NEWS • VIEWS • INFORMATION • ADVICE
STORM CLOUDS GATHER ACROSS THE NATIONS
(...Continued from page 18) schools to have qualified teacher status.
The regulatory protections in the current performance management procedures are being removed, including the limit on classroom observation and a transparent process for determining pay progression. Pay progression for upper pay spine (UPS) teachers is being limited.
Performance management and capability procedures are now to be directly linked, putting teachers on permanent competence procedures. New punitive teacher standards are being introduced.
More attacks on pay and conditions of service are in the pipeline.
All of this is not surprisingly taking its toll. Over 9,500 teachers were surveyed by the NASUWT to seek their views on the last twelve months of reform: 73% cited their biggest concern as the increase in workload; almost half said they had considered leaving teaching altogether in the last twelve months; 97% felt that the Coalition’s policies would not improve education.
In only 12 months, the level of dissatisfaction and anger it took the last Conservative Government 18 years to achieve has been reached. With the attacks on teachers and ideological reform set to continue, the Secretary of State is creating the ideal conditions for a perfect storm to hit him in the Autumn term.
Whilst all the conditions for the perfect storm are in place in England, serious note should be taken of the storm clouds gathering in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, as ministers in those nations are also adopting punitive education policies that fail to value and support the school workforce.
Over 96% of teachers across all the nations in a recent NASUWT opinion survey stated that they did not believe that the education policies of their government would raise standards.
The further attacks being planned by the Westminster Government on the national framework of pay and conditions of service will affect directly teachers in Wales. The Welsh Government should be supporting teachers by resisting any changes and attacks.
In Scotland, the local authorities, supported by the Government, have already imposed significant adverse changes on pay and conditions of service and more are likely to be on the way if the McCormac Review seeks to change the provisions of the McCrone Agreement. If such changes occur, Scotland will not longer be the ‘gold standard’ for either conditions of service or education it has always been.
In Northern Ireland, NASUWT members are already engaged in national industrial action to secure improved conditions of service given the marked disparity between their working conditions and other teachers across the UK. If the Assembly fails to make progress to improve the position, it is unlikely that further action can be avoided.
The majority of teachers across the nations report a significant decline in job satisfaction over the last year due to the relentless attacks on their professionalism, increased workload, punishing accountability regimes and denigration of their achievements, particularly through the misuse of international data.
Workload continues to increase, with over 73% of teachers surveyed stating that this was a major issue with the main drivers being school inspection, school self-evaluation, curriculum and qualifications changes and target setting.
Almost half of teachers surveyed reported that they had seriously considered leaving teaching in the last 12 months.
Teachers need pay systems that recognise and reward them as highly skilled professionals and conditions of service that enable them to work effectively to raise standards of education. Failure to do this does not just demoralise and demotivate teachers and lead to a decline in recruitment and retention, it deprives children and young people of their universal entitlement to high quality education. If ministers fail to take note of the growing anger and disillusionment in the profession and do not address it, an autumn of discontent, and indeed beyond, is inevitable.
...almost half said they had considered leaving teaching altogether in the last twelve months.
In only 12 months, the level dissatisfaction and anger it took the last Conservative Government 18 years to achieve has been reached .
If Ministers fail to take note of the growing anger and disillusionment in the profession and do not address it, an Autumn of discontent, and indeed beyond, is inevitable.
Teachers under attack 06
Pensions update 09