From education to employment


students sat in classroom

The General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers Union has called on the Education Secretary to “get back around the table and negotiate a proper deal on pay” for teachers in England “or deal with the consequences.”

Addressing the Union’s Annual Conference in Glasgow, Dr Patrick Roach condemned the “contemptuous” pay offer made to teachers in England which has been rejected by NASUWT members.

Following the announcement that the NASUWT will undertake a new ballot of members for industrial action over pay, he urged the Education Secretary to return to the negotiating table. He said: “Get back around the table while there’s still time. Negotiate a proper deal, or deal with the consequences.”

Dr Roach emphasised that the problems facing the profession run much deeper than just pay, calling for an end to the 13 years of Government failure in which ministers have demonstrated serial contempt for the profession and their pupils.

He said: “Teacher morale is so low the Government refuses to collect the statistical data to track the extent of the problem. But we do.

“And, it confirms that 73% are seriously considering quitting and won’t recommend teaching as a career to others.

“And, no wonder, when the Government gives permission to employers to overload teachers and school leaders and to disregard their right to a life outside work.”

Turning to school inspection and accountability, in the wake of concerns raised about the role of Ofsted and the Teacher Regulation Agency, Dr Roach called for an end to what he described as “the toxic climate of fear that is failing our education system and which is damaging the wellbeing and careers of so many dedicated teachers and headteachers today.”

He called on the Education Secretary to establish the independent led inquiry the NASUWT has asked for into the impact of inspection on teacher and headteacher workload and wellbeing and report the findings immediately.

He called for Governments and administrations across the UK to step up to the NASUWT’s demands for an education system which is much more ambitious for all children, saying teachers “are struggling to hold together a system that is already broken.”

He told the Conference: “A system where 3 in 4 teachers report how vulnerable children are left waiting months, if not years, to access vital mental health assessments and support.

“A system that fails to respond when schools raise safeguarding concerns to keep children safe, because other agencies are so over-stretched and so under resourced.

“We want an education system built on high investment, not a system built for failure and which is educating children on the cheap.

“And, in the world’s 6th largest economy, there is simply no excuse – no reason why governments cannot invest the resources needed to deliver the very best and ensure that no child is left behind.”

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