Re: @Ben Norris
It is hard to discuss this sort of thing when the usual misconceptions about teaching get trotted out. It is strange that people believe that you finish a 'teaching' degree and then just get dumped in front of students. - Its like saying someone finishes a medical degree, then immediately becomes your GP.
Most secondary teachers (especially maths/science types) get a good degree in their subject first, then spend 2 years training before they are fully qualified. Even then roughly half of teachers don't survive the first 5 years -- Its a profession where you only find out if it is for you after doing it for the first year or two.
Everyone has good and bad experiences with teachers. A lot of the bad experiences come from either: teachers in the situation above who get through the training, but are learning that it isn't for them after all. Others for some (often logistic) reasons are stuck teaching outside their specialism/comfort zone, or the school cannot get a teacher of the quality they'd like, because often they are hard to find.
That said, as I see it, the scheme has no chance of succeeding, especially in the short term. Why?
Firstly (and as usual with the government), everything is set up backwards. They build a new curriculum, put a deadline in place to enact it, and only then begin to set up the infrastructure and training to make it work.
Secondly, after the grand ideas, it is all done on the cheap. Assuming they find their 400 masters, they will be spread extremely thinly. Even ignoring the primary sector, each will have about 10 secondary schools each to work with. If its a compulsory subject, they will need multiple staff to cover the load, so each master could be dealing with 30+ trainees.
From there the options are to: retrain qualified teachers to work in a new area -- assuming you can find teachers who can or want to do that. That is quicker and easier (and presumably the preferred, cheaper option), but means non-specialists doing most of the teaching; which is never good.
Alternatively, you take IT professionals and retrain them as teachers, they could well progress quicker than fresh graduates, but still has to be at least 1-2 years before they would reach a level of competence capable of delivering the subject.
This is all meant to go live in 8 months.