All out for USS

Shadow education secretary to address teacher educators over white paper concerns

10 June 2016 | last updated: 13 June 2016

Shadow education secretary, Lucy Powell, will be among the speakers at a UCU Parliamentary lobby on Monday (13 June) over concerns about teacher recruitment and professional status, linked to government plans to reform teacher training.

UCU members will lobby their MPs at Westminster throughout the day and hear from speakers, including Powell and UCU general secretary Sally Hunt, at an event from 2-4pm in Committee Room 5.

The union, which represents teacher educators working in universities, says that the move towards more school-based initial teacher education (ITE) will worsen problems with teacher recruitment highlighted in a report by the Public Accounts Committee today, and undermine existing partnerships between schools and universities.

UCU has also warned that plans to replace Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) with accreditation by schools, as set out in the recent education white paper, will lead to greater variations in teaching quality across the UK.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Universities have a proud history of recruiting and educating excellent teachers, but the government is determined to push ahead with more school-based training. This will only worsen problems with teacher recruitment highlighted by the Public Accounts Committee, and undermine existing local partnerships between universities and schools.

'The changes to qualified teacher status are also deeply worrying. Teaching is a graduate profession which needs clear and objective standards of entry. The proposed changes would lead to greater variation in teaching quality across the country. The government needs to listen to the concerns of teacher educators and rethink its plans.'

Other speakers include Green MP Caroline Lucas, Liberal Democrat education spokesperson John Pugh, UCU president Rob Goodfellow, National Union of Teachers acting general secretary Kevin Courtney and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers general secretary Mary Bousted.