The pace of reform in education has been stepped up again today. The model funding agreement for all new academies has now been changed by the Department for Education to remove the requirement for all teachers to have Qualified Teacher Status. Any existing academy will also be able to change its funding agreement to include this new freedom.
This change might sound technical but its importance is that it means that academies will now be able to employ people who have not gone through a year of teacher training. Previously, an academy couldn’t have employed, say, James Dyson to teach design without him having done a year in a teacher training college.
These new, more flexible arrangements should spur a change in the nature of teacher training. It is now likely to move to being far more decentralised and schools based and away from the big, institutional teacher training colleges. Indeed, academy chains like ARK and Harris are already beginning to develop their own systems of teacher training.
One group unlikely to be happy with today’s changes is the teaching unions. The need for teachers to be QTS has been one of the ways in which they have controlled the profession and this reform is likely to lead to more tension between them and Michael Gove.