Fast-track route to teaching for City losers condemned by unions

Unions have condemned plans by Gordon Brown to fast-track ‘City refugees’ to become teachers.

The Working Together White Paper, published yesterday, aims to reform the public sector by turning many former professionals into teachers on a six-month ‘hot-house’ course.

But Chris Keates, general secretary of teacher’s union NASUWT, said many career-teachers would be put off by bankers from the City whose hearts were not in the job.

“Children and young people deserve to be taught by those who are in it for the duration, not refugees from business biding their time until something better comes along,” he said.

“There cannot be any compromise on the skills and knowledge that need to be covered and developed during the hot-housing.”

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, also attacked the move.

“Teaching is not a profession that can be picked up at the drop of a hat. There needs to be the time for reflection and the capacity to undertake in-depth theoretical study,” she said.

“To bring in an entry route that does not provide a good grounding in theory will not only undermine the status of the profession, but will also jeopardise the education of our children and young people.”

Philip Parkin, general secretary of education union Voice, said the plans would undermine work to raise the status of teaching.

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