase would have to be quite substantial for this to become even slightly achievable.
3. All restrictions on state schools employing teachers without QTS needs to be lifted. The judgement of who would make a good teacher needs to be left to the head teacher.
Aye. I believe they should be willing to work towards one whilst teaching however as part of the job requirements.
4. Fine schools if STEM subjects are taught by teachers without the required qualification (see point 2).
Nay, schools are tight on budget as it is and schools in deprived areas should be given help, not fined further. Sometimes, there is no choice other than to hire people who do not fit the requirements. I’ve seen it happen before. Only if there is capacity for this to be provided and it is being ignored, should the government give fines (though I am quite reluctant for fines on education in general).
5. Ban primary school STEM subjects being taught by idiots. For example, a teacher with a C in GCSE maths teaching primary school maths needs to be stopped. Teachers teaching the basics need to know the basics inside out. A love for subjects develops at a young age and a teacher struggling in maths does not encourage that love. We need to avoid situations where pupils grow up fearing maths and science.
Again, unfortunately it is sometimes unavoidable. It should be dealt with fairly on a case by case process and support should be given to schools with no other alternative.
6. Increase a teacher’s salary when they have a degree related to their subject. Teaching needs to be a more worthwhile profession to attract the talented people.
Aye! This definitely needs to be the case to encourage post graduate students especially.
7. Give every teacher and prospective teacher a spelling and grammar test. It is time to clamp down on uneducated teachers. If a teacher fails to consistently use correct grammar, they need to be sacked.

What about teachers with conditions such as dyslexia? Some of the most able teachers I’ve known struggle sometimes to spell certain words because of this and it would seem unfair to sack them if they have such an engaging and passionate way of teaching their subjects despite of this.


In conclusion Aye, but I would like to see some adjustments to solve some of the issues I’ve raised above.
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04MR17
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1. PISA isn't a good measure.
2. The reason for the lack of Maths and Physics degrees is a lot of these teachers have degrees in Engineering and a lot of other such subjects that are recognised as containing significant understandings of Maths and Physics without actually being degrees in Maths or Physics.
3. The IRL government have offered massive bursaries for Maths and Physics teachers for almost 10 years now.
4. The reason there are so many teaching vacancies is the increased government pressure on schools IRL, which has caused a huge number of teachers to leave the profession in what has been termed a recrtuiment and retention crisis. I'd argue that there is little point in wasting time recruiting teachers that will leave the sector altogether in 2 years time. This is the failing model we've been following IRL for years and this motion seeks to change very little about that process.
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LiberOfLondon
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In an ideal world Aye but unfortunately we need all the teachers we can get.

This is why we need to reintroduce grammar schools.
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Saracen's Fez
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Of the points in the motion, point 6 is probably the most important. We need an improvement in both pay and conditions for teachers if we want to improve the quality (particularly with respect to level of qualifications) of the profession. Just as in maths and science, MFL is a subject where there is a desperate shortage of teachers, and it's a subject that is too often taught by people who speak the languages quite badly. As someone with a first-class MFL degree from a good university (that I sometimes talk about), the idea of becoming a teacher is in some ways appealing, but the poor pay and extra-classroom responsibilities make the reality seem unappealing.

I object to point 3, and feel it risks undermining the principle of teacher qualifications.

On point 7, one of the great traditions of the English language is that there is no such thing as an official standard; it is dictated by the usage of native speakers. Long may that reality continue, and down with mindless prescriptivism!
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by LiberOfLondon)
This is why we need to reintroduce grammar schools.
Bizarre segue...
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04MR17
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5. Judging by the Motion, the author seems unfamiliar with SKE courses. They should really read up on these before coming into a debate.

6. An employment rate of 88ish% doesn't mean the rest are sitting around idly. Many will be going into further study for instance.

7. In my own personal experience, a better teacher but worse mathematician has benefited students more than a better mathematician who is worse at teaching. This motion seems to make a grand assumption that one is better than the other in all cases. I'm confident that such a comparison is accurate in some schools, but I am certain it isn't for all of them.

8. The QTS via workplace is a very dangerous idea. Not least for the disastrous retention rates it will very likely have.

9. Abolishing PGCEs and replacing them with a single module would reduce the content delivered on these courses by 87.5%. 87.5% of a teacher's training before they are able to get a teaching job would be gone. That is (in my view) very very irresponsible.

10. I'm not opposed to the suggestion of an easier bridge between an undergraduate degree and ITT. The suggestion here is unfeasible but I like the idea. The on the job suggestion is already the case across the country.
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TheDefiniteArticle
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No. This massively underestimates the difficulty of being an effective teacher, and you absolutely do not need a science degree to teach science to GCSE standard. Remove the routes to qualification without specialist teacher training and limit this to A Level and I'll support.
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Saracen's Fez
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I also feel like another issue being overlooked here is that subjects are often taught by non-specialists because there aren't enough classes to justify a teacher teaching x-subject full-time, or because a subject requires 2.5 teachers or something, and so you often have 3 teachers, having to fill the extra half a timetable teaching another subject, usually at a lower level.
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Napp
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Whilst some valid points are raised broadly it is a no from me for the reasons of impracticality, pointlessness and needlessly complicating the field.

In particular the idea that 'stem' subjects can only be taught by people with degrees in those subjects seems completely and utterly pointless. You do not need degree level knowledge in biology (or what not) to be able to teach a bunch of adolescents about it. Indeed, it could be considered harmful in certain areas of science where what needs to be known for GCSE-Alevels is factually incorrect compared to degree level knowledge (although that could be considered another point in its own right).
Equally this ignores the problem of finding enough teachers for these subjects, something that is already a problem and this motion would turn into a complete circus.
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04MR17
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11. I don't see why there needs to be discrimination which prioritises STEM subjects over others if we are talking about permanent measures.

12. I don't see why there needs to be discrimination against those who completed their degree 6 years ago rather than 5. Again, SKE courses have already solved that particular problem the author believes exists.

13. Are you suggesting that state schools need to employ teachers without QTS despite rewriting what is meant by QTS? This is genuine madness. You are readjusting something that you're also effectively abolishing. For the record academies in England (which is most state maintained schools now) do not need to employ teachers with QTS as standard.

14. Has the author ever heard of the Teachers Standards? I'd be curious to know how these would fit into existing plans.

15. I seriously question the logic of fining schools who can't afford to recruit good teachers, worsening the problem. This is simply illogical and counter-productive.
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04MR17
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Will we reach 20 problems with the Motion? :iiam:
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16. According to recommendation 5 in the Motion, children aged 4 should miss their Numeracy and science lessons for the next 7 years if their teachers do not match the sufficient qualifications. Mr Speaker I find it appalling that any member of the house could contemplate such an action and I question whether an absence of any teaching of numeracy or science would cure or enhance the fear that this motion suggests exists towards these subjects by pupils.

17. The more rigorous Maths GCSEs with the higher pass mark should hopefully alleviate the concerns that point 5 seeks to address. However the Motion does not offer an alternative grade requirement, simply stating that the current one is inadequate.

18. Point 6 calls for a teaching pay scale which is variable dependent on a teacher's qualifications. Such a pay scale already operates in many schools in England. I therefore find this recommendation irrelevant since it is already in place.

19. Mr Speaker I find point 7 INCREDIBLY ironic. The IRL government 3 years ago removed the requirement of trainee teachers to sit a compulsory literacy test. The reason? To encourage more people to apply to be teachers. Furthermore, many PGCE admissions processes still require literacy and/or numeracy tests.

20. This motion attempts to do 2 very contradictory things. It attempts to solve issues of teachers shortages and simultaneously cause the early retirement of thousands more.
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04MR17
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Mr Speaker, it's been a while since the house has been greeted by a motion as flawed as this one. And I must thank the author for providing me with the pleasure of deconstructing the points it seeks to make.

I urge the house in the strongest possible terms to oppose this motion and will be doing so myself in the division lobby.

I have highlighted here 20 reasons why the things this motion calls for are unsuitable for implementation into the English education system. I have done so without knowing the author of this motion (invisible on the app), but if that author happens to be in a party that claims to uphold the lack of state involvement in public affairs then I question whether they belong in the right party, given that the suggestions outlined in this motion are extremely draconian government regulation on schools in England.
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Don't think there's anything to add on top of my head that 04MR17 hasn't already said :lol: This will without reservation get a no from me, such regulations will do much more harm than good.
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LiberOfLondon
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
Bizarre segue...
The motion mentions education under performing. IMHO reintroducing grammar schools would fix this.
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
In response to the: "Who would you rather teach maths: a non-qualified maths graduate who knows a lot about maths or a qualified teacher who knows nothing about maths? At present the latter is happening."

I doubt that there are any maths teachers who know 'nothing' about maths. I am also confident that if you have a good A level in maths, you can easily teach GCSE maths and below - your quality as a teacher being far more important than your quality as a mathematician.

I wholly support preventing teachers with only a C in maths (or English) GCSE from teaching primary. I think that the academic (if you can call GCSEs that) qualifications for being a primary school teacher are far too low - I'm not 100% sure if higher GCSE requirements are an effective solution though.

When it comes to spelling and grammar, that should be subject-specific. A maths teacher who can't spell? Nobody cares. A music teacher with poor grammar? Same thing.

I also think that "The judgement of who would make a good teacher needs to be left to the head teacher." Conflicts slightly with later points.

Overall, I think I would support this motion - some revisions would be nice though.
‘I doubt that there are any maths teachers who know 'nothing' about maths’

Semantics, semantics. GCSE maths is being taught by teachers with only a GCSE in maths at grade A* - C. A teacher with GCSE maths at grade C knows very little about maths and should not be teaching GCSE maths. How can someone with GCSE grade C(4) maths teach someone GCSE grade A*(9) maths?

A maths teacher who can't spell? Nobody cares.

We should care. Maths involves written work and students are examined on if they can ‘communicate information accurately’ for certain questions (replacing QWC). Spelling mistakes made in maths should be corrected by the teacher.
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by 04MR17)
1. PISA isn't a good measure.
2. The reason for the lack of Maths and Physics degrees is a lot of these teachers have degrees in Engineering and a lot of other such subjects that are recognised as containing significant understandings of Maths and Physics without actually being degrees in Maths or Physics.
3. The IRL government have offered massive bursaries for Maths and Physics teachers for almost 10 years now.
4. The reason there are so many teaching vacancies is the increased government pressure on schools IRL, which has caused a huge number of teachers to leave the profession in what has been termed a recrtuiment and retention crisis. I'd argue that there is little point in wasting time recruiting teachers that will leave the sector altogether in 2 years time. This is the failing model we've been following IRL for years and this motion seeks to change very little about that process.
1) Personal opinion
2) Untrue. Cognate degrees, e.g. physics and engineering are recognised as having substantial maths content
3) Yes, massive bursaries are offered if a graduate remains in education after university to train to become a teacher. QTS should be awarded at the same time as an undergraduate degree.
4) Who really cares how long a person teaches? So long as there’s a sufficiently supply of STEM graduates and one graduate replaces a teacher leaving there’s not much issue
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