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Top quality teachers are key to UK economy, report says

03/05/2012 Kelly
A new report published by the House of Commons Education Committee has highlighted how important top quality teachers are; saying the future of the nation's economy and society rests on their shoulders.

The report calls for an increase in teachers' pay and a renewed focus on recruiting the top candidates for new teaching jobs in a bid to give children as good a start in life as possible.

According to research cited in the report, the best teachers not only speed up the learning of their pupils and improve their grades, they also help boost their long-term earning potential and so contribute massively to the nation's economy overall.

"There's a huge difference in how much children learn depending on who is taking their class," said Graham Stuart, chairman of the Commons Committee.

"This differential effectiveness between teachers is profound and there is an overwhelming need to increase the number of more effective teachers."

The Committee has now called on politicians to give education recruitment and teachers' career development the attention that it deserves by making it a top priority not just at the Department for Education but right across government.

Retaining the best teachers is essential and the report has outlined ways in which top graduates can be attracted to the profession and how their careers can be developed to make them the best teachers they can be.

The entitlement to professional development and a National Teacher Sabbatical Scholarship programme that allows the top teachers to carry out extended research or a period of external employment to improve their skills are both recommended.

The report also advises that the government market the teaching profession better and suggests that offering 'taster sessions' which allow people to sample time in a teaching job could be beneficial.

"It's crucial that we have an educational system which celebrates great teachers, keeps more of them in the classroom, supports their development and gives them greater status and reward," Mr Stuart added.

Posted by Charlotte MichaelsADNFCR-2164-ID-801356212-ADNFCR
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