Norwich primary searches for four unqualified teachers

A primary school run by Inspiration Trust is advertising for four unqualified teachers with no clear options of how those staff will be trained to get qualified status.

Norwich Primary Academy (NPA) last week posted a job advertisement on the Inspiration Trust website for part-time/job sharing “unqualified teachers” to start this September.

The posting said: “We are seeking to appoint up to four professional, reflective and enthusiastic aspiring teachers to join our outstanding team at Norwich Primary Academy, and for Inspiration Trust. This is an exciting, yet incredibly challenging opportunity that will enable the successful applicants to gain the skills to work as a teacher.”

It said candidates should be committed to providing “outstanding academic education”, but was amended on Monday to say it was for internal applicants only.

The school, judged as satisfactory by Ofsted before it became an academy, has about 350 pupils.

In contrast, another of the trust’s schools, Great Yarmouth Primary Academy, also advertised for an unqualified teacher but it specifically said the recruit would be put through the salaried School Direct route.

The starting salary for the Norwich posts is £16,300 a year, with the range going up to more than £25,000.

In 2013, South Leeds Academy advertised two posts for unqualified maths teachers. Attacked by unions and the shadow education secretary, Tristram Hunt, the school later said the advert was a “clerical error” and changed it.

NPA headteacher Tessa Holledge said the four new teachers would not have sole responsibility for classes and would be based in a year group team.

“Rigorous training and oversight are paramount. Successful applicants will have one-to-one training sessions with assistant headteachers and detailed topic based training with members of the senior leadership team.

“There will be strong oversight of their work from day one. We will build in placements with other trust schools and team teaching with other experienced and qualified teachers.

“Those who are appointed will benefit greatly from the resources available throughout the whole of the trust.”

She added: “We encourage and support the gaining of additional qualifications and expect those appointed to work towards qualified teacher status (QTS).”

However, when asked how any successful applicant would work towards QTS, she said “to provide the widest opportunity to candidates” the school had chosen not to specify which training route it would choose.


“NPA is dedicated to giving our pupils a great education and these posts are going to help us do even more.”

Free schools and academies have been able to employ teachers without any academic or professional qualifications since 2012.

Mr Hunt said parents would be “concerned” about unqualified teacher roles being advertised.

“The most important variable for raising school standards is a qualified, skilled and committed teacher in every classroom.

“The Tories have damaged our education system by allowing schools to take on unqualified teachers on a permanent basis.

“Parents in Norwich will be concerned that schools are advertising for unqualified teachers. With Labour, all teachers will have to be qualified or working towards qualified teacher status.”

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  1. chris cowley

    Perhaps we should also start employing unqualified Cardio-Thoracic Surgeons, don’t worry about the damage that they might cause during their training……..just think about the money that could be saved to bail out future bankers!

  2. Kate mckenzie

    Thought Tristram hunt wasn’t the shadow ed secretary. Isn’t that Lucy Powell? Also in the white paper schools will award qts without any university involvement so we’ll see a lot more of this.

  3. Niels Christoffersen

    The local government Denmark think, that all teachers are unqualified.
    So maybe Norwich primary should place an ad in a Danish paper, like this one

  4. Arthur Beedie

    In Scotland we have an all graduate qualified profession. Each teacher must be GTC registered. England followed Scotland in setting up its own GTC – presumably to ensure an all graduate, qualified profession. What happened to this grand aspiration?

  5. Tricia

    Some unqualified teachers have been in the job for many years and have a good track record so you cant go by this plus the fact that it says 2015 so perhaps their policy has changed since then!!

  6. The Millenium Development Goals included this:
    ‘By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States.’
    In England we appear to be going backwards by reducing the emphasis on teacher qualification.

  7. tha;ia

    very divisive a mix of qualified and un qualified teachers , if some thing went seriously wrong in a school with u8nqualified teachers how would they defend themselves and the school

  8. Vanessa Jones

    I am an unqualified teacher – I plan to work towards QTS when finances allow, but the fact that I don’t have it yet hasn’t changed my turning an entire department around and making the least popular and well-understood subject in my school into one of the top three by dint of sheer hard work, commitment and the life skills I learned working outside of the school environment before deciding to change careers. And all this on a third of the salary I was earning before I changed direction.

    Most teachers are amazing, but there are qualified teachers in my school who coast through from one holiday to the next on lesson plans they came up with ten years ago, and there are TA’s and UQT’s who put them to shame. QTS is not a silver bullet; and dismissing people who haven’t got it because they didn’t walk straight out of Uni and straight back into a school is often a gut response from people who find the raw enthusiasm and drive of people who’ve worked in other worlds a threat.

  9. Victoria Jaquiss

    The comparison with surgeons is valid. There is so much going on in a teacher’s head and in class that you cannot learn it on the job. After I finished my degree decades ago in Liverpool, I applied to be a supply teacher, was offered a term as French teacher in a high school in Wallasey Village. They were desperate and asked me to stay on. I told them I was sacking myself. I had always wanted to be a teacher, but I wanted to be a good, or at least good enough. I embraced the PGCE year, which I entered after a few years of the University of Life, and learnt and taught myself as much as I could. Even then, after qualifying, I went on learning stuff, but I like to think that no children were harmed as a consequence of my PGCE year.