Blogs

What I’d like in the Budget: more support for teachers

15 March 2014

4:29 PM

15 March 2014

4:29 PM

To start on a glamorous note: subsidised bus fares for those in full-time education outside London. I turned 16 in the same year my dad turned 60, and just as I had to pay full (and, in Oxford, whopping) bus fares, he got a free bus pass. At 16 you’re now obliged by law to be in full-time education, so it’s not possible to be earning as much as an adult – why should you pay as much? Public transport is a great thing for young people, enabling them to be independent in an environmentally and traffic-friendly way: let’s make it affordable.

Then there’s the shortage of good teachers for subjects like maths, physics and modern languages: I propose that those leaving university with a 2:1 degree or above in ‘shortage subjects’ should get their university fees back if they go on to complete a teaching qualification. TeachFirst is already working wonders at tempting bright graduates into teaching, but more needs to be done to attract graduates in particular subjects. Granted, there’s no way to force newly-qualified teachers to teach their degree subject, but the current problem is with über-employable graduates not being drawn to careers in education in the first place: it’s not as if we currently have loads of Computer Science graduates teaching History.

Finally, and I’m sure much to Rod Liddle’s chagrin, I’m a firm supporter of preliminary screening of all primary school children for dyslexia, with full assessments and support to follow if needed. I found out I was dyslexic when I was 15 – my school recommended I was tested after my GCSE mocks. There’s a reason dyslexia gets called a middle-class condition: my most recent assessment cost £400. My university covered the costs this time, but while I was at school my parents had to come up with the cash themselves. Some people learn in a different way from the majority. It’s profoundly wrong that only some children can afford the privilege of finding out if this includes them, and being helped accordingly.

More Spectator for less. Stay informed leading up to the EU referendum and in the aftermath. Subscribe and receive 15 issues delivered for just £15, with full web and app access. Join us.




Show comments
  • jasper

    Please dont think Teach First is the answer to getting the best graduates in to teaching. Only 23% of those doing Teach First Maths have a maths degree. The majority of them could not get into a traditional PGCE where a degree in maths is an entry qualification

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    End NI pension discrimination and start paying the increases to all resident abroad pension recipients.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Address the private pension provider issue. But fat chance of bringing those white collar criminals to heel with HMG acting as godfather.
    Jack, Kuala Lumpur

  • In2minds

    16 yrs old – “it’s not possible to be earning as much as an adult – why should you pay as much? Public transport is a great thing for young people, enabling them to be independent in an environmentally and traffic-friendly way”

    As teenagers on public transport are so often a menace the disruption they cause has to be paid for. As for traffic friendly travel the teenagers who cycle are again a menace.

  • ADW

    No worries, Carola, I’m sure your evidently well-off dad will be happy to turn over half his assets to the revenue to help fund all this.

    Or we could cut the foreign aid budget and use that. Just sayin’.

  • Alexsandr

    er, Carola. how should we pay for these measures? what would you cut to pay for these?

  • global city

    I think a tax on pasties and caravans would solve the national debt, so Osborne should go for it.

Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here