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GCSE pupils had 75 million lessons with non-specialist teachers

The Liberal Democrats have accused the Government of letting thousands of pupils down, after analysis by the party reveals over 75 million lessons for GCSE pupils getting their results this week were taught by non-specialist teachers.

The data shows that the average GCSE pupil will have had one in 10 lessons with a teacher who is not a specialist in that subject over the past two years.

12.2% of maths lessons over the two years were taught by teachers without any post-A level qualification in maths, despite it being a core GCSE subject that students are required to pass. Modern languages also had a high percentage with 19.9% of GCSE lessons in two years being taught by a non-specialist. 

This year the government failed to meet its teacher training recruitment targets for the ninth time in 10 years, achieving just 59 percent of the target for secondary teacher trainee entrants starting courses.

Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to develop a teacher workforce strategy, reform teacher pay and introduce a new teacher development programme to ensure more children are taught by a subject specialist. 

Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

“Teachers should be experts in their field to ensure students are engaged, inspired and equipped to succeed. 

“But this Conservative Government has let our children down by missing recruitment targets year after year, allowing experienced teachers to leave in their droves.

“Liberal Democrats know that investing in schools and teachers is vital to give every child the chance to thrive. The Government must urgently put in place a proper schools workforce strategy to ensure we have the specialist teachers our children need.”

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