Teacher: 'The education system is fractured from top to bottom'

27 May 2023, 12:27 | Updated: 27 May 2023, 12:46

'Livid' teacher reacts to government's proposal to bring in teachers from abroad

By Ellen Morgan

This “livid” teacher criticises the government’s proposal to pay teachers abroad £10,000 to come and work in the UK.

Amanda, a Special Educational Needs teacher told Ben Kentish that if the government wants to resolve the problems with the country’s education system, they “have to fund it properly”.

She said paying foreign teachers £10,000 is “evidence” that the government can find the money “when it’s appropriate to do so,” and shows “there is clearly money out there”.

The conversation comes as foreign teachers are being offered £10,000 to work in English schools in a drive to fill classroom vacancies.

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“Teachers work under really stressful conditions,” Amanda reminded Ben, citing Ofsted inspections, homework, parents’ expectations, and government targets as factors that contribute to this.

She also lamented how the British schooling system is frequently compared to that of other countries: “In Singapore and other Asian countries, their schools aren’t necessarily as inclusive as ours… it’s a very different set up”.

Amanda told Ben that the solution is to pay British teachers “properly,” improve their working conditions, and lessen the expectations that are placed on them. She believes all of this will give teachers “autonomy”.

“Schools are underfunded. Children are struggling. The whole system is fractured from top to bottom,” she said.

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Amanda was resolute that the government needs to make teaching an “appealing” career to entice more people into education.

“We’re too academic-focused. Some teachers are doing amazing jobs with special educational needs and well-being, but it’s just not valued.”

Ben added that there are more things the government could be doing to retain current teachers and stop them leaving without “splashing billions on a hefty pay rise”.