At the moment there are two different teaching qualifications, both called PGCE. These are the 11-19 PGCE (for schools), and the 14-19 PGCE (for FE colleges and sixth form colleges).  These two different qualifications are managed by two different Quangos, and have different standards. 

The consequence of this is that if you are 14-19 qualified you are only considered a qualified teacher if your students' are funded by the Institute for Learning. Therefore it is possible for a 14-19 qualified teacher to teach identical GCSE content to two different classes and to be a qualified teacher in one (if the students are funded by the IfL), and be unqualified in the other (students are funded by DfES).

There are therefore two parallel bodies of professionals teaching 14-19 year olds that have different and incompatible qualifications. This restricts mobility and employability for highly experienced and capable teachers (particularly those trained in the FE sector).  

I therefore believe that there should be a single flexible teaching qualification that is recognised by schools, sixth form colleges and FE colleges. This will save money in training teachers, and will give teachers mobility and flexibility in their careers. It would open up a wider pool of teaching professionals for schools and colleges.

Why is this idea important?

The country can no longer afford unnecessary complexity. This complexity adds costs and restricts workforce mobility without adding value. This complexity is a hangover from Labour's big-state culture, and is all about the structure of the organs of state and not about students.

When education stops being about students then something is wrong.

Teaching qualifications need to be harmonised. All teachers need to be set free to compete for work so that each institution gets the best possible teacher for the needs of their particular students. This will do away with Quango costs, and the increased costs of training teachers to two different sets of standards. 

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