All teachers should be trained to Master’s level in order to attract the most ambitious candidates into the profession, according to one of the UK’s leading experts on teacher education.

In a call to Government, James Noble-Rogers, Executive Director of the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers, says the reform “would, at a stroke, boost the status of the profession and in so doing help to attract talented and ambitious new recruits.”

Mr Noble-Rogers set out his proposal in a collection of expert essays on teacher education published by GuildHE and the Cathedrals Group of Universities, who together represent a significant proportion of the UK’s higher education institutions offering teacher education courses.

He argues a Master’s degree should not be a condition of entry into teaching, rather there would be an expectation that new teachers would achieve a relevant Master’s degree, or equivalent, within a given period of time.

The publication, entitled “World Class Teachers; World Class Education”,  also sets out powerful reasons to resist recent policy experimentation which has shifted teacher education from a traditional school–university education partnership towards what ministers described as a ‘schools- led’ approach.

Professor Margaret House, Vice-Chancellor, Leeds Trinity University and Chair of the Cathedral’s Group of Universities said:

“The potential teacher recruitment crisis will only be solved by universities and schools working together to deliver teacher education. Recent moves towards a primarily schools-led model of teacher training risks damaging the large supply of high quality teachers needed to ensure every child receives the highest standard of education possible.”

Professor Joy Carter, Vice-Chancellor, University of Winchester and Chair, GuildHE, said:

“Teaching is not simply a craft that can be learned on the job; any more than surgery is a skill that can be picked up by watching an operation. Educating the next generation is a vocation that demands expert technique, yes, but also intellect, theory, educational innovations driven by robust research and, importantly, an appreciation of values and ethics. This is a task for a strong and balanced alliance of universities and schools, and universities are essential.”

The full publication can be read here.