Opinion Former Article

Government must do more to develop and retain teachers – and pay them more

Voice: the union for education professionals is calling on the Government to invest more in the retention, pay and professional development of teachers, in order to create a secure and stable future for the profession. Commenting on the National Audit Office report Retaining and developing the teaching workforce – which highlights how schools ‘face real challenges in retaining and developing their teachers’ – and on the OECD’s Education at a Glance 2017 – which finds that teachers are earning less in real terms – General Secretary Deborah Lawson said:

“We welcome the NAO’s report for highlighting the key issues of teacher retention and professional development, which are often given less attention as issues than recruitment, important though that is.

“The report highlights tighter budgets, workload and diminishing opportunities for continuing professional development (CPD) as problems that must be addressed, as well as a lack of a coherent strategy from the Government that focuses on both retention and recruitment.

“We must value our teachers more as professionals, and give them real opportunities for professional development. That means that the Government must address the lack of time and funding and increasing workloads which mean that teachers often miss out on this crucial aspect of their careers.

“They must also be paid accordingly. The public sector pay cap must be lifted, and increases fully funded, so that teachers’ salaries reflect their professional status, in line with other graduate professions.

“Today’s Education at a Glance 2017 report from the OECD highlights how teachers earned less in real terms in 2015 than a decade before.

“A disillusioned teaching profession that is losing members is not good for education or the country.

“The Government must do more to retain and develop teachers, and do it in a coherent and strategic way – not a panic measure here and a stopgap strategy there.

“What lies at the heart of the problem is lack of money. Tighter budgets, resulting from cuts and erosion, mean fewer teachers and support staff, less time for CPD, increased workloads, salaries that do not keep pace with rising costs – and ultimately fewer teachers entering or remaining in the profession.”

Ends

Contacts:

Voice Press Office (pressoffice@voicetheunion.org.uk) on 01332 372337 or 0794 871 0413 or General Secretary Deborah Lawson (deborahlawson@voicetheunion.org.uk) on 01332 372337 or 07725 960 132.
www.blog.voicetheunion.org.uk
http://twitter.com/voicetheunion
Voice: the union for education professionals
2 St James' Court
Friar Gate
Derby DE1 1BT

Tel : 01332 372337

web : www.voicetheunion.org.uk

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