Teacher training providers have accused the Government of “lowering the bar” on teacher recruitment to beat England’s shortage in the classroom, with Teacher Trainers coming under pressure from officials to “justify” decisions to reject candidates.
Emma Hollis, head of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers, said making it easier to get into teaching was not the answer.
However, the Government said that recruitment requirements had not changed. It stressed that all those who go on to get qualified teacher status must be judged by the provider to have met all the relevant standards by the end of their course.
Statistics show that recruitment targets have been missed for six years in a row and hundreds of Head Teachers say how tough it is to recruit teachers, particularly those in specialist subjects.
Ministers have recently made attempts to get more people into teaching, drawing up a new strategy to help with recruitment and retention.
Ms Hollis said: “We are asked to justify why we are rejecting people. What reasons can you give for rejecting those applicants?”
She added: “There’s a pressure on providers to deal with the problem that we are faced with, by accepting a higher proportion of those we interview, even when experience is absolutely telling us that they might not be right.
“Whilst initial teacher training (ITT) providers are acutely aware of the recruitment pressures facing schools, it is right and proper that they must act as gatekeepers to the profession. Providers have always looked for potential in applicants to teacher training and have never expected ‘oven ready’ candidates.”
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