Opinion Former Article

NUT: "Children are not tins of beans"

Commenting on the Education Select Committee report “Great Teachers: attracting, training and retaining the best”, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT absolutely agrees with the Select Committee’s recommendation for an entitlement to continuing professional development (CPD) for all teachers. The evidence from our own CPD programme is that it enhances professional confidence, morale and learning.

“The Committee, however, fails to address the major point. To recruit, retain and get the best out of teachers you need to trust them and give them professional autonomy. We need to see an end to the tyranny of Ofsted and league tables, and the continual stream of ever-changing initiatives. They stifle the curriculum and squeeze every last drop of creativity out of the classroom. They are bad for teachers, bad for pupils and bad for the education system.

“Payment by results is total nonsense. Children are not tins of beans and schools are not factory production lines. Successful schools rely on a collegiate approach and team working. Performance related pay (PRP) is not only inappropriate but also divisive. Children and young people differ and class intakes differ from year to year making it impossible to measure progress in simplistic terms. PRP will create even more difficulties for schools facing the most challenges because teachers will realise that they will get no thanks for teaching their students but will get more money by going elsewhere.

“Teaching is becoming increasingly less attractive as a profession for graduates to choose to enter and for those already in it. Unless the Government addresses the issue of pay and pensions as well as a punishingly high workload and accountability system, no amount of ‘marketing’ will convince graduates that teaching is an attractive career.”

                                                            END pr74-2012
For further details contact Caroline Cowie 0207 380 4706 or 07879480061

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