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School Days

Regulars | By Sophia Waugh

Teachers work for love – and money

I am becoming increasingly obsessed by Teach First. While I love what it stands for – encouraging high flyers and career-changers into my profession – I worry more and more whether it is really doing what it promises. A continuing worry is that it encourages people in to do shortage subjects, not their own. English is a shortage subject; increasingly so. Even the best schools find applicants for teaching posts falling year on year, and often have to make do with non-specialists coming in to teach up to GCSE with negligible subject knowledge. So, at my last school, which should not have qualified as a Teach First School anyway – too middle class, too successful, not enough EAL (English as an additional language) students – we took on a Teach First trainee. Lovely for the school – someone intelligent, motivated, keen (and cheap). And lovely for the trainee – a...

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