Failing Leeds school wants ‘unqualified’ teachers

South Leeds Academy
South Leeds Academy
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TEACHING unions say it is staggering that a secondary school which has been warned by the Government over its standards is advertising for two unqualified teachers in maths.

The job advert for the South Leeds Academy stipulates the right applicant must have at least four GCSEs including maths.

It says a degree in the subject is desirable but not essential. It would mean prospective teachers could have fewer GCSEs than the national target for all pupils.

The School Partnership Trust Academies (SPTA), the chain which runs the school, said there had been an omission from the advert which should have said it was looking for trainees.

The job advert follows a warning letter to the academy from Schools Minister Lord Nash which said Education Secretary Michael Gove considers that “standards at the school are too low and likely to remain so.”

Ofsted found the school to be inadequate earlier this year.

An SPTA spokeswoman said: “The advert should have made clear that this post was for the appointment of trainees to support the teaching of mathematics with the potential opportunity to then progress as a trainee teacher. This was not made clear in the advert.” She said the academy was committed to teaching as a graduate profession and was involved in the School Direct Teacher Training Programme.

The job advert describes the post as an “Unqualified Teacher of Maths.”

It says the role is temporary finishing in July 2014. Candidates will be expected to teach maths to the whole age and ability range of students within the academy, it says.

Responsibilities listed include effectively teaching national and school curricula, setting homework, marking work, assessing student progress and developing schemes of work and teaching and learning strategies.

Patrick Murphy, the Leeds branch secretary of the National Union of Teachers said: “ I cannot imagine how someone who has not been trained to be a teacher could begin to do any of this.

“It raises the whole question about why free schools and academies are allowed to appoint unqualified teachers.

“This advert is the most staggering example of it I have seen.”

Tristram Hunt, Labour’s shadow education secretary said: “Underperforming schools desperately need great teachers and teaching but this out of touch Prime Minister is allowing them to recruit unqualified teachers.”

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