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UK Waters Down Education Whilst Pupils Drown In A Sea Of Poor Teaching

By Michelle Duffy     Apr 15, 2007 in World
A teachers' union in the UK fear the poor quality of education in England and Wales is the result of the government's changes to the teaching workforce
Shockingly enough, it has been found that too many unqualified classroom assistants are teaching exam classes with very little or no understanding of the subject they are trying to teach says the board of teachers at the NASUWT annual conference, in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The NASUWT is the only major player in the relationship between union and the government in the UK, whilst the National Union of Teachers does not share the same partnership.
In a situation which has found both unions at loggerheads, there has been a strong difference of opinion when it has come down to the question of should teaching assistants have a teaching responsibility in the classroom when the main teacher is absent. The NUT has always been against the idea.
The NUT have even gone as far as to be taking legal action against the government for allowing such a policy where assistants can teach a subject in which they have little knowledge.
A worried NASUWT member at the conference, Austin Murphy told the room about the problem being of some considerable depth, more than people realised. Inadequately trained staff were not giving the care and attention that the subject needed for pupils to digest correctly.
Murphy said, at the conference, "Cover supervisors will take over the whole timetable of an absent teacher, including A-level classes, for an entire term. I do know of a school in south Leeds where a cover supervisor was asked to take on this role for maternity leave. They did GCSE and A-level classes. This person has no experience whatsoever in that subject. Clearly this is an absolute scandal. It should be known that this is happening."
It was decided, as a whole that the level of care and education to pupils was under serious threat and presence of 'covering supervisors' was a concern.
Others were opposed to the 'cheap alternatives' to teachers' putting the assistants in situations they could not handle, meaning their own positions were under uneccassary pressure.
A conclusion to these fears are yet to be announced by the main head, the Department For Education And Skills.
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