We need more teachers to solve schools crisis

Schools Minister Nick Gibb has said: 'We are taking a huge amount of action in terms of tackling teachers' workload'.

Friday, 14th September 2018, 6:21 pm
Updated Friday, 14th September 2018, 6:27 pm
Are there too many time-wasting, energy-sapping, bureaucratic tasks put in front of teachers which get in the way of teaching?

I have yet to find a teacher who has seen any evidence of this.

I taught in secondary schools for 36 years, and have heard such claims from Government many times.

High quality education depends on schools being resourced with well-qualified, committed and creative teachers who arrive at school refreshed, well prepared and able to engage energetically with their classes.

Time-wasting, energy-sapping, bureaucratic tasks simply get in the way.

Who is responsible for all this detritus? Hyperactive Government ministers who fear being labelled ‘under-performing’ if they don’t initiate constant reform.

There are top-heavy ‘senior leadership teams’ in many schools, consisting of very highly paid teachers, none of whom actually teach but justify their existence by devising unnecessary schemes which add to the workload of their staff.

There is Ofsted, the fear of which motivates a lot of this counter-productive activity.

One of its beneficiaries is the lucrative ‘in-service training’ industry – yet more ‘educators’ safely remote from the front- line.

The Government needs to be serious about redirecting all this wasted energy and getting people out of non-jobs back into the classroom to tackle the teacher shortage, and fight the demoralisation and burn-out that has put teacher retention into crisis.

Just talking about it, or devising yet more vague ‘initiatives’, won’t cut it.

Teaching is a wonderful vocation: let’s set our teachers free to get on with it!

Robert Dring

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