I was a schoolmaster for 23 years and regard teaching as a great profession; but it would be wrong for us to ignore tendencies in the opposite direction which have harmed and can continue to harm the respect in which teachers are held. For too many years we recruited into teacher training at 18 some 40 per cent who did not have ‘O’‐level mathematics, and some 5 per cent who did not even have ‘O’‐level English. The recruitment of such low level candidates has now come to an end, and standards of teacher recruitment would steadily rise. Two ‘A’‐levels would in general be necessary for teacher recruits from Autumn 1980; Maths and English ‘O’‐levels would be required for all leaving teacher training in 1984. With about half of the newly‐qualified having post‐graduate certificates after obtaining a normal degree, and almost all the rest having the new style Bachelor of Education degree, teaching would be very close to achieving an all‐graduate entry.
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