Conservative leader, Call-me-Dave Cameron launched his party’s education manifesto today to a distinctly underwhelmed public. The good news is that, under a Tory government, I’d still be able to be a teacher. Which I’m obviously pleased about. Everyone has that as third or fourth fallback after office temp and, you know, hangman.
The bad news is I still don’t want to do it. Cameron’s big idea that he would make education better by being “brazenly elitist” and only picking the best of applicants to go on to teacher training sounds great right up until the moment you actually think about it at all. Cameron said he would make teaching a more “noble profession” by attracting the “best brains” through refusing to accept applicants with a third class degree. So Dave is going to get more and better people into teaching by making it harder for people to train as teachers. Hmmm. Surely the “best brains” (which by Dave’s definition appears to be anyone with a 2:2 or above) will go where they can earn good money without the stress and pressure of being a teacher in a secondary school, not to mention the all-pervading smells of Lynx Africa and clearasil. Kids deserve better. Teachers should be there because they’re passionate about their subject and want to engage young minds, no matter what their degree is. Labour has done more to recruit teachers than any previous government. Cameron is taking a step backwards here to say the least.
The hilarious news is that this Tory policy would mean that the woman they appointed to be their schools czar, acknowledged maths genius and showbiz c-lister Carol Vorderman, wouldn’t be able to teach maths or any other subject due to her 3rd class degree. Whoopsy.