Have four GCSEs? Then you’re qualified to teach maths at this under-performing Leeds school

A FAILING Yorkshire school has sparked a national outcry by advertising for two unqualified teachers of maths who need just four GCSEs to apply.

South Leeds Academy

The job advert for the South Leeds Academy has been condemned by both Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt and a leader of the National Union of Teachers who described it as a “travesty”.

The deputy general secretary of the NUT, Kevin Courtney, said the Government was allowing schools to recruit teachers “on the cheap”.

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The academy chain which runs the school said a mistake in the advert had omitted to mention that it was looking for trainee teachers.

A spokeswoman for the School Partnership Trust Academies said: “The advert should have made clear that this post was for the appointment of trainees to support the teaching of mathematics with the potential opportunity to then progress as a trainee teacher. This was not made clear in the advert.”

The advert describes the posts as being for the role of ‘unqualified teacher of maths’. It says the job is temporary, finishing in July next year. Candidates will be expected to teach maths to the whole age and ability range of students within the academy, it says. Responsibilities listed include teaching national and school curricula, setting homework, marking work, assessing student progress and developing teaching strategies.

The NUT’s Leeds branch secretary, Patrick Murphy, said he could not imagine how an unqualified teacher could take on this job. A GCSE in maths is said to be essential but a degree in the subject is only said to be desirable.

It does say, however, that candidates must be “excellent classroom practitioners”.

A warning letter was sent to the academy this term by Schools Minister Lord Nash which said Education Secretary Michael Gove considers that “standards at the school are too low and likely to remain so”.

Ofsted found the school to be inadequate, with serious weaknesses, earlier this year.