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Six-formers are paid to teach pupils


Qualified supply teachers are not up to the job according to a report in the Daily Mail of one school in Buckinghamshire that has begun paying sixth-formers as young as 16 to teach lessons.

Chalfonts Community College has introduced a pilot scheme with 24 A-level students on standby to fill in when regular teachers are away, as the headmistress says they do a better job than qualified adult teachers hired from supply agencies.

The 'supply students' give about five lessons a week between them - including some GCSE classes - in subjects ranging from biology and geography to PE and are paid £5 for each 50-minute lesson they take.

They are allowed to front classes after observing just six hours of lessons taught by a qualified teacher and going over the basics of behaviour management.

Sue Tanner, head of the comprehensive in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, has criticised some supply teachers previously hired by the school for spending their time knitting instead of teaching, or simply hand out questions.

Details of the initiative emerged following a government survey of staffing levels which revealed a decline in the number of available supply teachers from 19,600 in 2001 and 13,200 last year to 12,800. It also revealed how the number of unqualified teachers in schools has soared since Labour came to power, from 3,000 in 1997 to 16,800.

Under the Chalfont’s scheme, which began in September, sixth-formers , which are provided with a ‘cover supervisor’ who sits in the class, are giving lessons in subjects they are studying for A-level to pupils as young as 11. They have a teacher's lesson plan to follow but invent their own activities for the first and last 10 minutes of each class.

Mrs Tanner has emphasised that the ‘teachers’ will be pulled out of the scheme if it begins to affect their own A level studies saying that the point of the scheme is to give students an opportunity to improve their leadership skills.

<a href=“”> Daily Mail


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