Warning over lack of trained teachers in Sunderland

Sharon Hodgson MP
Sharon Hodgson MP
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A WEARSIDE MP says a shortage of teachers will hit children’s education.

Shadow children’s minister Sharon Hodgson said a huge shortfall in teachers was approaching.

Labour has warned that Britain needs 15,000 more teachers by the next election because of an extra 256,000 pupils due to come into the school system by 2014/15.

Mrs Hodgson, the MP for Washington and Sunderland West, said: “The key to improving education for our children and young people lies in ensuring there are enough good quality and motivated teachers in our classrooms and leaders in our schools – yet this Government have set about alienating existing teachers, and we now have 10,000 fewer than at the election.

“It’s common sense that if we don’t have enough teachers to meet demand, then Sunderland pupils are going to suffer from overcrowded classes and less one-to-one support.

“Instead of constantly undermining the teaching profession, the Government needs to work with teachers to boost recruitment and support experienced educators to stay in schools.”

At a conference with the ATL teaching union, Stephen Twigg, the shadow education secretary, said that as well as facing a shortage, unqualified teachers will threaten standards.

He said that in just a year, 10,000 teachers have quit, and he claims there has been a decline in trainee teachers in non-EBacc subjects such as computer science, RE and design and technology.

Mr Twigg said: “Pupils deserve far better. Unless this crisis is addressed head on, pupils will be in bigger class sizes or face being taught by people without teaching qualifications.”

A Department of Education spokesperson said: “Teaching is a highly attractive profession. More top graduates and career changers than ever before are coming into teaching, and vacancy rates are at their lowest since 2005.

“Teacher training applications for fee-based postgraduate courses in England are up by more than 1,500 applicants on this time last year.”