I came into teaching 18 years ago, for all the right reasons, to impart knowledge, make a difference, and help young people. Then I became management and immediately the priorities and pressures changed. Speaking as a Head of English of an inner city secondary comprehensive school for 9 years, I will, however, refrain from using my soapbox. It became apparent very quickly that teachers were going to be placed according to availability rather than expertise, knowledge or experience.

Last year when we had a shortage of staff within the English department, students were taught by two PE teachers, a psychology teacher, two Spanish teachers (whose own acquisition of the English Language was in its primary stages), a Media teacher and an RE teacher. I think the understanding from Senior Management was that if you can read and write in English, then you can teach English.

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