Teachers not being valued, what can we do?
Following recent events in education – namely pledges from Nicky Morgan to cut exhaustive workloads and “reduce the overall burden on teachers” and the General Secretary Mary Bousted’s wondrous defence against the dark arts of the latest right-wing attacks on our TAs; it seems that our heroes of education and more specifically the NUT’s reformative cries for a more fitting and favourable consensus have been just as loud and equally as resonating as say, Mel Gibson’s virtuous bellow for freedom at the end of Braveheart. Nevertheless, the most pressing matter at hand is one that is shared in both Bousted’s and Braveheart’s cases – as though they may have heard our gut-wrenching pleas, what we want to know will they actually listen to them, and adhere?
Not that this article is anything about politics, as such, however it is does question how and why politics in general is affecting the UK’s schools, students and more significantly its teachers.
To take a detour though, with that notorious Braveheart finale fresh in our minds, let’s have a brief refresher of the 2014 Scottish referendum as a means of comparison. For those who don’t know what happened, Scotland were basically about to break their ties with England but by a margin just about decided to stick with us and I suppose keep Britain ‘Great’. Seemingly, the most important question here was not the one that often comes first to one’s mind, wherein said person quickly inquires as to what kicked it all off in the first place, but rather it was in asking why is it that 43% of the Scottish people decided to follow the path of Wallace and the great Robert Bruce that the true root of the problem is revealed.
If you consider the fact that the two main concerns during the referendum were to do with oil retention and currency rates, it seems evident that money, and thus lack of it, takes its righteous place as a seed in the core of both apples.
Which brings us back full circle and – just like in the case of our neighbours’ referendum – we are asking why then has there been an increase in teachers reaching ‘breaking-point’ and why then is it our clearly needed TAs now supposedly need a “frame-work of professional standards”? Let’s not forget, if we look back a year “a third (32%) of support staff in UK state schools polled by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) said they took classes for absent teachers”.
You want to know what all of these issues have in common?
Money, money and yes – you’ve guessed it – it’s the money. I mean, of course the scarcity of teachers and support staff in general is another underlying factor but let’s face it, TAs just about see a grand a month and don’t receive holiday pay or over-time, with the 18% wage cut since Michael Gove’s era not helping either.
Nonetheless, it’s clear too see from the ATL’s statistics that TAs should be credited with the same amount of prominence as any other teacher or support staff would. Two hands are better than one right? Further, the TA position serves as a root into teaching for many of our future educators wherein they can gain hands-on experience. And though TAs and teachers have considerably different responsibilities and workloads, they share a common status as our heroes; the honourable educators for our littluns. Take the Nicky Morgan case for example, if the DfE and particularly the BIS had more money, schools would have better facilities for teachers and thus smarter working would surely eliminate some of the hardships. Perhaps LAs would have an easier time implementing the right policies if they had the right backing. I’m not saying increase tax, at all, but perhaps give a little more towards the cause? Needless to say, there have been significant recent improvements with regards to our kids keeping the first steps of their future journeys firmly grounded in education; but seriously, until when will it come at the cost of the well being of our teachers?
Here at Enlighten Supply Pool we pride ourselves in finding the best Teachers for a particular job. We have a duty of care for our teachers and support staff to ensure they enjoy the assignments we put them forward to. In this day and age, we have found that Teachers are not as valued as they should be. The Government are more interested in cutting costs and budgets rather than nurturing the next generation of adults by providing cutting edge technology and facilities.
With this in mind, and as much as it is a grey area at the moment, we really want to know is what YOU think, our teachers and support staff, our public and our people. Comment below and educate us!