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Thursday, 17 January 2013

Education reforms are a step in the wrong direction

The Green Party has reiterated its opposition to the government’s reforms of teachers’ pay, in the wake of the renewed threat of industrial action from teaching unions. In response to government plans to end teachers’ pay rises in line with length of service in favour of performance-related pay, the National Union of Teachers executive has agreed to “build towards strike action in the spring term,” while the NASUWT has warned that “resistance across the profession” was growing.

Will Duckworth, Deputy Leader of the Green Party, who was a teacher for thirty years at his local comprehensive school, said: "This policy may possibly hold some very short term financial benefits, but we should be looking at the long term interests of our children. The reason this is a particularly damaging measure is because it chips away even more at the status of teaching. It is a profession, but this policy treats it as if it's simply a step to be taken on the way to management. In a real professional career, of course you receive pay increases based on experience and expertise. But this plan removes that from teaching, meaning the only way many teachers will be able to progress is by teaching for just two to three years then entering school management. Others will be even less likely to regard teaching as a profession, and turn to do something else instead. It's a waste of talent that we should be harnessing for the good of our children, and society in years to come.”

Mr Duckworth added: “It's also concerning that this seems to remove one more reward for loyalty and length of service, perhaps in an attempt to make it even easier for Academies and Free Schools, which will be able to raise money from private businesses, to poach the best teachers from LEA affiliated schools by offering them more money. The majority of children will suffer if this is allowed to happen.”