Teacher training head defends Pimlico appointment
BBC News reports that Labour councillors have criticised Pimlico Primary for hiring 27-year-old Annaliese Briggs, saying it is "arrogant" and "staggering".
She is completing a school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) course in Wandsworth and will qualify with a PGCE.
Miss Briggs said she has classroom experience and had been chosen for her curriculum expertise.
Miss Briggs was previously director of the the think-tank Civitas which advises government bodies.
She said that during that time she taught primary school children in supplementary schools - which offer out-of-hours teaching - helping improve literacy and numeracy skills.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of the Labour group at Westminster Council, said: "I can't believe how anybody could be so arrogant to believe that they can do that job when they've never taught in a school.
He wants the Conservative-run Westminster Council to investigate the circumstances around the appointment, saying it smacks of "ideological favouritism".
He said prospective parents had every right to be concerned.
But Miss Briggs said: "Parents are always very interested in the backgrounds of teaching staff and I've told them about my experience."
She added: "I've been recruited on the basis of my expertise with the curriculum we will be using."
She said that resources would be shared with Pimlico Academy.
As a free school, Pimlico Primary, which will have 420 pupils by 2019, will follow a curriculum which follows the principles of US academic, ED Hirsch.
His emphasis is on "cultural literacy" - certain facts, ideas and literary works that he says people need to know in order to operate effectively as citizens of the country in which they live - and learning in a highly structured way.
Do you think Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg is right and Miss Briggs is not quite qualified to teach our children?
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