From Nordic-style funding to getting rid of Gove’s free schools, here’s how to revive the demoralised teaching profession. Lola Okolosie, an English teacher and award winning columnist gives us her view in The Guardian.
A breakfast for every primary pupil that costs an unappetising 6.8p per mealis not the stuff of teachers’ dreams. Rather, it’s another example of the sheer chutzpah of the Conservatives who have a tendency to serve up policy gruel while maintaining it’s a luxury.
The Tory education pledges have been Basil Fawlty-like in their execution: there is the frenzied, futile attempt to appear controlled in the midst of a crisis sparked by cuts to school funding.
Here, then, are some education policies that teachers could get behind, because they are actually good policies:
Fund education properly: What do Finland, Norway and Iceland have in common, other than being Nordic? They have excellent literacy rates – the top three in the world, in fact. The UK comes in at 17th place. Before anyone suggests this is due to the UK’s poor teaching standards, it’s worth pointing out that all three spend a good few percentage points more of total government expenditure than the UK on education.
Give power back to local authorities to open schools: Without doubt the most urgent issue facing education is the shortage of school places. Over the next 10 years, a million extra pupils are expected to enter the system. Giving local authorities (who are best placed to understand whether or not they need a new primary or secondary school) these powers means getting rid of Michael Gove’s legacy project: free schools.
Treat teachers with respect: The arithmetic of an unsustainable workload plus a barrage of criticism about not doing nearly enough for students, multiplied by curriculum changes that are as frequent as rain in winter, and punishing cuts, all amounts to the highest rate of teachers leaving the profession in a decade.
Read more policies including Sabbaticals! May’s education policies are Fawlty – so how about these instead.
Which policy would you agree with and what would you add? Would you take a sabbatical? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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