Young teachers criticise coalition education policy

Published on Monday, 27 January 2014 09:24
Written by Govtoday staff

The overwhelming majority of young teachers believe that the coalition government's education policies are having a negative impact on pupils and on teachers, a conference organised by the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, has heard.

Hundreds of young teachers gathered in Birmingham on Saturday for the largest gathering of young teachers in the country. Teachers attended the NASUWT's Young Teachers' Consultation Conference to discuss the challenges facing the teaching profession, the impact of the Coalition Government's policies on children and young people and to engage in professional development workshops.

A real-time electronic poll of teachers at the Conference found that:

  • 77 per cent of young teachers said that in their experience, the coalition government's education policies are having a negative impact on the pupils they teach;
  • 97 per cent of young teachers said that the coalition government rarely or never respects or values teachers;
  • Nearly four in 10 (39 per cent) of young teachers said that the punitive accountability system was the main reason for 40 per cent of new teachers leaving the profession within five years. Giving all teachers a pay rise in line with the cost of living and giving them more professional autonomy would most encourage new entrants to remain in teaching, young teachers said;
  • Over half (56 per cent) of young teachers said they had experienced bullying and harassment during their teaching careers;
  • Administration, inspection and lesson planning are the biggest generators of excessive workload, according to young teachers.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, who addressed the conference, said: "It was clear that the young teachers at the conference are absolutely and fully committed to being great teachers and to serving the children and young people they teach.

"However, their professional effectiveness is being undermined as a result of the coalition government's cuts to education and the damaging impact of the accountability regime.

"The NASUWT will be meeting with ministers to discuss with them how they intend to address the concerns raised at the conference to ensure that pupils can continue to benefit from the skills, talents and expertise of young teachers."

Source: NASUWT

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