Opinion Former Article

Older, experienced teachers being forced out of their jobs

Action is needed urgently in schools to tackle the age discrimination being faced by many older, experienced teachers, the Annual Conference of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, has heard today.

Despite the expectation that teachers will work for longer and the valuable contribution older and experienced teachers make, many older teachers face being hounded out of their jobs because they are considered to be too expensive.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Instead of older teachers being valued and their contribution to the school appreciated they are facing grossly unfair and unacceptable treatment.

“All our evidence shows a catalogue of older teachers being disproportionately placed on capability procedures, denied access to professional development, subject to excessive observation and scrutiny, having pay awards and pay progression withheld and put under intense pressure to leave their job.

“We have even had examples of overt and blatant age discrimination, with teachers over sixty being asked outright by headteachers whether it wasn’t now time for them to think of doing something else.

“Inequality and discrimination is rife across schools and despite being confronted with irrefutable evidence ministers still fail to act.

“Ministers are issuing recruitment and retention strategies to tackle the teacher supply crisis while ignoring the factors which are driving good teachers out of the profession.

“The skills, knowledge and expertise older teachers can contribute should be celebrated by employers, not shunned and devalued.”


NASUWT Press Office contacts:
Ben Padley 07785 463 119
Lena Davies 07867 392 746
Sarah Cull 07920 711 069

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