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Labour to give details on teacher licensing

15/01/2014 Joanna
Labour is to provide more details on its plans to introduce a system of teacher licensing, which were originally announced last weekend.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt will today (January 15th) give a speech to the North of England Education Conference in which he will draw a clear distinction between Labour's teaching policy and the "watering down" of standards it alleges has taken place under David Cameron's government.

Mr Hunt will announce that all teaching jobs in state schools must be taken by fully-qualified candidates, in opposition to the coalition's policy of allowing unqualified teachers to take up employment in academies and Free Schools.

He will detail plans for teachers to have opportunities for high-quality continuing professional development and to ensure their skills are up-to-date.

"Under Labour, all teachers will have to become qualified, teachers will be given greater opportunities to further their career progression and development and, as in other high status professions, teachers will be regularly revalidated," he will say.

The minister will also pledge to open up new career pathways for teachers, allowing them to specialise in particular areas of knowledge if they wish to do so.

Mr Hunt is to place an emphasis on teacher quality, in contrast to the government's focus on school structures, in order to improve standards and give children the skills they need to succeed.

His speech will link Labour's education policy to the One Nation narrative, which aims to address the cost-of-living crisis the party claims to be affecting the country under the coalition government.

Too many children are still denied access to the best quality teaching, he will claim, and a Labour government will ensure Britain has the best generation of teachers in the world.

Last week, education and childcare minister Elizabeth Truss blamed "limiting beliefs" for poor performance in schools and said the current government would focus on core academic as well as vocational skills in order to drive up standards.

Reform to the school governor system was also pledged to ensure governors have the skills and experience to improve performance and encourage aspiration.

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