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Lib Dems to ensure all state school teachers are qualified

13/06/2014 Joanna
The Liberal Democrats have pledged to ensure all schools follow the national curriculum and employ qualified teachers.

Under the proposals, all schools would have the same requirement to employ qualified teachers by September 2016 and deliver a minimum curriculum entitlement, setting out the basic skills and knowledge that every child needs. 

The party says its plans are aimed at ensuring schools and those in teaching jobs have greater clarity over what should be taught, as well as enabling children to study engaging and stretching content.

Education secretary Michael Gove removed the requirement for academies to employ qualified teachers in 2012. 

Academies and free schools were also exempt from teaching the national curriculum - a move which the Liberal Democrats claim has led them to exclude vital subjects.

The party claims the proposals have the backing of the National Association for Head Teachers and the Association for School and College Leaders, which represent the majority of headteachers in the country.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg insisted the changes would not constitute a return to the days of the Labour government, when Whitehall exerted a powerful influence over the running of schools. Nevertheless, he insisted that basic safeguards need to be put in place.

"There is no reason why a child attending an academy or free school should not enjoy the same basic right to be taught by a qualified teacher or to follow a core curriculum as any other child," Mr Clegg commented.

"These changes will guarantee parents that, whichever school their child attends, they will enjoy a world class education that will help them fulfil their potential."

Labour has also indicated it would ensure all teachers, including those at academies and free schools, have qualified teacher status.

The Liberal Democrats say they support freedom, autonomy and choice, which is why they have supported plans to increase the autonomy of schools and academies as part of the coalition government.

They have also shortened the national curriculum and helped to ensure teachers have the freedom to use the pupil premium as they see fit.

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