The government cannot expect the brightest graduates to enter the teaching profession when pay is being eroded by increasing pension contributions, it has been claimed.
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said government proposals to toughen up tests and training for teachers ignore the impact that "damaged" terms and conditions may have on recruitment.
Education secretary Michael Gove outlined plans earlier this week aimed at encouraging more high quality graduates into the profession.
"We should have demanding expectations of recruits into teacher training. It is, after all, the most important job in the country. We should not fall into the trap of thinking, however, that academic excellence necessarily makes someone a great teacher," Mr Hobby said.
He added that as well as smart people, the teaching profession needs graduates that are caring, creative, thoughtful and energetic.