Andrew Marr: Childcare, teachers' pay and adapting the curriculum are the biggest challenges facing education

3 July 2023, 18:15

Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Expanding childcare, adapting the curriculum so it is more creative and paying teachers enough to stay in the profession are the three biggest challenges facing education at present, Andrew Marr has said.

Andrew Marr unpacks biggest issues facing teaching

Speaking after the Labour party announced it would offer teachers in England £2,400 to stop them quitting, LBC's Andrew Marr decided to start Monday's show by looking at the biggest challenges facing education in 2023.

"A couple of days ago it was revealed that school heads will join teachers in strikes in September, leading to far more schools being closed," Andrew said.

"More strikes, of course, are coming from teachers this week. Meanwhile large numbers are simply voting with their feet, leaving the profession early.

"English schools lost some 40,000 teachers last year alone. Labour's shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson is offering £2,400 bonuses to persuade teachers to stay.

"But with teachers wanting a 6% pay increase overall, about double the last offer, would that be enough?"

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Labour's shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson
Labour's shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson. Picture: Alamy

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"Then there's what children learn while they're at school: Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber Is the latest big cultural figure to complain about the lack of arts and music for kids in state schools.

"He wants every child to have access to playing an instrument and points out that while 85 percent of private schools have an orchestra, only 12 percent of state schools do.

"Before all that I suppose there's childcare, where it all begins."

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Andrew continued: "After Jeremy Hunt made more funding a centrepiece of his last budget, this week Labour unveils its plan, which Phillipson compares in scale to the founding of the National Health Service, this very week in 1948, 75 years ago.

"Anyway, ahead of what's going to be a big week for education I just thought it would be helpful to start today by looking at three of the really big issues - child care, which is very expensive in the UK by international standards; whether the curriculum should be expanded to give children in States schools a more creative education; and what can realistically be done to support and pay teachers so they stay in this most important of all professions."