Teaching would get boost if sixth-formers could try it, says MPs
Sixth-formers should be given a chance to try out teaching, to encourage the brightest into the profession after they finish university, say MPs.
More should be done to attract, train and retain top teachers, the Commons Education Select Committee says.
It says offering a taste of life at the other end of the classroom could help teenagers see the benefits of the job.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said the government valued teachers highly, but many top graduates chose other careers.
The report, entitled Great Teachers, draws on international evidence which shows how the best teaching can accelerate learning, boost grades and even improve pupils' future earnings.
'Fantastic and Inspiring'
Committee chairman Graham Stuart said: "There is a huge difference in how much children learn depending on who is taking their class.
"It is crucial that we have an educational system which celebrates great teachers, keeps more of them in the classroom, supports their development and gives them greater status and reward."
The report calls on the government to champion the "fantastic and inspiring work" done by existing teachers - but also to do more to recruit the best graduates into the profession.
The MPs' recommendations include allowing young people to try out teaching at an early age, something they say that would give students a better idea of the benefits and drawbacks of teaching as a career, improve the quality of applicants and lead to a lower drop-out rate.
The MPs also say applicants for teacher-training should be observed taking a class before being offered a place.
The MPs welcomed ministers' plans for tougher literacy and numeracy tests for trainee teachers but said this should not be at the expense of good personal skills.
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