Jennette Arnold
London assembly member for North East London — fighting your corner at City Hall

This week, Mayor Boris Johnson supported the Government’s view that Free Schools should be allowed to employ unqualified teachers.

In saying this, Boris is harking back to his own school days at Eton nearly 40 years ago, but teaching has moved on since then. We need teachers who are fully qualified and can teach our children to the highest possible standards.

A recent poll by YouGov in The Times found that 66% of people believe schools should only be able to employ people with formal teaching qualifications.

Free Schools are a dangerous ideological experiment that is leading to real problems with young people’s education. All schools should follow the national curriculum and employ qualified teachers, the fact the Mayor thinks otherwise just goes to show how out of touch he is.

This week I challenged Boris at Mayor’s Question Time about plans to demolish Sulivan Primary School in Fulham, which is rated Good with Outstanding features by Ofsted. The local council want to replace it with a free school, which is deeply opposed by parents, teachers and pupils. Boris said he supported the demolition of the school, and refused to support the pupils. In doing so, he is putting blind ideology before the needs of our children.