We need to put the joy back into teaching

12 September 2017

The National Audit Office (NAO) has today published a report on retaining and developing the teaching workforce.

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“It’s vital that we do more to keep teachers in the profession and that means we must address the factors which have too often drained the joy out of teaching in recent years.

“The government’s endless cycle of education reforms, combined with severe underfunding and a high-stakes accountability regime, have placed schools and colleges under intolerable pressure. This has resulted in unsustainable workloads at all levels and we desperately need a period of stability free from further reforms.

“Ministers must also address the issue of teachers’ pay. It is simply unreasonable of the government to expect more and more of schools while at the same time imposing real-terms pay cuts.

“Beyond that, we need to do more to make teaching a profession which values its staff through properly structured career development. However, the ongoing education funding crisis makes this ambition extremely difficult to achieve because schools and colleges have little money left to spend on professional development.

“We believe the government and the profession need to work together to develop a wide-ranging strategy to improve both the recruitment and retention of teachers. ASCL is fully committed to supporting any such initiative. We have to put the joy back into teaching.”