Shadow Education Secretary Angela Raynor has revealed that Labour “wouldn’t necessarily scrap” teaching apprenticeships, describing them as “a good route into education”.
However, Raynor stressed that the top recruitment priority is to improve working conditions for teachers.
Speaking at the Teach First’s Impact Conference in Wembley, Raynor said: “Teacher recruitment and retention is more about the workload and the issues that teachers have in the classroom”.
“A lot of teachers now haven’t got enough money to live… they’re not even seeing their children at weekends because they’re working all hours God sends.”
“The apprenticeship route into teaching is not a priority; keeping teachers in the classroom and dealing with the workforce and workload issue is the priority at the moment.”
Initially launched by Tony Blair’s New Labour government, the Teach First initiative has become a firm favourite with the Conservative party in recent years. Raynor confirmed that if Labour were to come into power it would continue to support Teach First.
“Of course we wouldn’t turn our back on Teach First and the teachers that have come through that route, because it’s changed the platform and changed the landscape of education in our country,” she said. “It’s fantastic.”