Opinion Former Article

DfE teachers working longer review - A wasted opportunity

Commenting on the publication of the Teachers Working Longer Review by the DfE, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The DfE originally intended that its Teachers Working Longer Review would have reported by October 2016, so that its conclusions influenced the Government’s decision as to whether to maintain the link between the state pension age and the teachers’ normal pension age. The Review has over-run by two years and it has therefore not contributed to the Government’s review of the future of the pension age which took place in 2017.

“The final report is silent on the issue of an unacceptable and unrealistic teachers’ current pension age.

“The Review has taken place against a backdrop of continued, year-on-year increases in teachers leaving the profession, leading to the greatest teacher shortage crisis for decades. This crisis in teacher retention affects the whole profession, but is particularly acute in respect of teachers in the first five years of their careers. The evidence is that younger teachers are not prepared to stay in the profession until they are thirty, let alone a state pension age of 68 plus.

“The Report has made several recommendations on working practices such as the increased availability of flexible working. Even though these recommendations are not in themselves unhelpful, without any meaningful strategy to bring about positive change within schools the DfE’s final report has to be seen as a wasted opportunity.

“The DfE’s final report does not address the teaching profession’s concerns about an unrealistic pension age and the pressures associated with working longer. No one should be expected to work until they drop.

“The NASUWT will continue to press the Government for the changes to teachers pay, pensions and other conditions of service needed to end the recruitment and retention crisis.”


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