Some teachers are starting their careers in primary schools with as little as several hours MPs have heard. The Education Select Committee heard the way the brevity of initial teacher learning England meant constant professional development was essential.
But much of it focused on program shifts and new regulatory requirements, rather than subject areas. 'Fragmented'
Whereas at primary they were trained to cover 16 to 17 program areas, teachers were trained in a couple of area specific areas, at secondary level, she said. "Kids are becoming fragmented instruction with a bit of training from this man and a bit from another person."
This resulted in too little consistency and too little progress, she said. "If we look at a few of these areas we could be sending folks outside with as little as three hours educated input signal in an area like PE.
"What primary schools must do - they understand their staff are undertrained - is supply CPD (continuous professional developments) for PE or supply mentors.
"The reason it's worse now and it was never quite that way before is because we'll not have the ability to rely on big centers of research and development - Keele, Loughborough, Nottingham Trent, Exeter - all of these have removed from first teacher training instruction."
Rewire a stopper
Head teacher of Southend Boys School, Robin Bevan, said almost all CPD now being supplied was based on keeping staff current with program changes, statutory frameworks, regulatory changes or Ofsted necessities. Really focused on subject knowledge or professional expertise, which was what was wanted, he said. Prof Courtney said the significance of highly skilled primary school teachers must not be underestimated. She said: "It is possible to train somebody to rewire a stopper. The Department for Education is to comment on the claims.