Commenting on Mending the Education Divide, an OECD analysis of Talis 2018 data, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:
"The report asks big questions about the challenges for teachers after Covid-19 and how national policies on the teaching workforce affect student outcomes. It highlights the vital need for all young people from disadvantaged homes to have digital access, both in the UK and globally.
"Talis stresses the vital importance of having enough teachers with more than ten years' experience delivering for disadvantaged and advantaged intakes across an education system. This should make uncomfortable reading for Government. Currently in England, nearly one third of newly qualified teachers leave the profession within five years and 40% within ten years. This stems from the combination of unsustainably high working hours, pay which does not keep up with other professions, and an inspection system which is punitive and divisive. The drain to the system from losing so many good teachers so soon after training is unaffordable and surely demands an urgent rethink of the working climate in schools and the intensification of teacher workloads. In other countries, as the report shows, teachers have more time out of the classroom to prepare, plan and play a pastoral role for students.
"We need an education system that values teachers as professionals, and they must be able to feel ownership of their professional practice. Talis also makes the case that national governments must draw on the insights and perspectives of teachers if they want innovation, resilience, and good student outcomes. This can only be achieved through a major cultural shift where national policy is in synch with what the profession needs. That work should start now.
"The Talis report concludes that additional targeted funding for schools that are teaching disadvantaged children can be a key and transformative intervention. Years of inadequate funding has had a detrimental impact on the breadth of education and the support schools and colleges can afford to give pupils. Government needs to start listening to leaders, teachers and support staff. Our education system must be properly funded in order that every child gets the education they deserve."