Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The Politics of the Brazenly Foolish

David Cameron may be happy to think that he is being “brazenly elitist” in demanding that new trainee teachers must have a “good degree from a good university”. In fact he is being brazenly silly.

If Mr Cameron had any idea how schools work he would know that a “good” degree, (even from a “good” university, whatever that is), is no guarantee that the candidate will make a good teacher. The ability to teach is much more a matter of character and personality linked to experience than to the level of academic achievement, and if Mr Cameron doesn’t know that he needs to get out more. It is my guess that many of the best teachers currently practicing in our schools would not meet Mr Cameron’s totally arbitrary standards.

A few months ago the Conservative’s shadow Health Minister announced that the Tories, if elected, would transfer our health records to Google. Until now this was believed to be the silliest policy proclamation from any political party, but Mr Cameron’s pronouncement on teacher recruitment surely runs it a close second. Perhaps Annabel Goldie would care to let us know if the Conservatives are planning to adopt Mr Cameron’s “brazenly elitist” approach to teaching in Scotland.

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