NASUWT COMMENTS ON GCSE RESULTS

Commenting on the GCSE results, Ms Chris Keates, General Secretary (Acting) of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“Congratulations must go to pupils and their teachers for their hard work in achieving yet another impressive set of results.

“The stability of the results year-on-year, despite the overhaul of the grading system and changes to the structure of the qualifications is a testament to the effort that pupils have put in and the dedication of their teachers in supporting their pupils to achieve their best.

“One point of continued concern for the NASUWT is the ongoing sharp decline in the number of GCSE entries in some non E-Bacc subjects such as RE and design and technology.

“This is the inevitable outcome of the pressure on schools to prioritise E-Bacc subjects which has led to time for non-EBacc subjects being reduced in many schools and cuts to staffing and resources in these subjects.

“The NASUWT believes this is undermining young people’s access to a broad and balanced curriculum and their opportunity to pursue a wide range of learning opportunities.”

SERIOUS CONCERNS OVER GOVERNMENT’S ASBESTOS IN SCHOOLS REPORT

Commenting on the Department for Education’s publication of its Asbestos Management Assurance Process (AMAP) Survey report, Ms Chris Keates, General Secretary (Acting) of NASUWT- The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The NASUWT is deeply concerned to see that in a significant number of schools, asbestos is still not being managed safely. All steps must be taken to keep staff and children safe.

“Every year, teachers and other education staff die from mesothelioma, caused by exposure to asbestos fibres. In addition, up to 300 adults die each year due to exposure to asbestos in schools during childhood.

“We regret that the Government is simply not doing enough to protect staff and pupils.

“It is inexcusable that the Government has not made it compulsory for all schools to report on the presence and condition of asbestos.

“More than one in ten schools did not participate in the Department’s AMAP survey and 3,485 schools (17.8% of participating schools) are not compliant with the Department’s guidance.

“Asbestos is a significant problem in schools and it is deeply concerning that schools routinely are reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over concerns that they are failing in their duty to safety manage asbestos.

“To protect staff and the public, the Government should also ensure that all schools are properly inspected by qualified persons to determine where asbestos is present, whether it should be removed or can be managed safely.

“There can also be no avoiding the fact of Government cuts to funding for refurbishing and building new schools since 2010 which, potentially, have contributed to pupils and teachers being further exposed to asbestos risk.

“Government and employers should be proactive in ensuring that all pupils and staff are safe in schools.”