The Labour party has said the current governments proposed ‘teacher’ apprenticeship will ‘not be a priority’ under Labour government because it does not address the issue of teachers leaving the profession, Shadow secretary of state for education, Angela Rayner has stated in a Teach First conference this week.
Rayner added she was a strong supporter of vocational training having ‘equal parity’ with academic training, but mentioned that the new apprenticeship announcement by the current government does little to keep new teachers in the profession.
At present there is an increasing rate of teachers leaving the profession, and it is arguable that the Conservatives plan for 2018 does not hit the problem. Many believe the priorities should be based around keeping teachers in classrooms and managing the current workload issues.
Rayner spoke of how many teachers did not have enough money to live nor the time to see their own children because of the current workloads.
“That is the issue. It’s not necessarily about the routes into teaching, if I’m honest” she told Schools Week later.
The announcement of the apprentice scheme has be surrounded in criticism, as many believe it would lower the status of the profession as well as the standard of teaching in some cases if opened up to non-graduates.
Asked whether apprenticeship routes could lower the status of teaching, Rayner said both academic training and apprenticeship training were equally worthwhile.
As such she wouldn’t “necessarily scrap” the government’s plans on apprenticeships, and would “look at” them, since she had “absolute faith” in the parity of both types of training.
But she added she “wouldn’t like any kind of route that dumbs down the profession”.
Rayner also said she would be pressing ahead with plans for a roadshow up and down the country to hear the public’s views on proposals for a National Education Service.
The exact dates for the roadshow will be announced after the Budget on 22 November, said Rayner. Even if a general election were announced, the roadshow would still go ahead before all policies were implemented.