Michael Gove, Education Secretary, has proposed that the government should only pay to train graduates as teachers if they have at least a 2:2. The raising of the bar for trainee teachers may lead to "big holes" on key teacher training courses, according to a study carried out by Buckingham University. The Conservatives, on the contrary, say that this may attract the best graduates. They are not going to pay for graduates to train as teachers in case they do not have at least a second-class degree.
Michael Gove wrote in his custom essay that the possibility to become a teacher could be given only to top graduates as in such countries as Finland and South Korea. According to Professor Alan Smithers and Dr Pamela Robinson of Buckingham University, such a policy could shorten significantly the amount of teachers in maths, physics, chemistry and languages. Professor Smithers recognizes that the policy aiming to improve teacher quality is a good one but introducing the bar on third class degrees is hardly the best the way to achieve it. "The idea is rather formulaic".
The study says: "Finding teachers for key subjects will become even more difficult if the government will not fund the training of those with poor degrees. A poor teacher are bad news for pupils, but is it better for physics to be taught by a well-qualified biologist than someone who has studied the subject at university even without much success?"
Martin Freedman, of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), says that if the idea is realized, then even bigger shortages of maths and science teachers could be seen. He said: "No-one would disagree with the aim of attracting students with top grades into teaching and for teachers to be highly qualified. But, being an academic genius does not mean you will be any good at teaching children".