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NUT Free Schools Poll

A public opinion poll on behalf of the National Union of Teachers.

Date Published: 24 Apr 2011

Categories: Education | Public and communities | Public Sector | Social | UK


By Whom Should Children be Taught? – ComRes/NUT opinion poll

An NUT commissioned ComRes opinion poll of 2,003 adults between 13 and 15 April clearly indicates that the British public values professional teaching qualifications. The Education Secretary has a massive job to do if he is to persuade the public that allowing his flagship Free Schools to employ unqualified teachers is the right move.

An overwhelming 89% of adults surveyed would prefer their child to be taught by a university graduate who is a qualified teacher. Only 2% believe a university graduate who is not a fully qualified teacher, and a mere 1% believe a person who is not a qualified teacher should be teaching students. 

Again an overwhelming 86% believe that any school receiving public funding should only employ qualified teachers to teach pupils.

On the question of Free Schools 82% disagree with the Coalition Government and said that they would not want their child to attend a Free School that did not require its teachers to be fully qualified. 79% of people believe that this would be done simply to save money, not to improve teaching standards.

A further damning verdict was given to the idea that education standards would not be affected by employing non-qualified teachers with 73% believing that standards would worsen. The greatest percentage (49%) gave the reason that teachers would be unqualified as the reason they thought there would be a decline in standards. 

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers said;

“Yet again we see the Government’s proposals for education in this country going against what the public wants. This survey clearly shows that the majority of people want children to be taught by a qualified teacher. They see no advantage to doing anything other than this and are perfectly aware that if unqualified teachers become the norm in Free Schools it will simply be to cut costs. A big majority believe and we agree that it would lead to deterioration in education standards.

“The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the Government are yet again cynically implementing policy that is ideologically driven and has nothing to do with improving education standards. The NUT will continue to defend the right of parents, pupils and teachers to expect the highest standards possible in our schools. We will lobby MPs and Peers as the Education Bill progresses through Parliament to seek an amendment that would recognise support for professional teaching qualifications.

The Government must be made to realise that to continue down this route of wilfully dismantling and destroying our education system is unacceptable.” 

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