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Phillipson: Master Teacher status will energise the teaching profession

Bridget Phillipson MP says Labour's Master Teachers plan would help support Teachers ahead of World Teachers' Day. 

Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson has reiterated Labour’s commitment to support the teaching profession with the introduction of a Master Teachers standard on World Teachers' Day, 5th October 2014.

Building on the work of the previous Labour government, Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt announced a future Labour government would introduce a new Master Teacher status early this year in July, building on a pledge that all teachers will have or be working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Master Teacher status will provide teachers with a high status pathway in the classroom, meaning that the best teachers are not lost to leadership positions. It is part of Labour’s plan to deliver a world class teacher in every classroom.

The announcement comes amidst growing concern that teaching quality is going backwards under this government. The Conservative-led government changed the rules to allow schools to take on unqualified teachers on an permanent basis, leading to a 16% rise in unqualified teachers in our classrooms in the past year (Source: DfE School Workforce Survey).

The education union ‘Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has come out in support of Labour’s plans. In a statement on their website, Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the ASL said:

"ATL welcomes the Labour party's proposals to create a 'master teacher' status. These recognise that teaching is a complex, highly skilled and very demanding profession, and that effective teaching is the core to raising educational standards, particularly amongst the most disadvantaged children.

"If more teachers are to develop their professional knowledge and skills, and remain in the classroom to utilise these to best effect, the new routes will need to be supported by continuing professional development. It is ludicrous that the teaching profession is not, currently, given the tools to be a learning profession.

"If teachers are to aspire to a career in the classroom, rather than moving into school management, they will expect pay levels to reflect their expertise and professional commitment."

Bridget Phillipson MP said:

"We all remember teachers who have inspired us. Despite their pre-election promises, the government has continued to undermine the profession and devalued the work of qualified teachers by allowing more and more unqualified teachers into the classroom.

"Labour’s plan for Master Teachers will help provide different career paths, energising the profession and bringing new ideas and methods to the classroom."

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