Bouncers, ex-soldiers and former police officers with no teaching qualifications are being brought into British schools to provide “crowd control” and cover absent teachers’ lessons, a teacher has revealed.

One school, thought to be in London, employed two permanent cover teachers through an agency for professional doormen, the National Union of Teachers annual conference in Cardiff heard.

Bouncers, who more usually work nights keeping order in pubs and clubs, are being employed in schools because they are “stern and loud”, said Andrew Baisley, a teacher at Haverstock school in Camden, north London.

“I know of bouncers being employed specifically because they are bouncers to cover lessons,” he told the conference.

The school Baisley knew of, which he refused to name, had recruited the pair last year. One was subsequently dismissed over “disciplinary offences” which Baisley did not disclose, while the other is still in post.

Recruitment agencies are advertising for people with “ex-marine, prison officer, bouncer, policeman, fireman” backgrounds to become supervisors, who do not need to have any teaching qualifications to oversee lessons.

Baisley said some schools seemed to believe the job of supervising a lesson was about “crowd control and childminding; if you’re stern and loud, that’s what’s necessary to do the job”, he said.

“The problem is, we need someone who’s trained with children, to be able to interact with children. If someone is away, you don’t want any teacher, you want a teacher from that particular subject so they can help the children with their work, so that the whole hour isn’t a complete waste of time.”

(Source: The Guardian)

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