Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Every child should be taught by a qualified teacher – Rogerson





Liberal Democrat Conference today [Saturday] passed Every Child Taught by an Excellent Teacher, which reaffirms the Liberal Democrat commitment to excellence in teaching.

The motion calls for:

  •  All teachers, including those in academies and free schools, to have appropriate qualifications
  •  More freedom and autonomy for teachers backed up by strong accountability
  • Clear guidance for schools on performance management

Commenting, Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Education, Dan Rogerson said:

“Every child should be taught by a qualified teacher, or someone working towards a teaching qualification. Parents quite rightly want to see high standards and professional staff in all schools, including academies and free schools.

“Excellent teaching is the best way to make sure all children achieve their full potential. We are lucky to have many outstanding teachers. I want us to celebrate the best teachers, while urgently helping the small minority of underperforming teachers to improve.

“Supporting qualified teachers, while giving more freedom in the classroom to tailor lessons to individual children, sends a clear signal that Liberal Democrats want to raise the prestige of the teaching profession. This will help attract more of the brightest graduates and most inspirational people into the classroom.”


Notes to editors:

The full text of the motion, as passed by Conference, is below:

Every Child Taught by an Excellent Teacher

Conference notes:

I.      The best way of improving the educational outcomes of children is through excellent teaching.

II.      Teachers and school leaders, including governing bodies and head teachers, make a huge contribution, and the overwhelming majority are skilled professionals who have high aspirations for their pupils.

III.      The role of outstanding classroom teachers, who dedicate their careers to their pupils, is too often underappreciated.

IV.      The small minority of teachers and schools who do underperform, as well as those employed as teachers who lack the specific skills and qualifications necessary for that role, risk damaging the educational experience of children.

V.      It is essential to deal with all underperformance and underperforming schools, including underperformance in academies and free schools.

VI.      The important role of teacher training institutions in training teachers with a wide number of specialities.

VII.      An over-burdensome National Curriculum is a straitjacket that prevents teachers adapting their lessons to the individual needs of the children in their class and discourages new entrants into the profession.

Conference believes:

  1. Every child, whatever type of school they are taught in, deserves to be taught by an excellent and appropriately-qualified teacher, or a dedicated professional who is working towards such a qualification.
  2. It is essential to attract the best qualified graduates into the teaching profession, and that the best way to achieve this is by improving the prestige and respect in which the profession is held and giving qualified teachers more autonomy in the classroom, including through a less prescriptive National Curriculum, to ensure teaching is an exciting and rewarding career choice.
  3. That all those who wish to enter a career in teaching should experience a mixture of practical and theoretical high quality pre-entry training, as well as ongoing professional development throughout their career.
  4. That all schools, regardless of their category, should teach a broad and balanced curriculum, including a short, mandatory National Curriculum focused on the essential skills and knowledge every child needs to succeed.

Conference welcomes:


  1. The growth of structured professional development programmes like Teach First, Teaching Leaders and Future Leaders to raise the quality and impact of the teaching workforce in the most challenging schools.
  2. The unprecedented amount of freedom granted to Head Teachers and teachers by the Coalition Government, allowing them to base their teaching practices around what works rather than central government diktat.
  3. The principles behind the new draft National Curriculum, that gives more freedom to schools and teachers by focusing on the essentials and also for the first time features vital life skills.
  4. The coalition government’s decision to explicitly prohibit Free Schools from teaching creationism as scientific fact, reflecting the position for maintained schools and Academies.

Conference calls for:

a)      All classroom teachers, including in academies and free schools and Further Education colleges, to be required to have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or Qualified Teacher in Learning and Skills (QTLS) Status or to be working towards them, to be achieved within three years of employment.

b)      The Department for Education to continue to develop the content of the draft National Curriculum in meaningful partnership with heads and teachers and subject specialists.

c)      All schools, including academies and free schools, to subsequently be required to teach the new, slimmed down, National Curriculum.

d)      Recognition for the professionalism of teachers and head teachers, through further autonomy and freedom in the classroom backed up by strong accountability through parents, governing bodies, local authorities and Ofsted.

e)      Continued support for organisations  like Teach First, Future Leaders and Teaching Leaders, that get the best graduates into the settings where they are most needed.

f)        A review into Continued Professional Development to ensure that every teacher can fulfil their personal career aspirations including opportunity for sustained study, career mentors, a central information point and the further roll out of working sabbaticals and job exchanges between schools.

g)      Clear guidance for schools on performance management, and for those teachers judged to be underperforming either through peer review or observation to be given extra support in the classroom and with lesson preparation for one year in the hope that performance improves and employment can continue.

Furthermore, to help teachers provide education for children with Special Educational Needs including mental and physical disabilities, conference calls for:

1)      The Government to ensure initial teacher training providers emphasise the relevance of core teaching competencies for teaching children with physical and/or hidden disabilities.

2)      School staff to receive training and to work closely with child and adolescent mental health services so that they can identify mental health issues and physical and/or hidden disabilities.

Applicability: England only.

Published and promoted by Tim Gordon on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, both at LDHQ, 8-10 Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AE.