LABOUR has claimed more than 600,000 pupils are being taught by unqualified teachers in an analysis published today.
It claimed rule changes introduced under the Coalition had let to a 24 per cent rise in the number of unqualified teachers to 24,000.
Shadow Schools Minister, Mike Kane MP said: “The Government have completely failed in their most basic of tasks and are clearly relying on unqualified teachers to plug the gaps.
“Unqualified teachers have no guaranteed training in safeguarding children, controlling a class or adapting teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils. But under the Tories, they’re responsible for the education of hundreds of thousands of our children.
“Under Labour all permanently employed teachers had to be qualified. This Government changed the rules and scrapped that requirement, allowing schools to employ unqualified teachers, permanently threatening standards.
“There is nothing more important to a good education than excellent teaching. The Tories’ failure on teacher recruitment is putting school standards at risk and it’s our children who will pay for their mess.”
Earlier this month it was shown that almost a quarter of the teachers who have qualified since 2011 have already left the profession.
The Department for Education did not respond to requests for comment on Labour’s figures.
A report commissioned by the Government published last year recommended the creation of a Teach North to attract newly qualified teachers to the North of England. The report, written by Bradford headteacher Sir Nick Weller, also called for marketing efforts to promote the benefits of living and working in the North.