I spoke twice this afternoon in the education debate, opposing Labour’s policy to restrict the recruitment options available to head teachers of state schools and preventing them from employing those who they think are the best for the job.
It is to the great advantage of independent schools that they can employ outside experts in various fields such as music, art etc, people who are distinguished in their field and for whom teaching is a pleasure to benefit children, not a bureaucratic tick boxing exercise.
The success of independent schools by adopting such a flexible policy of recruitment is evident in their admirable exam results.
Labour’s motion, like most of their policies, is well meaning but would be totally counter-productive. It would drive talented people out of the state sector and entrench the advantage of independent schools.
As Michael Gove replied, it would be impossible for a state school to poach an excellent teacher from an independent school if that teacher didn't have the exact formal qualifications, leaving the state sector disadvantaged.