Where do these politicians get their  “bright”  ideas from?

Today the Conservatives have stated that they want only graduates with the “best” degrees to be accepted for teacher training. No mention of their aptitude or talent for teaching.

I am sure we can all remember the teachers who made the biggest impression on us, and conversely, the ones who were so poor at imparting their knowledge, that they put us off the subject for life.

When we were in school I was unaware what degrees the teachers had, but I remember discussing the teachers some time after I left school and being amazed that the English teacher, who had given us all not only a love of literature, but imbued in us an enthusiasm for learning generally, had only a third from a less august university. 

We had a brilliant young classics graduate, with an excellent degree from Oxford, who was useless at teaching.  We were all “turned off” Latin and only one of my schoolfriends continued studying classics  to A level, mainly because of the poor teaching.

I think the teachers in my junior school had no degrees and were all trained at teacher training college, but they managed to keep control of classes of about 50 children, and to teach the majority to read, write, basic maths, geography, history etc.

This modern obsession with degrees seems to be getting out of hand and common sense is disappearing.

I do not gainsay the need for teachers, nurses and the other professions to be well educated, but surely we have to take into account other abilities too.  I remember one of the girls in my set when I was nursing. She was always either top or very near the top in the Nursing School exams, but, on the wards she was incompetent, she could not organise the ward, the nurses or the domestics, but theoretically she was very knowledgeable and if Nursing had been a degree course in those days she would probably have been awarded a first class honours! 

I think it is time politicians  (of all parties) started talking to people doing the jobs, (not the overpaid bureacrats running them, many of whom have either never done the job, or have lost touch with the front line),  before making these sweeping decrees, and then step back and let them get on with it.

I know this is election year but I do get tired of all these headline grabbing pronouncements.

We would all like to change the world, with all people in work,  the pensioners cared for, a perfect health service, perfect schools run by outstanding teachers etc. etc ., but this is the real world not the world we were all going to build in the sixth form debating societies.

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