Academies told they can employ unqualified teachers

Up to now academy and free school funding agreements have required them to employ qualified teachers.

The Department has now changed the model agreements so that academies and free schools created in the future will not be constrained in that way. The new model agreement now says this:

“… the Academy Trust shall, in accordance with any guidance which the Secretary of State may issue on the qualifications of teaching and other staff in Academies, employ anyone it deems is suitably qualified or is otherwise eligible under a contract of employment or for services to carry out planning and preparing lessons and courses for pupils, delivering lessons to pupils, assessing the development, progress and attainment of pupils, and reporting on the development, progress and attainment of pupils.”

At the same time the Department has apparently said that “existing academies will have to apply to make the change by altering their contract (funding agreement) with the government.” It is not clear whether that gives a green light to any academies who want to ask for that change, or whether it is simply stating the legal position which is that the change made in the model only applies to future academies/free schools and does not affect those already in existence unless and until their funding agreements are amended.

The possibility of amendment of existing agreements also opens up the possibiity that, if academies/free schools were to ask for an amendment relaxing the teacher qualification rule, the Department would also take the opportunity to (in exchange) bring the particular funding agreement in line with the up to date model.

  2 comments for “Academies told they can employ unqualified teachers

  1. Claire
    March 21, 2014 at 9:01 am


    I have been informed by various teachers in my school and in another school in the trust that the Assistant Principal/teaching and learning lead in our school was an Instructor in a service industry subject in another of our trust’s schools before being promoted through cronyism (her husband is Headmaster at yet another of our Trust’s schools) to this role at ours. This would probably mean she would not have a PGCE. Is it possible that an Assistant Head in such a significant role is allowed to be appointed without a teaching qualification? I feel a bit stunned at these revelations! And might a lack of QTS perhaps cast aspersions on the ability of this ‘teacher’ to aid others in teaching better lessons? Perhaps I am wrong, or will be proven to be wrong. However, it all makes me feel that my studying to gain QTS (years ago) were perhaps a waste of my time and money……

  2. DW
    April 5, 2014 at 6:36 am

    There is no legal requirement in academies or free schools for any teaching staff, including an Assistant Principal, to be a qualified teacher.

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