Education Secretary to halt future school reforms
Education Secretary Damian Hinds will promise teachers that there will be no changes to primary tests, GCSEs or A-Levels for the next four years.
In his first major speech to teachers, Mr Hinds will say that long hours, red tape and excessive bureaucracy are the main obstacles to retaining teaching staff.
Speaking to the annual conference of the head teachers’ union, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), Mr Hinds is expected to promise an end to ‘pointless tasks’ as well as tinkering with the national curriculum and examinations.
‘I recognise that recruitment and retention is difficult for schools. And, clearly, one of the biggest threats to retention, and also to recruitment, is workload. Too many of our teachers and our school leaders are working too long hours’ he will say.
‘We need to get back to the essence of successful teaching, strip away the workload that doesn’t add value and give teachers the time and the space to focus on what actually matters.’
The move comes in response to a crisis in teacher recruitment, which has led to staff shortages and has seen spending on agency labour soar.
The speech is likely to be welcomed by education unions, who claim that years of pay restraint and poor conditions are deterring new teachers from entering the profession.
A survey released today by the ASCL found that 70% of head teachers had been forced to increase spending on supply teachers due to chronic staff shortages.
Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman is also expected to call for a reduction in bureaucracy to ease teachers’ workloads.
‘The record number of good and outstanding schools won’t be sustained if the people who make them run so well are burning out and leaving,’ she will say.
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