1 Nov 2012

Charter school group wants to register unqualified teachers

11:25 pm on 1 November 2012

The group advising the Government on how to set up charter schools wants people who have no teaching qualifications to be given official teacher registration.

The Charter School Working Group says expertise, rather than a teaching qualification, should also be enough to gain registration.

Chairperson Catherine Isaac says this may include PhDs or degrees in science, engineering or languages. "They may be people with music, arts, trades qualifications who would make great teachers," she says.

"The objective here is to enrich the pool of high quality people who want to teach and to recognise that there are additional pathways into teaching."

Ms Isaac says the current rule that allows unqualified teachers to stand at the front of a classroom - the Limited Authority to Teach - is too restrictive.

But the Teachers Council, the Council of Deans of Education and the Secondary Principals Association oppose the idea.

They say registration is an important protection that ensures people are competent to teach children.

Teachers Council director Peter Lind says teaching, like any other profession, requires registration and subject expertise and enthusiasm are not enough on their own.

"There's a lot more breadth and depth required than just an apprenticeship-type model," says Mr Lind, adding that training needs to convey the body of knowledge and theory that underpins high quality learning and teaching.