NEU comment on Damian Hinds’ speech

Commenting on the Education Secretary’s speech, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“Whilst a clarification of the differing roles of Regional Schools Commissioners and Ofsted in school accountability is useful, and schools will welcome this clarity, it isn’t enough. Overlapping and confused accountabilities are one problem – and this goes some way to address this. But even when RSCs and Ofsted have got back in their respective boxes, the high-stakes nature of school accountability, based on measures including progress 8 which discriminate against schools educating disadvantaged pupils, remains.

We welcome the Secretary of State’s commitment to supporting our newest teachers, through focused training and mentoring. His guarantee of the needed funding to deliver this additional work in schools recognises that recruitment and retention of teachers is a vital investment for this government, particularly in light of the teacher supply crisis. Sabbaticals are a good route for professional development for some, but it mustn’t divert attention away from the need for a career-long programme of training for all.

The National Education Union has told the Government that additional time and funding for development, rather than tinkering with the timing of the teacher qualification, is key to making the profession more attractive and it is right that Ministers have listened. We’ve some way to go, with the outstanding school funding and workload challenges to face, but today’s announcement is a start and a win for professional judgement.”


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