‘Wake up’: Manchester union blasts Nicky Morgan for ‘stifling’ teachers and pupils

The education secretary has been blasted by the National Union of Teachers after writing that she wanted to ensure teachers ‘focus on inspiring children’ and ‘not battling bureaucracy’.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, says that ‘morale is low’ in the profession because Nicky Morgan’s government’s policies are ‘stifling’ children and teachers within the education system.

More than half of teachers have thought of quitting the profession in the past six months, according to research published yesterday.

The general secretary believes that Ms Morgan needs to ‘wake up’ and find solutions, as soon there will be few teachers left.

She told MM: “With over half of teachers considering leaving the profession in the next six months, Nicky Morgan’s concerns about workload and bureaucracy needs to result in concerete improvements.

“Unless these issues alongside the punitive inspection and accountability systems are addressed there will simply not be enough teachers to teach. Parents, carers, children and teachers all deserve better.

“Teacher morale is low, curriculum and examination reforms have left schools with a stifling syllabus.

“While the over testing of children from the age four upwards is taking the creativity and joy out of learning and teaching.

“Nicky Morgan needs to wake up to the fact that it is her Government’s policies that have created this crisis. It is her responsibility to work with the NUT to find solutions. We have some to offer.”

The YouGov poll of 1,000 teachers found that 59% of have considered leaving, with 76% of which finding workload as the most common reason.

Other reasons include poor school leadership (43%) and teachers feeling they are not paid enough (43%).

Ms Morgan launched the Workload Challenge last year, which generated 44,000 responses, in order to find solutions to the challenges teachers have within the education system.

The ‘consultative response’ found that marking, planning, and data were teachers’ main concerns within their profession.

In an artice she wrote on TES, she stated that one of her biggest priorities is eliminating ‘unnecessary workloads’ in order that teachers can ‘inspire young children to fulfil their potential’.

John Morgan, general secretary for the Manchester Teachers’ Assocation NUT, believes the entire operation is a plan to have more academies, which would make the education system become privatised.

“I’m stunned by how little she says [in the article],” he told MM. “They haven’t listed one single policy that would actually, in a practical way, reduce stress of teachers and address the teacher shortage.

“50,000 teachers left the profession last year. That’s an incredible number. Everything they’re doing simply makes teaching a short-term job.

“Their drive for further academisation is aimed solely at taking more local democratic power away and sucking it towards White Hall.

“The whole idea of academisation is to develop and start the privatisation of education.”

Mr Morgan added that when local authorities are in charge of local schools, there are democratically elected people involved in that process.

But when schools are under an academy chain, they’re under contractual obligation to private companies.

He said: Why would a private company want to get involved? Not out of the goodness of their heart, it’s to make money.

“And at the moment it’s illegal, you can’t have a full proper academy, but we’re confident that is the long term goal of the Conservative party.

“But the question is, do they work? Last August, we had done badly as an authority in terms of results and most schools had dropped in the league tables.

“But most of the schools that dropped in points were actually academies. So if the academies are so wonderful, why did they drop?

“If you look at one in particular, St. Pauls in Wythenshawe, their results were really poor.”

Image courtesy of Conservatives via. YouTube, with thanks.

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