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Ofsted Chief Says Untrained Teachers Can Teach In Schools

14/08/2014 16:56 | Updated 22 May 2015

Ofsted Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw

Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted's Chief Inspector, has said that if untrained candidates are the right people for the job, then headteachers should hire them.

Speaking to the BBC's Sunday Politics programme, Sir Michael said it was the head's job to make sure staff got 'accredited as soon as possible' to 'come up to scratch in the class room' but said he supported the use of unqualified teachers.

Sir Michael was previously head of an east London comprehensive school, Mossbourne Community Academy, and admitted he had hired untrained staff there.

"I have done it," he said. "If I could not get a maths teacher, or a physics teacher, or a modern languages teacher, and I thought someone straight out of university without qualified teacher status could communicate with youngsters, I would get that person into the classroom and get them accredited if they deliver the goods."

Sir Michael also told the programme that he wanted Ofsted to keep a closer eye on schools between inspections, saying that inspectors would sometime not see a school for 'five or even seven years'.

"That is wrong," he said, adding that Ofsted should play a much greater part in monitoring the performance of schools between inspections.

Sir Michael was speaking to Sunday Politics ahead of the publication of new figures this week which will show rising numbers of 'failing' primary schools.

The Telegraph reports that as many as 700 primaries in England – almost one in 20 – are likely to fall below new benchmarks drawn up to 'raise the bar' in the education system.

Sir Michael is expected to announce plans this week for a new regime of 'national service' for staff from top schools to go into failing establishments to help improve standards. The proposal is based on a model which proved successful in Shanghai, China.

Does Sir Michael denigrate the training of teachers with his remarks?

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