NASUWT COMMENTS ON THE CARTER REVIEW OF INITIAL TEACHER TRAINING

Commenting on the publication of the Carter review into the effectiveness of initial teacher training (ITT), Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“The review has underlined the critical nature of qualified teacher status. As the NASUWT has continued to make clear, the reckless decision of the Coalition Government to remove the requirement for schools to employ qualified teachers represents one of the gravest current risks to maintaining high quality educational provision in this country.

“No other education system recognised as high performing or fast improving has taken this step, which is recognition of the international understanding of the critical importance of a professionally trained teaching workforce.

“The review has sought to stress the importance of strong partnerships between schools and universities in the delivery of ITT. The NASUWT has continued to highlight the fact that both have a critical role to play in securing effective teacher training across the education system. In too many current partnerships the role of universities has been marginalised to an unacceptable extent.

“However, the Union is concerned by the emphasis placed in the review and in the DfE's response to the potential role of a College of Teaching or the Teaching Schools Council in the development of ITT standards, as well as standards for mentors and qualified teachers.

“While the review is right to recognise that the profession must be a given a leading role in the development of these critical areas of education policy, it is not at all clear that current proposals for a College of Teaching would secure this in practice.

“There are also legitimate grounds for concern that the teaching school sector does not have the capacity or the expertise to take on even more responsibilities within the system. Evidence from teachers and school leaders indicates strongly that workload pressures within teaching schools are becoming unsustainable.

“It is incongruous for the DfE to suggest that key responsibilities should be allocated to the College of Teaching before its consultation on the future of College has concluded. This calls into serious question the extent to which this consultation represents a genuine opportunity to inform the development of the DfE’s policy in this area.”

YOUNG TEACHERS’ CAREERS BEING BLIGHTED BY DISCRIMINATION

Nearly half of young teachers say they have been discriminated against during their career because of their age, a conference organised by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, has heard.

And two thirds of young teachers at the NASUWT’s Young Teachers’ Consultation Conference today (Saturday) in Birmingham said they had experienced bullying and harassment at work, with over a quarter being bullied by senior management in their schools.

A real-time electronic poll of members attending the Conference found that:

  • Nearly half (48%) had been discriminated against because of their age while working as a teacher;
  • Over a quarter (28%) had experienced bullying and harassment from senior management. Overall, two thirds had experienced bullying at work, either from management, colleagues, pupils or parents;
  • Excessive workload was the main concern of three quarters of young teachers;
  • All (100%) said that they do not think government understands the day-to-day realities of teaching and 85% feel the government does not respect or value teachers;
  • Over two thirds (69%) say that pay matters to new recruits and those considering teaching as a career and 40% say that secure employment and fair access to pay progression would most encourage them to stay in teaching long-term.

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, it is deeply worrying, although unfortunately not surprising, that their commitment is being undermined by bullying and harassment and their energy and enthusiasm sapped by excessive workload and working hours.

“The Coalition Government has created a climate in which poor management practices can flourish, which is why the incidence of bullying and harassment is increasing.

“Young teachers are the future of the profession, a future which is being severely compromised by this Coalition's failure to encourage and secure employment practices which nurture and value teachers and their professionalism."