Future of the Teaching Profession — 16 May 2000

I beg to move,

That this House notes the failure of the Government to meet its target for recruitment into initial teacher training and the failure of Government schemes to encourage maths and science graduates into the teaching profession; views with concern the recent poll which showed that over half the profession expects to leave in the next decade and the fact that more teachers are leaving the profession than joining; deplores the Government's failure to deal with the bureaucratic workload faced by teachers, despite teachers' concerns and evidence that this is one of the key factors causing teachers to leave; recognises that this leads to children suffering in the quality of their education; and calls upon the Government to take urgent action to reduce the bureaucratic workload on teachers, to trust the professionals and to let teachers teach.

education is this Government's top priority. The teaching profession is critical to--


Every teacher in our school feels demoralised, undervalued and overworked. Three of the younger teachers in my school are actively seeking alternatives to teaching including myself.

Our schools depend, above all, on the skill, commitment and dedication of our heads, teachers and support staff.

Teacher recruitment is a top priority

the number of people recruited to initial teacher training courses has fallen steadily under this Government? Could it be because this year the Government failed again to meet their target for recruitment to initial teacher training by 10 per cent.--more than 3,000 recruits--and by 17 per cent. for secondary teachers?

the quality of teaching by supply teachers is weaker than for all other groups of teachers including newly qualified and trainee teachers.

The quality of supply teachers is a matter of serious concern.

Too much to do with not enough time or help. The end result leads to the children suffering in the quality of their education.

Get off our backs and allow our professional judgment and expertise to get the best from our children--that is if there are any of us left who believe in ourselves.

working to provide an alternative to paper communication

teaching and the rewards for teaching

over-elaborate processes are being used to achieve straightforward objectives, leading to unnecessary duplication and confusing excessive lines of accountability

over-elaborate processes . . . to achieve straightforward objectives . . . unnecessary duplication and confusing excessive lines of accountability.

allow schools to concentrate on the real business in hand.

raise the proportion of national income spent on education--

Oh, let us be "suns" again, not weary, insistent personalities. Trust in us and let us shine once more.

I beg to move, To leave out from "House" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:

"welcomes the substantial steps taken by the Government to improve teaching and the rewards for teaching, which include the introduction of a General Teaching Council, the development of better pay for good teaching, the introduction of training salaries to improve teacher recruitment, new measures to improve the training of headteachers, the Better Regulation Task Force Report on 'Red Tape Affecting Headteachers', administrative support for schools, more classroom assistants, lower infant and junior class sizes, reform of induction and teacher training, and significant improvements in funding for school budgets and school modernisation; and notes that these measures have already reversed a legacy of budget cuts, rising class sizes and inadequate training inherited from the previous administration."

uniquely, education alone is both the cause and the consequence of national prosperity . . .

Teachers are the agents for change in society--they have the ability not just to alter this country for the better, but to actually secure its future. No other sector of the population can do that . . .

At last year's National Association of Head Teachers conference, those comments were echoed by the Prime Minister. He said:

I know that the success of what we are trying to do will succeed or fail on the efforts of individual teachers in every classroom in the country . . .

in charge of their lives and their jobs.

Action should be taken to ensure that the hours worked by all teachers are kept within reasonable bounds and that they have reasonable rest periods and breaks.

the most Stalinist department I have ever come across.

Have a thorough and up-to-date knowledge of their subjects.

Consistently and effectively plan lessons to meet individual pupils' needs, use a range of appropriate strategies for teaching and classroom management, and use information about prior attainment to set their pupils appropriate targets.

Take responsibility for their professional development and make an active contribution to the school's policies and aspirations.

Challenge and support all pupils to do their best by inspiring trust and confidence, building team commitment, engaging and motivating pupils, thinking analytically and taking positive action to improve the quality of pupils' learning.

For every person wishing to teach, there are 30 not wanting to be taught.

the summer break is essential to allow teachers and pupils to recuperate from the stress and workload of the school year and to gear up for the next.

I went into the profession because I enjoy working with children. I get a buzz out of seeing children learn . . . But in those days most of us didn't realise that all this paperwork was coming. There's a limit to how much you can take on board.

an urgent need to reduce workloads and stress amongst heads and to reduce the number of tasks which are of little value to the education of pupils or to the effective running of schools.

there is a widespread and deeply held view that increased red tape is acting as a distraction from the drive to raise standards.

To cope, I drink alcohol and employ staff with a sense of humour.

keep up to date on policy developments with your own customised electronic intray of DfEE publications for schools.

The school office collects money for school trips.

Well it is just like old times! Government ministers being heckled! Conference in militant mood! Delegates walking out! Well conference it is about time teachers displayed their anger at the way they are being treated!

We found that the Government's radical agenda for raising standards in schools is widely respected and already seen to be delivering results. Additional regulation is inevitable in implementing such an agenda.

I find access to the material straightforward and it is helpful that my own office does not become cluttered with paper.

The In-tray has shown itself to be very useful in accessing relevant documents; can it now be developed as suggested by another respondent to include information from other agencies?

I can hear your scepticism, but I was not here last time.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:--

The House divided: Ayes 170, Noes 313.

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con0 126 (+2 tell)080.0%
DUP0 20100.0%
Independent1 0033.3%
Lab312 (+2 tell) 0075.7%
LDem0 35074.5%
PC0 2050.0%
UKUP0 10100.0%
UUP0 4044.4%
Total:313 170076.0%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

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no rebellions

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