We write as teachers, teaching staff and individuals increasingly alarmed by the crisis of teacher retention and recruitment in our education system.
An array of issues - from government reforms to an overtly politicised and aggressive inspection regime - mean that teachers and teaching staff work harder and longer than any other country in the developed world. A recent survey showed they worked an average of 50 hours per week compared to 38 hours in the rest of the OECD.
Every year, more and more teachers are leaving the profession and we are losing their experience, their skills and their dedication. Our children's education is undoubtedly suffering as a result.
We fear that your government’s latest legislation will not address the real issues in teaching; of workload, recruitment and of keeping good teachers in our schools. It focusses on structures rather than quality, it doesn't examine failing academies but claims this is the best model to improve standards. If we are going to improve schools we need good teachers with time to teach and good training that equips new teachers with the skills to succeed.
Instead, we see teaching assistants having to teach classes of 30. A decrease in funding for training and pay that doesn't reward their dedication to the children they support.
It is not often you read about what is really happening in the education sector and we call upon you to rethink your attitude towards schools, reconsider the way Ofsted are inspecting schools and start valuing the teaching profession again.
Louise Haigh MP