Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the NEU, said:

“Delegates at Conference today have made clear the urgent and pressing need for the Government to get a grip on the working pressures facing teachers. Unless and until ministers tackle these issues, their stated desire to raise the achievement of all pupils will not come to fruition. 

“Excessive workload and real-terms pay cuts are impacting on teacher wellbeing and fuelling a recruitment and retention crisis. Tackling these issues requires urgent changes to punitive accountability, class sizes, teaching time, PPA time and marking. 

“Rather than taking steps to improve matters, the Schools White Paper promises more of the same with further academisation of the education system underpinned by discredited evidence. The pandemic exposed the extent of schools’ support for their pupils – from delivering food parcels to those most in need, to working with a heightened pupil mental health crisis. There is sadly little sign of government addressing its responsibility to properly fund decimated public services so that teachers can focus on teaching. The Government needs to take their head out of the sand and realise that their policies are a hindrance rather than a help to delivering the best possible education for every child. 

“The NEU is determined to support members in the workplace to insist on decent working conditions and to continue to fight for fair pay and pensions. Nationally negotiated, fair-pay scales, alongside a national contract for education that addresses workload, wellbeing and working conditions will benefit learners as well as education staff.  We know that what is good for our members is good for the children and young people they teach.” 

ENDS

Note to editors

We are currently in Bournemouth for our Annual Conference (11-14 April), during which time you will receive a higher number of press releases than usual.  

The Conference Press Office can be reached on 07879 480 061. You can also email the press officer at caroline.cowie@neu.org.uk  

Our conference agenda is available here

The hashtag for Annual Conference is #NEU2022 

  • The National Education Union stands up for the future of education. It brings together the voices of more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges across the UK, to form the largest education union in Europe. 
  • It is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing its members in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

The National Education Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). It is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.