Page last updated at 12:47 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 13:47 UK

Increase in unqualified teachers

The Tories say qualified staff are being put off teaching

The number of people teaching in England's state schools without Qualified Teacher Status has risen five-fold in 10 years, figures suggest.

Data released by the government to the Conservatives shows there were 16,710 teachers in schools without the accreditation last year, up from 2,940 in 1997.

Two thirds of those teachers were from overseas.

The government says most overseas teachers qualified in their countries.

And all teachers from abroad had to convert their qualifications to QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) within four years of arriving

The data released by the government shows that the number of overseas trained teachers without QTS has risen from 2,480 in 1997 to 10,970 in 2007.

However, 1562 teachers from the European Economic Area were awarded QTS last year, including 707 teachers from Poland.

Discipline and bureaucracy

Shadow Children's Secretary Michael Gove said: "The government's advice is that everyone should have the official qualification before teaching as qualified teacher in a state school so it is very surprising that the number without QTS has risen fivefold since 1997.

"The huge increase in the number of teachers from abroad is partly due to the fact that so many British teachers are leaving the profession. Increasing problems in many schools with discipline and bureaucracy simply put many people off."

A spokesman for the DCSF said the vast majority of teachers from overseas had qualified as teachers in their own countries.

"We are clear that schools should only employ teachers from overseas if they can demonstrate they have the skills, experience and qualifications relevant to the post," he said.

Total numbers of teachers in England's schools without QTS peaked in 2005, when there were 18,570 and numbers have fallen since then.

Graham Holley, Chief Executive of the Training and Development Agency for Schools said: "Of the 16,710 overseas trained teachers in schools last year, almost a third are already on programmes which will lead them to qualified teacher status. This is a good thing, not a bad thing.

"It is entirely sensible for schools to be able to draw on a pool of skilled teachers, including those who have trained overseas, where schools judge that they have the right skills.

"In any event the number of unqualified teachers has declined steadily for the last three years, so we are hardly looking at a growing crisis."

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11 Jul 07 |  Education
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15 Mar 02 |  Education

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